Shockley ready for first career start

ATHENS - In the spring, D.J. Shockley thought this week would never get here, he said. Now, the senior is just four days away from his first collegiate start.

"I've already told (quarterbacks coach Mike) Bobo I don't know how much sleep I'm going to get Friday night," D.J. Shockley said.

Shockley's career highs in attempts (16) and passing yards (112) came in last year's Georgia Tech game. It will be a disappointment to Bulldog fans if he hasn't nearly matched those totals by halftime against Boise State on Saturday.

"I've tried to keep it simple for him and just say, ‘Protect the ball and relax,'" Coach Mark Richt said. "I don't expect him not to have pregame jitters or not have a ball spray on him here or there. That's happened to every player I've coached. It's hard to get in a groove until you've played enough plays. I'm confident that once he gets into a groove, he will be a heck of a quarterback for us."

The pressure of starting, particularly in front of 92,000 fans, has a physical effect on a player's body, Richt said.

"It's just getting your body used to that feeling of playing in the game and being in charge," he said.

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