Fans Take in Picture Day

ATHENS – Matt Silvers arrived at Sanford Stadium at 11 a.m. Saturday with one purpose: Meet Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno.

When the gates opened for the Bulldogs' annual Fan Picture Day, the 29-year-old from Calhoun sprinted through thousands of frenzied Bulldogs fans to the table where Georgia's running backs would be signing autographs.

"As soon as they opened that gate up, I sprinted," Silvers said. "That's probably the fastest I've ever run."

Clad in a Georgia hat and "Knowshon for Heisman" t-shirt, Silvers, who said he wore Moreno's same jersey number in high school, had a football and portrait of Moreno autographed by his favorite player.

"I think he's about the second coming of Herschel Walker," Silvers said.

Silvers was not alone in his excitement.

Fans filled lines hundreds of people deep and waited hours to get autographs and pictures with Georgia's players.

Footballs, posters, pictures, even garbage cans and the occasional body part were signed by Moreno, quarterback Matthew Stafford and other players.

Eleven-year-old Toby Logan traveled with his parents from Fort Benning to see some of his favorite players, including Moreno, Stafford and tight end Bruce Figgins, whose mother teaches at Logan's former elementary school.

"It was a long line," Logan said.

Logan grabbed autographs from Figgins and fellow tight end Tripp Chandler and planned on tracking down Moreno as well.

"Stafford looks like he's going to take too long," his mother, Tammy, said.

The chaos of the day even took some of the new Bulldogs by surprise, including freshman wide receiver Tavarres King, who scribbled his name on hundreds of items throughout the afternoon.

"It's nuts," King said. "It's an awesome thing for us to do, and it's an awesome thing for people to come out and show how much they love this team."

Chandler, who has been through four picture days, said the experience never gets old. It's a chance for the players to give something back to the fans, he said.

"During the season, it's the fans that lift us up," Chanlder said. "So I'd sit here for as long as it takes to sign stuff for them."

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