Boykin thanks snowstorm for special senior season

ATHENS -- Brandon Boykin was on his way to the NFL when he got snowed in.

The Georgia cornerback and kick returner said Monday he decided in early January to skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft, only to reverse course during a winter storm in Athens.

"Now looking back on that decision, I feel foolish for even considering it, just because of the impact of this senior season on my life and the way that it turned out," Boykin said. "I honestly was going to the NFL. I kind of had my mind made up at one point."

He said he met with coach Mark Richt and attended a team meeting along with two teammates who left early for the NFL, wide receiver A.J. Green and outside linebacker Justin Houston.

"It's funny, what happened," Boykin said. "It actually was, like, a snowstorm in Athens, a blizzard, and I got stuck here for a couple of days. Just over the course of those days, I started talking to [Richt] and all the coaches and just thinking about things.

"I felt like [the snowstorm] was kind of a sign from God."

The Jan. 9-10 storm dumped almost nine inches of snow on the Athens area, a local record for a 24-hour period.

Rather than leave UGA after last year's 6-7 record, Boykin has enjoyed a senior season that includes a 10-game winning streak, an SEC East title and a berth in the SEC Championship game against top-ranked LSU on Saturday.

"I definitely made a good choice," Boykin said. "Things have worked out well."

Murray: Crowell will play

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray sounds certain that tailback Isaiah Crowell will play in the SEC title game.

"I talked to him yesterday," Murray said Monday. "He said he's feeling great. He'll definitely be ready for the game Saturday."

Crowell, Georgia's leading rusher, did not play in the 31-17 victory over Georgia Tech last week because of a sprained ankle suffered on his second carry the week before against Kentucky.

"I think they had all intentions, the coaches, of playing him [against Tech]," Murray said. "I just don't think he was ready when it came game time. He was close, but I don't think they wanted to risk any more injury."

Richt said Sunday night that he expects Crowell to play against LSU "unless there is a setback."

UGA officials said Monday that none of the Bulldogs' tailbacks would be permitted to speak with the media until after Saturday's game.

Smith honored

Georgia sophomore defensive end Garrison Smith, who came off the bench after senior starter DeAngelo Tyson suffered an ankle injury on the second play of the Tech game, was named the SEC's co-defensive lineman of the week Monday. Smith had seven tackles, including 1.5 for loss.

The award meant a lot to Smith, as did postgame comments from Tyson.

"DeAngelo told me ‘good job,' told me he was proud of me, called me his ‘little brother,'" Smith said. "I was real excited that your teammate embraces you like that."

Tyson's status for the SEC title game is unclear. "He's trying to get back as fast as he can," Smith said. "He's going to do whatever he can to get back for this game."


Georgia began preparations for LSU on Monday, practicing for slightly over an hour in a cold rain under the lights.  The practice was closed to the media. ... UGA  linebacker Jarvis Jones was heavily recruited by LSU out of Columbus' Carver High. "Coach [Les] Miles is a great guy," Jones said.  "We spent quite a bit of time together when I was [visiting LSU], just talking football and life." Jones instead signed with Southern California, then transferred to Georgia after an injury cut short his USC career. ... Georgia is 3-3 vs. LSU under Richt, including 1-1 in SEC title games.