This former Dawg will cheer for Tigers in SEC Championship

Credit: Special to the AJC

Credit: Special to the AJC

David Weeks’ two sons are both at LSU, one as a player and one as a commit

Good luck trying to get former Georgia offensive lineman David Weeks to yell “Go Dawgs” at the SEC Championship game Saturday, when the No. 1 Bulldogs take on No. 14 LSU. Weeks will cheer for the purple and gold despite being Georgia coach Kirby Smart’s former teammate.

LSU poached two of Weeks’ sons from Georgia. The oldest, West, is a sophomore linebacker. Middle son, Whit, a four-star linebacker, has committed to LSU.

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“When West transferred to LSU (from Virginia), he said that the one thing he hopes to do is to have a chance to beat Georgia,” David Weeks said. “A lot of folks ask me and say, ‘Boy, that must be tough if they wind up playing each other.’ I say, ‘Why would that be tough?’ Blood is thicker than water.”

Weeks played center, guard and tackle for the Bulldogs from 1991-95. The Marist graduate also played with NFL greats Terrell Davis and Hines Ward.

“It was really important to me to be able to play in my home state,” Weeks said.

Georgia tried to keep Whit in his home state as well. A week after a June visit to LSU, Whit met with Smart and other Georgia coaches, including another of his father’s teammates, co-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.

“I think Kirby, Will and I had more fun than the kids,” Weeks said. “It almost reverted back to 1994, when we were all together. We had a blast.”

He gave his son the full tour, including where the Bulldogs used to practice and the site of his former dorm, where he lived for five years but is now a parking lot.

Credit: Special to the AJC

Credit: Special to the AJC

Weeks’ playing career ended with a loss to Virginia in the 1995 Peach Bowl. A year later, he met his wife, Erin, a Georgia student at the time, while working in transportation for the 1996 Olympics. She soon taught him how to be a Georgia football fan.

“I remember he was thinking that he was going to be so upset and that it was going to be so hard, until I introduced him to the world of tailgating in Athens, Georgia,” Erin said. “He said, ‘I’ve missed this my whole time?’”

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The Weeks family, which includes their 9-year-old daughter, Kate, and Zach, a freshman on the Oconee County High School football team, spent many Saturdays tailgating with the UGA Football Lettermen’s Club.

“I saw how the perks of playing affected him,” Whit said, “because we’d always get season tickets to games, got to be a part of the Lettermen’s Club and good tailgating spots.”

While David Weeks’ love for Georgia continues, his love and loyalty for his sons comes first. As a youth football coach in Oconee County, he coached them from age 6 through seventh grade. He and his wife emphasized work ethic.

“We tried to instill it in them at an early age,” Weeks said, “and they’ve taken it to levels that I don’t think either of us thought they’d take it to.”

West has played in all but one game for LSU this season.

“He helped me by pushing me in whatever I wanted to do,” West said of his father.

Weeks still wakes up at 4 a.m. to work out before going to work as the offensive line coach for Oconee County High School. The Warriors, who hold 6 a.m. practices four days a week, play Cedar Grove in a Class 3A state semifinal Friday.

“I see his hard work even though he doesn’t play anymore,” said Whit, who has 51 solo tackles this season, 12 for a loss. “It shows me how hard I need to work in order to be successful.”

David and Erin Weeks have spent this season traveling between Whit’s games on Friday nights and West’s games on Saturdays.

“After the SEC Championship, we might sleep until Christmas,” Weeks said. “It’s tough coaching high school football and then going to Baton Rouge on Saturdays. But we wouldn’t trade it for the world. We have realized how fortunate we really are.”

Wade Cheek is a student in the Sports Media Certificate program at the University of Georgia’s Carmical Sports Media Institute.