Seung Hoon Choi, like former Bulldogs star Hines Ward, was born in Seoul, South Korea. Choi didn’t know about Ward, the now retired Super Bowl MVP receiver, until Choi began playing football as a sophomore at Christian High School in Lincoln, where he moved when he was 14.
“I followed him,” said Choi, a senior who started all 13 games at left guard this year. “He’s a big-timer in Seoul. I followed him quite a bit. I heard he was thinking about going to Nebraska, too.”
Indeed Ward’s final three choices out of Forest Park High School were Georgia, Nebraska and Tennessee. Ward was rated as the state’s top quarterback. He said back then that he picked Georgia because Eric Zeier was a senior and Nebraska’s Tommie Fraizer was just a junior.
Ward, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was born in Seoul to a Korean mother and African-American father, but moved to the U.S. when he was one and grew up in the Atlanta area in a single-parent home.
Ward founded the Hines Ward Helping Hands Korea Foundation as a tribute to his mother. It targets “biracial discrimination, especially as it occurs among the children of Korea.,” according to the foundation’s website. He sepnt 11 days in South Korea in 2006 in his first trip there since he was born.
Choi’s uncle worked for the University of Nebraska as a researcher. He lived with his sister and cousins who were going to school there when he first moved to Nebraska.
His parents still live in South Korea, but came to the U.S. to see their son play his last three games before returning home.
Choi, who joined the Cornhusker program as a walk-on, said Ward is an inspiration to him.
“I read stories about him and heard a lot of good things about him,” Choi said. “He’s a tremendous hard worker. I heard he was a fearless wide receiver out there.”
Choi said he thought of Ward when he found out that Georgia would play Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.
“I was wondering if he was going to watch the game since it’s Georgia,” Choi said.
Jones’ return now uncertain
There seemed to be less optimism from Georgia coach Mark Richt on Sunday about how much defensive end Abry Jones would be able to contribute—of if he’ll contribute at all--in the bowl game compared to a few days earlier. Jones is trying to return after missing the last six games following ankle surgery.
“I don’t know how much he’ll go,” Richt said. “I wouldn’t say he’s just flying around right now. He’s been working really hard to get back to where he could play. Just what kind of condition is he in and just how quickly can he move. We don’t want to put him out there if he’s really not ready to play full-speed Georgia football, you know? I’m not 100 percent sure how much he will play.”
Richt said a decision may be made on if Jones will play during pregame warmups.
Rambo takes `Kids’ day event seriously
Safety Bacarri Rambo already had his game face on more than 48 hours before kickoff.
Rambo said a 13-year old named Malcolm got the best of him in “Madden 13,” a NASCAR game and some kind of bumper cars game during the bowl’s “Day for Kids” event Sunday for disadvantaged children held at DisneyQuest
“Even though he was a kid, he was embarrassing me,” Rambo said. “He kept beating me in every game so I was just trying to get the best of him in one game at least so he just wouldn’t be talking trash or bragging about it.”
Georgia and Nebraska players took part in the event prior to holding practices.
“I really just enjoyed being out there with the kids,” Rambo said. “I love kids. I have a lot of nieces and nephews I like to spend time with when I’m home and just spending the time with those kids and just being a positive influence and just being around them was a great honor and a great feeling.”
This and that
Junior linebacker Jarvis Jones hasn’t said yet that he’s leaving for the NFL, but if he does go as expected, he’d like to live up to the No. 1 ranking that ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper has for him. “If I decide to come out, I’m going to train to be No. 1,” he said. “I’m not just going to train to be in the top 10 or top five, I’m going to train to be the No. 1 draft pick.” … With nose guard John Jenkins (academics) out for the bowl game, only safety Shawn Williams and cornerback Damian Swann are poised to start every game this season for the defense. …Quarterback Aaron Murray’s parents and brother Josh, a former walk-on safety for the Bulldogs, attended practice Sunday.