Former Thomson High football standout Danny Verdun Wheeler has been able to go to Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World and even to an NBA game in the past week. But that's not all he wants out of his trip to Orlando, Fla.
He wants to take the Capital One Bowl trophy back with him to Athens.
Verdun Wheeler has played at linebacker and on special teams as a freshman for the Georgia Bulldogs this season, and will play in his first bowl game today (Jan. 1). The Capital One Bowl which airs on ABC at 1 p.m. pits No. 11 Georgia (10-3) against no. 12 Purdue (9-3).
"I'm working hard, getting back in the mix and just really enjoying it because it's a trip for us to enjoy," Verdun Wheeler said Monday from Florida. "Right now we're just doing what we've been doing all year and having fun at the same time."
Between practices for the game, Verdun Wheeler was able to get in trips to the various theme parks in the Orlando area. That is something he feels is a well-earned vacation for he and his teammates that should have good results.
"We feel like we're really all together from the loss against LSU. We've got to prove ourselves now," Verdun Wheeler said. "Everybody's having fun and enjoying themselves a lot. What a great mixture that is. It should produce a good win."
There is no word yet whether Verdun Wheeler will be in the lineup at linebacker or not. But he will be on special teams duty against Purdue. That fact is understandable, yet frustrating to his former coaches.
"I have followed his progress closely and have been very pleased even though as one of his biggest fans, I would like to see him get more playing time," said THS Defensive Coordinator John Barnett. "As a coach, I know Coach Van Gorder is doing what's in the best interest of the Georgia Bulldogs."