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Local players shine during college bowl season

The Thomson Bulldogs were well represented in Division I college football this season. But what's more impressive is the number of former Bulldogs who participated in post-season play.

Six Thomson graduates played in bowl games, a feat that makes UGA linebacker Danny Verdun Wheeler proud of his hometown.

"We had a bunch of guys that were willing to work, seeing the next level and really wanting to get there," he said of his former teammates. "It really makes me proud when I watch other games, and they're like 'This guy's from Thomson.'"

Two of those guys making an impact at South Carolina are twin brothers Casper and Jasper Brinkley. Casper had five tackles, including two sacks, during the Gamecocks' 44-36 win over Houston in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 29. Jasper led the team with 11 tackles, including one sack.

Unranked Georgia came back in the second half to beat 14th ranked Virginia Tech 31-24 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 30. Verdun Wheeler had three tackles including an assist for a loss.

"We knew we were capable of beating a team like that," Verdun Wheeler said.

Demarco McNair rushed 11 times for 23 yards and a touchdown during Middle Tennessee State's 14-31 loss to Central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl on Dec. 26. McNair added two receptions for a total of 13 yards.

Also, 6th-ranked Louisville - with former Bulldogs Willie Williams and Deon Palmer - beat 14th ranked Wake Forest 24-13 in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 2.

Web posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007

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