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Verdun Wheeler makes plans to play in Hula Bowl Jan. 14

His stellar college football career is nearly over, but it keeps getting better and better for University of Georgia linebacker Danny Verdun Wheeler.

In addition to getting ready for the Chick-fil-a Bowl - the fourth bowl game of his career - Verdun Wheeler has been invited, along with three teammates and his head coach, to participate in the Hula Bowl in Honolulu, HI, on Jan. 14.

The Hula Bowl - which will be televised on ESPN at 8:30 PM - invites college football standouts from across the country to play an East versus West all-star game in Aloha Stadium.

"I'm just glad to get invited," Verdun Wheeler said. "It'll be a nice little vacation, and it's really an interview to get ready for the NFL. So I'm looking forward to it, and I'll make the best of it."

Professional scouts will attend all the practices as well as the game, giving the players one more chance to impress them and vie for a position on an NFL team. But it won't all be hard work, said Verdun Wheeler, who will be joined there by his family.

"I'm going to enjoy it," he said. "It's definitely one of those trips that you never think you'll get to go on, especially not me, you know, somebody from Thomson. I never thought I'd get to go to Hawaii and play football."

Verdun Wheeler contributed 34 tackles for Georgia's defense this season, including 3.5 for a loss. He also had five quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles.

As for the upcoming Chick-fil-a Bowl, Verdun Wheeler said finals ended Wednesday and practice started back today. The Bulldogs will face Virginia Tech on Dec. 30 in the Georgia Dome. For Verdun Wheeler, it's one last chance to play a bowl game close to home.

"It's a blessing," he said. "I'm excited and looking forward to it. It's something you always dream about when you're little. You never thought it would really come true, but I'm actually making it happen."

Web posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006

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