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July 16, 2005

Dawg House

Not everybody is taking it easy this weekend, and for a group of guys from Athens, it is all about hard work. Head coach Mark Richt about a dozen UGA football players chipped in Saturday morning to help build a house with Habitat for Humanity.

Among those present was Sean Bailey, Drew Williams, Charles Krauth, Danny Verdun, Tony Taylor, Fernando Velasco, Ken Shackleford, Dannell Ellerbe, Thomas Flowers, Will Thompson, and others.

Founded in 1988, Athens Area Habitat for Humanity has built over 40 homes in the past 15 years. Operating under the belief that everyone deserves a chance at owning a modest home, and string to stamp out substandard housing, AAHFH builds homes to sell to lower income families at no-profit. The defray some of the cost of building the home, the organization depends on volunteer workers.

That is where the Dawgs come in.

Former player John Brantley, a linebacker for Georgia from 1984-87 that went on to play for the Washington Redskins, Houston Oilers, and Cincinnati Bengals, got to know Richt during the coach's first season with the Dawgs in 2001 when he was named honorary team captain. Shortly thereafter, the two spoke about getting the team involved in the community, and the relationship was born.

During the spring of 2002, the football team became the first in college football history when they helped to construct a home with Habitat of Humanity. The instant karma must have kicked in as the Bulldogs rolled to their first SEC Title in 20 years. The following summer they did it again, and once again the team found its way to the league title game. Due to scheduling issues, the Dawgs neither helped with a house or made it to the Georgia Dome in 2004. Construction began on the 2005 house Saturday, May 7.

The house is in Dorsey Village, a subdivision of 21 homes built by AAHFH over the past several years.

Brantley is fourth all time in the UGA record book with 415 career tackles, sixth in solo tackles with 193 and third in assists with 222. He led the team in '86 and '87 with 154 tackles two years in a row.



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