David Marshall remembers how he felt tackling Georgia Tech running back Qua Searcy Between the Hedges for a 7-yard loss on fourth down on Nov. 26, 2016.
“It just gave me chill bumps,” Marshall said.
Georgia lost that game 28-27, but the senior defensive lineman says it’s still his favorite memory in Sanford Stadium. It was his freshman year, and he recorded a career-high five tackles that day.
For Marshall, his freshman year doesn’t feel like it was three seasons ago. But on Nov. 23, he will run out of the tunnel to play in front of a crowd of 92,746 for the last time in his Georgia career.
“It just went by fast,” Marshall said. “I’m going to miss the experience, the environment and all the fans who came.”
Georgia lists 16 seniors and four graduate students on its roster, and each departing player will be saluted before his last game Between the Hedges on Nov. 23 against Texas A&M.
“I want them to be able to enjoy the moment but also understand that there’s a very emotional game following it up,” Smart said. “When you have the senior day, it’s always an interesting dynamic for those guys because they go out and have a different routine before the game.”
This year’s class is the first that Smart has coached for four seasons, but it also includes some fifth-year seniors — such as linebacker Tae Crowder and defensive tackle Michael Barnett — who were in Athens for Mark Richt’s final season in 2015.
“It has dawned on me a little bit when I realize I have probably a month and a week left,” Barnett said on Nov. 11. “It happens. All things come to an end, but it’s just coming sooner than later for me.”