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Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman (4) breaks free of Auburn defensive back Jamel Dean (12) during the first half of the SEC Championship game between the #2 Auburn Tigers and the #6 Georgia Bulldogs in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. (Photo/Casey Sykes, www.caseysykes.com)

There were many faces surrounding Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman as he was swarmed by reporters in the locker room following his team’s 28-7 victory over Auburn in the 2017 SEC championship game. Most were unfamiliar to the sophomore athlete, but as he turned to his left, he saw one he recognized extremely well.

Junior receiver Terry Godwin had taken a microphone out of one journalist’s hands, and he began grilling his teammate with questions.

“When you were punt returning and you slipped, what was going through your mind?” Godwin asked in jest.

“Touchdown,” Hardman said. “Touchdown, T. I wanted to score so bad.”

“How did you come back out for the other punt return?” Godwin followed up. “What was going through your mind after you did the first one when you slipped? What was going through your mind? Catch it, or don’t slip?”

“Catch it! I want possession. We thrive on security of the ball. I wanted to catch it and make sure I had it in my grasp.”

At this point in their relationship, this kind of joking around comes naturally to the two players.

In Hardman’s first season as an offensive player, he has developed a close bond with Godwin, who has served as a mentor in making the transition from defensive back to wide receiver.

“Terry teaches me a lot,” Hardman said. “Just different things, how to run my routes, coverages. He teaches me a lot.”

Godwin said he’s even learned a few things from Hardman too, but the bond which has been forged between the two players over the course of the season goes beyond just master and apprentice interactions.

It goes beyond only football too.

“At the end of the day it’s a love relationship,” Godwin said.

After a few more questions from other reporters, Godwin took back control of the mic to finish up his questioning of Hardman.

“How are you yourself going to celebrate this SEC championship?” Godwin asked.

“I hoped you was gonna tell me,” Hardman answered, a hint of a questioning in his tone.

“You gonna find out,” Godwin said.

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