ATHENS -- For at least 30 Georgia football players, Saturday's game against Georgia Southern will be their final one in Sanford Stadium.
Many of them have been able to find success in college, although very few have seen their personal careers or the success of the team go exactly how they'd expected during their four or five years here.
"It's just fun to think about them where you first recruited them and then where they are now," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. "You shake your head sometimes at how far most of them come. A few of them show up pretty mature, or that way all the way through. A few of them I'm not sure if they're ready for life when they leave this place, but I'm sure most of them are. It's fun just to say 'remember back when you were this, that, or the other?' "
Throughout the week, several of Georgia's seniors met with the media and looked back on their careers to discuss what's gone right, what's gone wrong, and what they've learned going forward from Georgia.
Jake Ganus never expected to celebrate his senior day at Georgia.
This time last year, Ganus was preparing with his teammates at UAB, working to become bowl eligible. He and his teammates had no idea that the program would be shut down once the season concluded.
"I feel like time does go by pretty fast, but I've felt like this year, this whole year has been kind of chaotic, which has made things go real fast for me," Ganus said. "But I'm excited, I'm glad I've been able to make it this far and that I am where I'm at and I'm glad that I can keep playing."
When Ganus came to Georgia, he said people told him he might be able to play special teams for the Power Five program. He has come a long way to prove those people wrong. His 74 tackles is 14th in the conference and leads all Georgia players.
"I think I've done a pretty good job of (proving myself) and I've had some good success this year," Ganus said.
It's only fitting that offensive lineman Kolton Houston gets a second chance at senior day.
His story is well documented. After an injury in high school, he was injected with a steroid that resulted in a three-year suspension from the NCAA until he was able to flush it from his system.
After participating in senior day last year, just in case he didn't get a sixth-year waiver from the NCAA, Houston is ready to do it again.
"It was everything I thought it'd be. My best friend, Wright Gazaway, who used to be a long snapper here, he actually said, he was like, 'You're probably the first person to sit out three years and then be a three-year starter,'" Houston said. "It sort of hit home to me. I was like, I really am fairly blessed because I still got an opportunity to live out my childhood dream after being suspended for three years."
In his three years at Georgia, he has had the chance to line up at every offensive line position except for center. Saturday could be his chance to earn that final one, too, to cap of his college career.
"I can do it if I had to," Houston said. "I do center drills every day at practice."
Jordan Jenkins flashed his five-star potential right away at Georgia. Coming on late in his freshman season, Jenkins ended up with 31 tackles and five sacks.
That team made the SEC championship game and left the entire freshman class with high expectations that ultimately weren't met.
"They're the 'Dream Team,' we're the 'Ring Team,' Jenkins said. We just tried to outlive their hype. We're really proud the way we played. Of course we wanted to get to the SEC championship game every year. But just because we didn't get there, we're not going to sit around and mope about it."
While Jenkins was a consistent player, he never topped that five-sack total. As a pass rusher, Jenkins just couldn't get past that hurdle.
But in 2014, Jenkins game started to change. No longer just a pass rusher, he proved to be dominant in the run game in Jeremy Pruitt's scheme. Although he still didn't break the five-sack total, he jumped his tackles up to 70 after having 76 in his first two years combined.
"The Tennessee game of last year was one of the moments where I realized I could be a complete linebacker," Jenkins said. "I got confirmation of that after the Bama game, just the way I played the tight end, played some of the linemen. Really throughout this season, I've just gotten confirmation that I can be a formidable run defender."
Most offensive linemen don't come into college with aspirations of being the sixth man in a five-man group. Georgia's Hunter Long was no exception.
"Coming in to Georgia I wanted to, obviously I had those big dreams like playing three years, go to the NFL, those kind of dreams," Long said.
But things didn't work out that way. After redshirting in 2011, Long was never able to crack his way into the top five. Although it took some time, Long has been able to accept that role as Georgia's utility man as a backup at all three interior line positions.
"Once you get here, you realize how it's very seldom that (the NFL) happens and that's kind of unrealistic, especially as a lineman," Long said. "So you kind of, along the way, form your understanding of what your role is and that's what happened to me."
Long, however, will get his chance Saturday. With an injury to Greg Pyke, Long will slot in as Georgia starting center.
"The coaches give you a job to do and you're responsible for that job, and I feel like I've done all I can to do my job so I have no regrets," Long said.
Receiver Malcolm Mitchell isn't the same person that he was when he stepped on campus in 2011.
As a freshman, Mitchell came in with all of the acclaim. Coaches wanted to make use of his athleticism and versatility, so he even played defensive back some early in his career.
A celebration in the season opener in 2013, however, changed his course, resulting in a torn ACL that cost him his entire 2013 campaign. It wasn't the final injury he had during his span at Georgia, either, so he had to learn how to cope.
"You always have to keep moving forward," Mitchell said. "As long as you keep doing that, you'll come out in a better situation than when you initially went in. That's almost guaranteed."
Mitchell described joining a book club as "one of the most impactful things" that happened to him while he was in college. He garnered a love for reading, and he ultimately wrote his own children's book.
Mitchell acknowledges that he has come a long way from the kid in 2011, although he's not ready to reflect on that completely.
"I think the day that I look back completely, I'll be able to write about it," Mitchell said. "But now, I just live it."
Place-kicker Marshall Morgan has missed his share of big field goals. But he has made a lot, too.
As a four-year starter, Morgan has made 60 of his 78 field goal attempts. Although the misses have included ones like the South Carolina game in 2013, he also had big hits, like the 2012 Tennessee game with his career-long 56-yarder and the overtime winner.
In his career, Morgan has had to learn to keep a short memory.
"After like three or four games, you kind of just forget that and you just want to make sure you go 100 percent every game," Morgan said. "I'm just happy I'm not dinging them like freshman year on extra points. I'm glad the human pinball is gone away with."
Morgan might have a chance to make a little more history before it's all over, too. He's just 18 points behind Billy Bennett for second in SEC history in points, and 21 behind Blair Walsh for the all-time lead. He needs seven points per game in order to tie the record.
Although Morgan has had a lot of important kicks, the thing he remembers the most is the 2012 trip to the SEC championship, game one that Morgan took for granted when it happened.
"Freshman year just going to the SEC championship, never really realized how big it was until afterwards," Morgan said. "Everyone was like, 'You know we don't make here every year.' In my mind, I'm like, 'Yeah, we probably will.' "
Jay Rome came to Georgia with high expectations, and early, it seemed as if they were going to come to fruition.
In his freshman season, Rome caught 11 passes, two of which were touchdowns, for 152 yards. However, injuries derailed that promise. Rome has caught just one touchdown pass since then, and he has never broken the 100-yard mark in a season again.
Going into his final home game, Rome said he doesn't let those "what if" questions about his health bother him anymore.
"It's definitely a thought in the back of my head, but I've got to the point where I know that thinking about it is not going to change anything," Rome said. "Just sitting there wondering about what if, it's not like I'm going to be able to go back and change anything."
Although his football career hasn't gone the way he wanted, Rome says it has taught him a lot about life beyond the field.
"I feel like the things that have happened to me during my career here have just helped me become a better person, become a better man," Rome said. "In life, not even just for football, you're going to be riddled with different trials that are not going to go the way you want them to all the time and to be able to go through some of those things while I'm younger, I feel like it's going to help me for when I get into the real world."
Long snapper Nathan Theus has made the most out of his career at Georgia, despite not playing a position that gets a lot of glamor.
However, the older brother of starting tackle John Theus isn't leaving Athens without a few memories of his own.
"Recovering a fumble at Auburn was big for me, making the play against Kentucky was big," Theus said. "Snapping the field goal to go into overtime at Tennessee and then snapping the field goal to win in overtime at Tennessee, the same game. I think Marshall has the record for the longest field goal in that stadium, which is exciting and that's definitely something that I'll never forget."
However, Theus later went on to describe those things as his "selfish" memories. For Theus, anything revolving around himself is considered selfish. As a long snapper, the goal is for everything to not be about him.
"I think when you decide to become a specialist, you understand that the only time you're going get recognized is when you mess up," Theus said. "Talking about memories, those were things that I say that I might've made a play or I might've gotten lucky enough to do this, but it took 11 guys on the field."