Houston & Peach

Former Georgia running back made one bad choice, and it changed his life

Tim Worley share his enthusiasm with students.
Tim Worley share his enthusiasm with students. jvorhees@macon.com

One bad choice.

Former University of Georgia running back Tim Worley made one bad choice and it changed his life.

At Bonaire Middle School on Wednesday, the first round draft pick in the NFL told the student body that he didn’t want them to make the same mistakes he had.

“I can’t water it down,” he told students.

As a sophomore at UGA, he started doing cocaine. His lifestyle cost him millions of dollars.

On April 13, 2008, Worley was Tasered and arrested in Smyrna for drunk driving.

“This was a defining moment, but my life down this path started in 1986. My choices came back to haunt me,” he said.

Now Worley visits middle and high schools with the Dare to Dream program to encourage students to make better life choices.

He chastised young men for looking at things they shouldn’t on the internet and then the ladies for putting promiscuous photos online.

“Stop spending so much time on social media,” he admonished the group of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

His high energy talk was fueled by the excitement of the students. Before speaking, he was taking selfies with students and signing autographs for teachers.

During speaking, Worley bounced up and down, walking between rows of students seated on the gymnasium floor, pointing to students in the bleachers.

“It is tough out there for young people. I want them to understand that the choices they make today impact their tomorrow,” he said.

The students were asked to write a paragraph about their thoughts on his presentation on an index card, which Worley would read that evening in his hotel room.

Some students were moved to tears by Worley’s admission of being bullied as a teenager. Worley, himself, gets moved to tears by some of the students’ writings.

“It is hard to watch someone be so successful and then fall so easy. Saying yes can change your whole life,” said Hailey Daughtry, a seventh-grade student.

She has a dream to become a softball player at Florida State University. Through Worley’s message, she wants to be able to make better choices.

Eighth-grader Kendal Jackson, who plays basketball as a point guard, wants to be a professional basketball player when he grows up.

“If I even get into that kind of situation, I know I just want to walk away,” the 13-year-old said.

Worley hopes to reach as many students as he possibly can so they can make better choices.

“No is a complete sentence,” he said.