This week at SEC Media days has been a tad bit bland when it comes to player interviews. Sure we've had Maty Mauk -- who said, "Johnny Manziel is the greatest football player ever." And, sure, we had Terrence Magee, who compared Leonard Fournette to Adrian Peterson. Both have been solid. But until this morning, when Chris Conley addressed reporters, we really hadn't seen a great interview.
First off, Conley reminds you of that kid in high school that was the smartest kid in the class and a spectacular player in sport. He's smart and you can tell. He wore a bow tie, some Eric Dickerson shades, and took the podium ready to respond to Star Wars and Georgia football questions. Great combination.
A few weeks ago, Conley published a Star Wars movie. He starred as a character named Khari Vion and produced the entire film. It's 28 minutes long and it features Georgia running back Todd Gurley and even the Bulldogs coach, Mark Richt. Conley is a self-proclaimed Star Wars junkie who can name every scene, every character, and his enjoyment in filmmaking and writing led to this production. But it's not the video that's impressive. This guy gets it, he understands the media and he's even a journalism major himself.
In the interview, he was asked about the NCAA football video game. "There's a player, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, with my number, and I can't say it's not me. It has to be."
Conley: Use of his likeness in video games "rubs me wrong," & someone needs to decide whether to keep game canceled or provide compensation.— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonCBS) July 17, 2014
Conley also talked about working with other athletes, and said: "The ability for student athletes to speak out and speak up is growing." He's right. The player likeness talk wouldn't be a debate if he was wrong. But back to the movie.
It's fun to watch, it's entertaining, and as Conley says, "It's just satire." How many college football players know what satire is anyway?
He loves Lucas Films and respects Disney and unlike other guys, he thinks about life beyond football. He talks about his career in filmmaking and his future in the production business, knowing that it's always a fallback. "I look at the professional football life and I imagine enjoying that in film if the football career doesn't pan out," says Conley.
He was also asked about a future career with the NCAA. "I do love working with athletes," Conley told the reporter. "But being an athlete in the trenches makes that much more of an impact."
So if you're looking a guy to root for -- sorry Brandon, I know it's Georgia -- root for Chris Conley. He'll make it one way or another, and he's confident that this year's Bulldogs will make it as well.
"I look at games and teams as a whole. There are a lot of teams that I'm ready to play," said Conley. "It's been a long time since we've been able to play some real football. It's just the fact that I have one more season to play in the red and black. It motivates me."