« Football 2014

Chris Conley

School

Georgia

Position
Flanker
Major
Journalism

Classroom

Chris Conley arrived at the University of Georgia with an impeccable academic record, including a 4.0 grade point average at North Paulding High School. He has continued to standout in the classroom in Athens. Conley has compiled a 3.0 or better GPA in each of his 11 academic terms at UGA, including two terms on the Dean’s List. He was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll as a freshman, sophomore and junior. Conley currently sports a 3.32 cumulative GPA and is on track to receive his bachelor’s degree in journalism in December 2014. He plans to pursue a career in broadcast or film. To that end, he wrote, directed and acted in “Retribution” – a Star Wars themed fan film shot on the University of Georgia campus. The film was shot in November 2013 and debuted on Youtube in July 2014. In its first seven weeks (as of August 22), the 26-minute production garnered nearly 400,000 views.

Character

Chris Conley is a leader among student-athletes, both at the University of Georgia and the national level. Conley was awarded the UGA Athletic Association’s Sportsmanship and Ethics Award in 2014, an honor representing Georgia’s approximately 600 student-athletes from 21 men’s and women’s sports. For the past two years, Conley has served as the Southeastern Conference’s representative on the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). In this role, Conley has played an integral part in the representation of student-athletes regarding NCAA issues. The committee meets three times each year (July, November and January) and holds additional conference calls on a regular basis. Conley drew national attention in January 2014 while attending the NCAA Convention in San Diego, Calif. When the question and answer session regarding the revamping of the NCAA’s governance structure arrived, Conley respectfully posed the first question to the group of 800 college administrators: “Where do the student-athletes fit into this governance structure?” The immediate answer given to Conley of, “that’s not something that we’ve wrestled with” was later replaced by key administrators admitting that student-athletes should be more involved in the process of running intercollegiate athletics.

Community

Chris Conley is the perfect example of a community leader. He was one of 31 national semifinalists for the 2014 Wooden Citizenship Cup, an award presented each year to two athletes – one collegiate and one professional – who have made the greatest difference in the lives of others. Conley was also honored as the overall recipient of the 2014 Peach of an Athlete Award. The Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America annually honors A Peach of an Athlete to recognize excellence in academics, athletics and community service. Locally, Conley’s impressive ledger of community service participation includes: “Learn, Play, Excel,” the UGA Athletic Association’s program promoting leadership, anti-bullying, respect for authority and the value of athletics participation with Athens and Atlanta-area elementary schools; Home Runs for Hometown, a softball game for Special Olympians at UGA’s Foley Field; Samaritan’s Feet, a non-profit that donates and distributes shoes to those in need; Read Across America, the national program to read to young students to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Seuss; the Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer Golf Tournament; visiting Camp Sunshine, a facility of children with cancer; and visits to patients in hospitals in Athens, Atlanta and Tampa, Fla. (during the Bulldogs’ trip to the 2012 Outback Bowl). In addition to his team-related efforts, Conley and his family spent the one day he had away from campus during the 2013 Thanksgiving break serving meals to youth at the Paulding County Youth Detention Center in his hometown.

Competition

Chris Conley has been a standout on the football field since arriving at Georgia in January 2011. Conley graduated from North Paulding High School in December 2010 and enrolled at UGA early to take part in an extra session of spring practice. He was named the Bulldogs’ Offensive Newcomer of the Year after spring drills and immediately worked his way into the receiving rotation that fall. Conley played in 11 games as a true freshman in 2011, recording 16 receptions for 288 yards, an impressive 18.0 yards per catch. As a sophomore, he played in 14 games with three starts and notched 20 catches for 342 yards including six touchdown receptions. He capped the season with two receptions – both for TDs, including a school bowl record 87-yarder – in a win over No. 16 Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. In 2013, Conley led the Bulldogs in both catches (45) and receiving yards (651) despite missing two games due to injury. He started the first seven games of the year before suffering an ankle sprain against Vanderbilt. Conley returned and started the final two games of the season. He collected a career-high seven receptions for 129 yards at archrival Georgia Tech, helping the Bulldogs rally from a 20-0 first-half deficit to a 41-34 overtime victory. Conley enters his senior season with 81 career catches for 1,281 yards and 12 touchdowns. He sports impressive averages of 15.8 yards per catch and 35.6 yards per game in his first three seasons.