Athens, GA

UGA football players from West Forsyth talk about life as National College Football Champs

Michelle Hall
Oscar Delp, Drew Southern, Dylan Fairchild, and Cooper Johnson pose together after UGA won the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on December 31.Photo byEllie Williamson on West Forsyth Football Facebook page

(Forsyth County, GA) As the University of Georgia gets ready to celebrate in Athens its second straight national football championship, four players from Forsyth County are sharing what it feels like when a childhood dream comes true.

On Monday, January 9, five former West Forsyth High School football players competed in the championship game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Four of those players - Oscar Delp, Dylan Fairchild, Cooper Johnson and Drew Southern - play for the UGA Bulldogs while Abe Camara was on the field as a TCU Horned Frog (click here for background on the former West players). The world knows by now that UGA crushed TCU in a 65-7 victory.
Drew Southern, Oscar Delp, Dylan Fairchild and Cooper Johnson on the field at Sanford Stadium for the Kent State game on September 24.Photo byMary Delp

This week as the UGA players returned from the limelight of the perfect ending to their perfect season (15-0) and settled back into a rhythm of classes and college life, the foursome from West spoke with NewsBreak to share their thoughts about UGA football and what they miss about life back home in FoCo.

Oscar Delp

Freshman Oscar Delp, a tight end who grew up in Forsyth County, played varsity football all four years he was at West and was heavily recruited by several Division I schools.

“Getting the opportunity to play 7A football in Georgia helped me get my name out there,” said Delp. “It was definitely cool being highly recruited but I tried not to think much of it and it really just made me realize how blessed and thankful I am.”
Tight End Oscar DelpPhoto byMary Delp

Delp, who wore #4 and high school and continues to wear it in college, said he ultimately selected Georgia because he saw the most potential to develop into a better player. He even graduated early and began classes at UGA in January 2022 to start training with the team.

“It feels awesome to be a part of this team,” said Delp. “Our team is like one big family.”

Delp had several game day opportunities on the field throughout the season, and feels he “stepped up this year” when the coaches needed him, but nothing can compare to playing in what’s known as “The Natty”.

“It was an unreal experience being out there Monday night,” Delp said. “Words can’t describe how it felt.”

Delp, who said he will likely study business at UGA, plans to get back in the weight room and work on his skills because “I am nowhere near close to where I need to be.”

And while he has enjoyed meeting new people and experiencing life as a college student, Delp admits, “I miss being close with my family, friends and everyone who has helped me get to where I am now from back home in Forsyth County.”

Cooper Johnson

“Monday night was a night I will never forget,” declared UGA freshman football player Cooper Johnson. “I was just thinking how blessed I am to be in the position I am today.”
Tight End Cooper JohnsonPhoto byUniversity of Georgia Football

The position #48 Johnson plays is that of tight end. And as a freshman, the title Johnson now has is that of national champion.

Johnson played for the junior varsity team in 9th grade and then made the varsity team the next three years at West. He knew UGA was the right choice when deciding where to go to college.

“UGA was just somewhere that I felt like I will fit in well and somewhere I can always have another goal to work towards,” said Johnson. “And it’s close to home.”

Johnson’s family moved to the Cumming area when he was in eighth grade, they say for better schools and better opportunities to play sports.

“Moving to Forsyth and attending Vickery Middle my eighth grade year was something I am so grateful [that] my family and I did because the level of football is a lot more competitive,” said Johnson. “West is a 7A school which is one of the hardest classifications in the nation to play in so it definitely set a slight advantage [in] going to play college ball.”

Johnson said his love of the game comes from his father, who also played football in college. Considering a major in business or sports management, Johnson said he plans to spend the off-season working on his strength and speed “and just getting good grades this semester.”

What does he miss most about Forsyth County?

“Being able to play golf and going to the lake with my friends from high school.”
Oscar Delp, Drew Southern and Dylan Fairchild played together for West Forsyth High SchoolPhoto byMary Delp

Drew Southern

#37 Drew Southern, a sophomore defensive back, is now a two-time national champion.

It is an unreal feeling, knowing all the hard work paid off and that we accomplished something that has never been done before,” Southern said about the record-setting achievement.
Defensive Back Drew Southern in the G-Day Red and Black game on April 16, 2022Photo byUniversity of Georgia Football

His high school football coach at West, Dave Svehla, called Southern his “Swiss Army knife” because of his ability to be a utility player. Southern said it’s an accurate description.

“I feel like I agree with him, I played tons of positions at West,” said Southern. “I think it helps in the real world too because it allows me to adapt to anything thrown my way and I have the confidence in myself to do it.”

Southern graduated West with a 4.2 GPA and chose UGA not just for football, but because “a degree from UGA is a huge accomplishment.”

The finance major plans to spend this semester working on his grades and working on his body to get stronger for the game.

And while he has enjoyed making new friends at school and joined a fraternity, there are two things he looks forward to when he goes home.

“The thing I miss most about Forsyth county is Los Rios and my family.”
Drew Southern's first championship ringPhoto byDrew Southern

Dylan Fairchild
Offensive Lineman Dylan Fairchild playing in the College Football National Championship gamePhoto byCharlene Fairchild

Another two-time Natty champion, sophomore offensive lineman Dylan Fairchild shined on the field at SoFi Stadium.

“It felt great being on the field with all those guys,” said Fairchild. “Being able to show your hard work is always fun.”

Fairchild, who wears #53, was a stand-out player for West and was also a wrestling champion. But football was the sport he chose to play at UGA.

“One of the main factors in me going to UGA is I wanted to compete and I know there was no better place other than UGA to compete at,” Fairchild said.

He is majoring in sports management and plans to “just keep grinding and continue to play more and more” this semester.

Fairchild said he has made great friends on the UGA team, but he makes sure to keep his close ties with his friends back home in FoCo.

“It’s always good to have my connections back at home too with all the other guys,” Fairchild said. “I think it gives us all someone to lean on when things get rough or don’t go as planned.”

The team will be celebrated with a parade in Athens on Saturday, January 14 at 12:30 p.m. followed by a celebration at 2 p.m. at Sanford Stadium.

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, email Michelle Hall at

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Cumming, GA

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