By Alexandra Assimon
Finding the perfect balance, as both a normal college student and a student-athlete, can be a challenging one. But Georgia junior wide receiver Chris Conley seems to have a good grasp on it.
Entering his junior season with the Bulldogs, Conley has excelled both on and off of the playing field. He made 20 catches for 342 yards and six touchdowns last season while representing the Southeastern Conference on the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He was also inducted into UGA’s Student-Athlete Leadership Academy and spent time volunteering in his community.
Born in Turkey but raised in Southern California, Conley is a product of an Air Force family who taught him the importance of serving others and giving back to the community.
A mass media major with interest in broadcast journalism, he recently showed off his talents at the July 2013 national SAAC meetings at the NCAA National Office in Indianapolis.
Conley participated in a SAAC public service announcement filmed on the green screen in the office’s broadcast studio. To say he was a natural would be an understatement. When his 6-foot-3 football stature made him too tall to fit into the camera’s frame, he insisted on not using a chair but instead slid his feet into a wide stance in order to lower his body into the camera’s view.
This seemed to have been a brilliant idea until his feet slowly started to slide out from under him. Conley did not miss a beat during this mishap. He continued to recite his lines as he slid closer and closer to the floor. The 20-year-old asked if the background could continuously change behind him from a beach to a forest and into a rainstorm, so that he could practice his reporting in all scenarios. He constantly changed the sound of his voice to see what fit his dialogue best, and offered up his services as a correspondent for the NCAA.
His free time away from the field is not always spent working with the national SAAC or as a broadcaster on the imaginary beach. He volunteers with several organizations throughout the community including an Atlanta-based anti-bullying association, the StandUp Foundation. Conley is also the only player to serve on the NCAA Football Issues Committee as he finds it important to have an impact in the sport he loves.
He was recently inducted into Georgia’s Student-Athlete Leadership Academy. Individuals are chosen for this honor based on academic and athletic success, leadership, campus and community service involvement and recommendations from head coaches and academic counselors.
To Conley, it has all been a fun experience getting to network, meeting fellow student-athletes from all over the country and volunteering for programs like StandUp Foundation, all well playing the game he loves while at a school he loves.