December 13, 2009
Sophomore Ty Frix has a 3.9 grade point average and is pursuing a biological engineering degree with a biomedical emphasis. If that doesn’t keep him busy, all the time he spends as a member of the UGA football team will do it. Frix appeared in 12 games in 2009 handling all snapping duties and earned his first varsity letter this year. He follows in his father’s footsteps as a snapper. His father played for Coach Vince Dooley from 1979-1982 and won three SEC championships and an SEC championship. Frix is also considering attending medical school like his father and he plans to become an orthopedic surgeon, possibly in a developing country.
B.S.B.E. in biological engineering with a biomedical emphasis
University highlights, achievements and awards:
I would have to say that being able to attend such an amazing university and be a part of the football team at the same time is the highlight of my college career so far. As of this year, I will have earned my first varsity letter which means more than me than I could ever convey. I was a Presidential Scholar for a perfect 4.0 my first semester freshman year, and I have kept a 3.9 overall GPA since then.
Calhoun High School
Family Ties to UGA:
Both my mother and father attended UGA. My mom was an art major, and my dad majored in pharmacy and went on to attend the Medical College of Georgia. My dad was also a member of the football team from 1979-1982 under Coach Vince Dooley. They won three SEC championships and a national championship while he was on the team.
I chose to attend UGA because...
I have always been a Bulldawg and always will be a Bulldawg. I struggle to find old baby pictures of me where I am not shrouded in Georgia apparel. I was the kid who dressed up as a Bulldawg on Halloween. As I grew older, and academics took precedence, I began to “shop” around for that perfect place to spend my college years. Every question I raised seemed to point to one place: Athens. I am a decent athlete, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be able to compete against the greatest athletes, in the greatest conference, and on the greatest stage in the country. I had received a few letters, but it wasn’t until my junior year that I realized I might have a shot at playing for the Dawgs. If I had to point to a single experience when I said to myself, “Man, I am going to Georgia,” it would be the UGA vs Auburn game in 2007, “The Blackout,” which was the greatest atmosphere, maybe even the greatest sporting event I have ever witnessed. The hair on the back of my neck stood on end throughout the entire game. I was with my father on one of my first recruiting visits to UGA that day. Let’s just say it was the last time they had to worry about recruiting me. My mind was made up.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
Georgia’s campus is truly a special place. There really is no better place to be. You have the best of every world. The lively atmosphere downtown with all the shops, restaurants and music is one of a kind. We have the best athletic venue in the country, in my opinion. I have been fortunate enough to form relationships with many of the other athletes here on campus, and while I do enjoy all of our athletics, I love attending baseball games and gymnastics meets. I grew to love baseball as a child and played all the way through high school. When you’re that passionate about something it stays with you no matter if you’re still competing or not. On the other hand, I was never a gymnast. You don’t need to be a gymnast to realize how much time and effort those women put into their training. Gymnastics might be the most physically demanding sport I have ever seen. Our gymnasts have my utmost respect. Being a country boy at heart however, I would have to say my favorite thing to do on campus lies in a completely different realm. I enjoy any opportunity I have to get away from the hustle and bustle of college life. I like to slow down. When I have the time, I love nothing more than to escape to the dark depths of the intramural fields at night and attempt to enjoy the peace, quiet, and true serenity. There have been two memorable meteor showers since my college days began. I was fortunate enough to watch both of them from the IM fields. Its little things like this that make me realize how small and insignificant we are in this vast universe. This is nature’s stress reliever.
When I have free time, I like...
I would love to be able to say that I have so many awesome hobbies that I pursue in my free time, but the fact of the matter is I really don’t do much of anything. Football consumes me and my time. What little free time we are given, I try to use to keep up with my academics. Once in a blue moon, however, I do have a little time to myself. These are the exhausted moments for which the student-athlete longs. Times when we can just lie on the couch and watch the world pass for a few fleeting moments. I do attempt to play the guitar, and in times like these, no matter how bad I might be, the music is the best way for me to relax and release tension.
The craziest thing I've done is...
During February, we have morning workouts called “mat-drills” three times a week. Those mornings are the most dreaded of the year. Some even claim to have nightmares about them beginning in September and October. Last year, we had ten morning mat drills scheduled. By the time the tenth one rolled around, my body was so exhausted, it hurt to move. My alarm went off at four o’clock in the morning, and out the door I went, anxiety building in my stomach. In the past, Coach Mark Richt has surprised teams on the last day of mat drills with something a little more fun, so there was still a slight hope on the long walk to the Ramsey Center that we might get off the hook this time. After reaching the lower basketball courts, where the mat drill was to take place, and seeing everything set up in its usual place, my heart sank. Here comes the hardest two hours of my life, I thought. After warming up, we said the prayer like always, and then, to our surprise, Coach Richt informed us that we were going to the pool!! My morning had gone from dreading what was to come to jumping off the ten meter board in only my girdle! Let me tell you, that drop is a lot longer than it looks from the ground. I braced to hit the water, but realized I wasn’t even halfway to it yet. I had never jumped from anything so high. That truly was a crazy morning.
My favorite place to study is...
...in the Science Library. I am a biomedical engineering major, but don’t be fooled at first glance like I was! I think it sounds more difficult than it really is. I know my first thoughts were, “How will I ever be able to graduate from a degree program if I can’t even spell it?” When this popped into my head, I realized I had a long way to go if I wanted that degree. My freshman calculus class was in Boyd Graduate Studies, the building connected to the Science Library. I had an hour break in between classes and I would always get to the library early to catch up or get ahead in class. Since that class, I have continued to call the Science Library my home away from home. It is right in the heart of campus, it has a couch if I get too tired and it is right by Snelling. If you haven’t guessed already, my life is centered around three things: academics, football and arguably the most important…food.
My favorite professor is...
My major has allowed me to be exposed to many different fields of study: mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and even a little English. After all of these classes I would have to say that my favorite professor is David Gattie of the engineering department. It might be surprising to hear that I have yet to even take Dr. Gattie’s engineering class, but I promise you if you met him today you would understand immediately why he is the best professor on campus! Dr. Gattie is my advisor. I met him on my first recruiting trip to Athens and destiny would have it that I would end up in his department. Since day one, he has bent over backwards for me. I know that I could call him right now if I needed something, anything, and he would do whatever was in his power, and probably more, to see that what I needed would be taken care of. I would not be where I am today without his wisdom and guidance. Dr. Gattie is, is modern terms, THE MAN.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
...Leonardo da Vinci. Mr. da Vinci can be compared to Plato and Aristotle, who are arguably the best thinkers and philosophers ever to grace this earth. I am a nerd at heart, and da Vinci’s inventions baffle me. He created robots more than two centuries before our own great inventor, Benjamin Franklin, experimented with electricity. Not only was Mr. da Vinci an inventor, he was also a famed artist who created The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. However, the reason I am so interested in Leonardo da Vinci is because of his work in the medical field. My love is the human body. I hope one day to follow in my father’s footsteps and become an orthopedic surgeon. Da Vinci shared this love of mine. He was one of the first to perform extensive dissections of human cadavers. He would record and publish accurate drawings of the inner workings of the human body. His interest in anatomy was immeasurable. I would love to be able to sit across the table from him and attempt to tell him of all the improvements we have made in the field of medicine since his time and to ask his input. If he could accomplish all of those things in the 1500s, just imagine what sort of insight he would be able to bestow on us today!
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
...do everything. I’d jump out of a plane. I’d snowboard away from an avalanche, staying just close enough to could feel its power. I would try everything I could. The one thing I would especially strive to do more of would be to have more social encounters and to take more chances. You only get to go through college once and, as I am beginning to learn, it is the journey, not the destination that is important! If I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I would pass my school test tomorrow or that that particular girl would say yes when I asked her on a date, I would more frequently take advantage of the opportunities we have on campus to be social.
After graduation, I plan to...
...trade in my cleats and become a nerd. I want to attend graduate school, whether that be medical school or something to do with engineering. Right now, if I could choose what I wanted to do after graduation, it would be to attend medical school and then move away from this country. That may be hard to fathom, but as time goes on it seems that Americans have begun to take medicine and healthcare for granted. I think the average American tends to forget how much hard work and dedication it takes to become employed in the medical field today. Far too many people in this country that think it is their divine right to have perfect healthcare, on demand, at little to no cost. Many doctors get so tied up in fiscal and legal issues that they can’t even do their job. I went on a mission trip to Honduras last summer and lived on a Baptist mission for a week. This mission employed a team of dedicated doctors and nurses that were more appreciated than I could have ever dreamed. I got to know one of the nurses, and she showed me around their “medical facilities.” It’s hard to even call them that. It was more of a small shack packed full with beds and medical supplies. I can’t even fathom how the doctors performed surgery in such confines as that. I fell in love with surgery all over again that summer when I realized that there still were places that I could go to practice medicine and be appreciated.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
The one UGA experience that will always stay with me is not just an experience, but a lifestyle. College is an easy place to lose your footing and allow your head to slip unnoticeably below the water. If not for our many incredible coaches and academic staff, I think it would be pretty safe to say that could have happened to me. Over these two years, they have instilled a work ethic in me that will last me a lifetime. I have had countless great experiences here at UGA, but these people have helped me learn to balance work and fun. To them I am indebted, for my college experience as a whole and for my experiences to come. Their job is to teach us how to succeed on the field and off the field, and they are the best at what they do.