Jonathan Ledbetter remembers what they were saying.
"Everyone counted me out pretty much," said the former UGA defensive lineman. "Like, 'he did this, he's stupid, he got in trouble, it's over for him, he's washed up.' I dug myself out the hole."
Ledbetter's present is a far cry from his past. Right now, he's training for the NFL Draft -- workouts at U48 Fitness in Lawrenceville with friend and former Bulldogs teammate Davin Bellamy are a big part of that process. The past, however tough it was, provides fuel for the fire that still burns today.
In 2016, Ledbetter was arrested for driving under the influence. He was suspended the first six games of his sophomore season.
"I missed football a lot. I was miserable," said Ledbetter. "That's when I started going harder. It didn't neccesarily click all the way, because I was angry. I dug myself a hole and had to dig myself out."
That's exactly what Ledbetter did. He was a scout team terror, working his way into a valuable contributor on the Bulldogs defense. He made second team All-SEC based on the coaches' votes his senior year, and was one of Georgia's 4 permanent team captains.
Ledbetter credits his turnaround to relationships, and encourages current players to listen to the good influences around them. One of them for the Tucker High School alum is Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart.
"He stuck his whole job out on the line pretty much," said Ledbetter. "Had I done something else, not learned from my mistakes, it would've looked bad on the whole program."
Ledbetter certainly remembers when, while he was suspended, Smart chided reporters for asking about the length of the defensive lineman's suspension, while not asking about Ledbetter as a person.
"[Coach Smart and I] had our screaming matches, our hugs, that's my dog for life. I love him," said Ledbetter.
Ledbetter says he's not having any big watch parties for the NFL Draft, preferring to stay home with his family and hope for good news and an NFL destination. Asked to sum up what he thinks he'll feel upon learning where the next step of his football journey will take him, Ledbetter had just one word: "relaxation."