The name of the clerk for the Georgia Statewide Business Court, which emerged at a Zoom conference, looked familiar to a logged-in attorney.
Greyson Lambert? The same Greyson Lambert who started as quarterback for Georgia?
“Greyson might as well have fallen out of his chair,” said Judge Walt Davis, who hired Lambert to work for him.
“Things like that made him uncomfortable,” said Lynette Jimenez, the court’s lead counsel. “He’s so down to earth, so humble, which is why we would tease him about it. It was more fun.”
No wonder those who worked with Lambert in the court’s Atlanta offices referred to him as “QB1.”
“Just to tweak him because it drove him crazy,” Davis said.
Mark Richt’s last quarterback and Kirby Smart’s first quietly spent three years at UGA Law School after trying out pro baseball.
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Now, seven years after setting an NCAA record, which he still holds for best completion percentage in a single game against South Carolina, Lambert is preparing to start a new job in Midtown Atlanta with Jones Day next month, one international law firm in which Davis was formerly a partner.
“Almost every time they recognize me, they bring up this game,” Lambert said. “Of course it feels great. It just reminds me of that team, those coaches and some kind of game plan. All the things that had to go well for this to happen.”
Lambert, who joined Virginia in 2014 and left the company as a graduate student, earned a master’s degree in sports management from UGA in December 2016.
He received a call from the MLB Texas Rangers wanting Lambert to play in the organization.
He hit 90 mph on second field at a tryout game in Atlanta and spent a season working at rookie ball in Surprise, Arizona, his first time playing baseball since his freshman year at Wayne County High . Lambert attended two apprentice league games but knew he was raw and decided he didn’t want to spend several years looking for a chance to make the big leagues.
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He decided to pursue a career as a lawyer.
“A lot of it was that I thought some of what I did on the field in terms of decision making, the intangibles — more than the soft and hard skills — that you get as a quarterback in college can really add up transferred to the legal profession,” he said. “Not only in terms of leadership and teamwork, but also in how you make informed decisions quickly.”
Lambert joined UGA Law School in Fall 2018 and graduated in Spring 2021. He took online courses in his third year of law school in Atlanta while working remotely for Judge William Ray of the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
The guy, who started 13 games in Georgia and threw 12 touchdowns with 2 interceptions, was recognized by some who mentioned his connection to football in an initial conversation. Others had no idea who he was.
He was so focused on law school that he only attended one football game there — Notre Dame’s home game in 2019. He kept tabs on his former team on TV.
“It was definitely a good, solid student experience, sort of a first-time experience,” he said. “In a way, it was refreshing.”
Law degrees are run in the family with Mrs. Adeline Kenerly Lambert a year before Greyson at law school. She is also an attorney working remotely for a fixed part-time basis.
“She’s a lot smarter than me,” Lambert said of Adeline, who was a majorette at Georgia and Miss Georgia 2015.
Fittingly, Greyson proposed to his hometown sweetheart on Oct. 13, 2018 outside the UGA Law School library — they grew up in Jesup, went to the fifth grade dance together, and met in high school, the same day that Georgia lost big at LSU.
They have an 11 month old son, Lock Sullivan,
Lambert, now 28, wants to practice as a lawyer specializing in transactional business – mergers and acquisitions. As one of two clerks on the biennial statewide commercial court, Lambert prosecuted cases, researched issues, drafted proposed orders and participated in court hearings on complex commercial disputes, Jimenez said.
This can be a contractual dispute or allegations of misappropriation of funds.
“I didn’t think he would get so involved in restrictive covenants analysis,” Jimenez said. “He has undoubtedly become an expert in this area of law.”
The 2015 South Carolina game still ranks in the NCAA record books for a completion percentage of at least 20 completions.
He was 24 of 25 for 330 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 52-20 loss to Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks. He set a school record by completing his last 20 passes in a row, surpassing Mike Bobo’s 19 straight in the 1998 Outback Bowl.
Malcolm Mitchell caught 8 of those passes for 122 yards and a touchdown.
“I remember Reggie (Davis) getting slammed on the sidelines and getting aimed,” Lambert said. “Malcolm Mitchell has a back shoulder ball that I let him in for a little bit and he goes over a guy and catches him. Everyone’s dedication and ability to persevere to make this happen was pretty incredible.”
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The lonely incompletion came early in the game. It was earmarked for Jeb Blazevich’s tight end on a seam route in the end zone, with Mitchell coming under.
“To this day I have Malcolm Mitchell wide open on a flat cross where he could come in if I hit him and I think man it could have been 25 for 25 if I hadn’t thrown it away,” Lambert said. “Yes, it was a throwaway in the back of the end zone.”
Georgia ended 2015 10-3, with Lambert being replaced by third-seeded Faton Bauta for the Florida game, a 27-3 loss. Richt was released the day after the regular season ended.
“I love Coach Richt and I loved playing for Kirby in his freshman year and seeing that transition,” Lambert said. “Of course we would have wished that certain things about the 2015 season had gone differently. We started off pretty hot, running against a buzzsaw against Alabama and the Monsoons (a 38-10 loss after a 4-0 start to the season). They went on to win the national title. We lose (Nick) Chubb, which was obviously such a big blow in the first game of the Tennessee game. At the time we were very confident that we would see Alabama again.”
That 38-31 defeat in Knoxville “still gives me nightmares to this day. You always go back and sort of go through these games in your head…. It’s one of those things for our fans, our team and these players that come in especially as a transfer quarterback that you want to win everything for these guys.
Lambert said he now watches former Georgia teammates, including Chubb, on Sundays.
Lambert and his father were at the Georgia-Oregon game in Atlanta and saw Bennett go 25-of-31 for 368 yards.
“Stetson went crazy,” Lambert said. “The whole offense did it.”
Lambert’s hometown of Jesup is about 30 miles from Bennett’s hometown of Blackshear.
Lambert went to dinner with Stetson and his father at the Last Resort in Athens before Bennett decided to go to Georgia ahead of the 2017 season or accept minor school offers.
“To handle all of what he’s going through as a starting quarterback and to stay true to himself and be able to push through all of that adversity and come through on the other side, he’s the man.” said Lambert. “I’m really proud of him and happy with what he was able to achieve.”
Lambert’s football past will no doubt be discussed as he begins his career as a lawyer.
On a big TV in the courtrooms, Davis enjoyed pulling up a photo of a limp-haired Lambert from his early high school days and some of his YouTube highlights from back then.
“Greyson gave me a parting gift, a football signed by Nick Chubb,” Davis said. “I said, where’s my signed Greyson Lambert football?”