Sunday, May 31, 2009
6-1, 275, Buchanan GA (Haralson County HS), Jr.
After a terrific high school career in Georgia Class 4A, Wood was widely considered one of the top defensive end prospects in the country, and was an ESPN Top 150 selection. He committed to the Dawgs early and big things have been expected since. To date, his career has not quite lived up to expectations for a number of different reasons, most of which have been injury-related. After his redshirt season in 2006, he was forced to sit out spring drills in 2007 while he recovered from shoulder surgery. He played in 6 games that season, recording only one tackle. Last season, after serving a suspension from an offseason incident, he saw action in 10 games, recording 11 tackles and an impressive 9 QB hurries in limited action. Unfortunately, he endured further shoulder and wrist surgery this past offseason and missed another spring. However, he is expected to be ready to roll for fall practice.
Depth Chart Analysis: The Dawgs desperately need Wood (or any other backup defensive lineman) to step up and have a big season. He has great athletic ability and alot of potential, but never has been able to put it all together at once. Maybe this will be the year, if he can stay healthy. Expecting him to be solidly in the rotation at DT would not be too much to ask.
Other famous #97s in UGA history: LB Keith Hall, DT Marcus Stroud, DT Kedric Golston
Saturday, May 30, 2009
6-1, 304, Fair Bluff NC (West Columbus HS), RS Jr.
Crawford came to UGA 3 years ago from NC, labeled with the always intriguing "sleeper prospect" tag as a defensive lineman. He enrolled at UGA early, and given his college-ready size, many thought he might be ready to play as a true freshman. He wound up redshirting, then appearing in only 5 games as a sophomore. Before the 2008 season, he was named Most Improved Defensive Lineman coming out of spring, but failed to carry that through the following season, some of which has been attributed to nagging injuries.
Depth Chart Analysis: After wrist surgery in January, Crawford did participate in spring drills and appears ready to jump into the rotation this year. He has a good shot to be the backup to Geno Atkins at nose guard. At a position that always seems to have its share of injuries, and one that is already fairly thin for the Dawgs, Crawford needs to have a solid season this year.
Notable #98s in UGA history: LB Wally Tereshinski, DT Darius Swain
Friday, May 29, 2009
5-11, 168, Savannah (Savannah Christian HS), Soph.
Lindley was coached in high school by former Georgia and NFL player Donald Chumley. He was an All-State kicker at Savannah Christian before coming to UGA as a walk-on in 2008. He appeared in 2 games, handling a kickoff vs South Carolina, as well as an on-side kick (a successful one at that) and another kickoff vs Alabama.
Depth Chart Analysis: Lindley was firmly in place as the backup place kicker to Blair Walsh, and may have been set to enter the 2009 season with a chance to compete with some other walk-on kickers to handle all kickoffs. Then, the Dawgs signed JUCO kicker Brandon Bogotay late during the signing period, which doesn't bode well for Lindley (or any other PK other than Walsh) to see much of the field this season.
Notable #99s in UGA history: the late DL Jake Richardson, DL Robert Goodwin, DL Chuck Kinnebrew (who was among the first African-Americans ever to play for UGA), DL Jarius Wynn
Thursday, May 28, 2009
1. David Pollack (2001-2004)
- 16th on all-time UGA tackles list: 263
- All-time leader at UGA in sacks: 36
- Holds the top single-season sack total in UGA history (as well as 2 of the top 3): 2002 (14), 2004 (12.5)
- 3 sacks in a game twice: 2003 vs Purdue, 2004 vs Wisconsin
- All-SEC: 2002 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team); 2003 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team); 2004 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)
- All-American: 2002 (AP, Football Writers' Association of America, The Sporting News); 2003 (AFCA); 2004 (AP, Football Writers' Association of America, Walter Camp, AFCA) - only the 2nd three-time 1st team All-American in UGA history
- Two-time Ted Hendricks Award winner: 2003 and 2004 (nation's top defensive end)
- 2004 Rotary Lombardi Award winner (nation’s top lineman)
- 2004 Chuck Bednarik Award winner (nation’s top defensive player)
- 2004 Lott Trophy winner (nation’s top impact defensive player)
- Two-time AP SEC Defensive Player of the Year: 2002 and 2004
- 2004 Coaches' SEC Player of the Year
David Pollack is the most decorated player ever to play at UGA, dominating the national defensive awards after his senior season, and being honored as the SEC Player of the Year from the defensive end position as a senior. His best year statistically speaking was 2002, although one could argue that 2004 was more impressive considering that the opposition was focusing primarily on him and no one else along the defensive line.
Pollack epitomized the entire UGA defensive philosophy under former defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder. While he was blessed with a motor and an inner drive that made him nearly unstoppable at times, he was more talented than most fans often give him credit for. (Example: he ran a 4.7 forty yard dash at his NFL combine workout.) He was one of, if not the, leader on and off the field. His teammates thrived off his enthusiasm and hustle. The crowd loved him, and he loved them back.
Pollack was drafted in the mid-1st round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Contract negotiations held him out of training camp in his rookie season. He would wind up with a nice rookie year, with 4.5 sacks. During Pollack's 2nd season, he suffered a broken vertebrae making a tackle and was forced into a difficult surgery. He never fully recovered, and chose to retire rather than risk permanent injury with a comeback. Since the NFL, Pollack started his own company, and also now works as an afternoon drive co-host on 790 the Zone in Atlanta.
Here's a decent play from Pollack that some might remember vaguely. (credit: kcmci1) Talk about some great memories......
The official countdown begins tomorrow morning. Hope everyone enjoyed the "pre-Countdown."
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
One game doesn't matter and I would assume that if this hypothetical was real , everyone would have him on the list, correct? Stafford , no matter what, is one of the top 25 players in the last 25 years. Now , what are your thoughts?
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2. Garrison Hearst, RB (1990-1992)
- 1,594 rushing yards in 1992 - 4th best single season in UGA history (11th in SEC history) - also the most single season yardage by a UGA player not named Herschel Walker
- 246 yards vs Vanderbilt in 1992 - 3rd best single-game performance in UGA history
- 7th most career rushing attempts in UGA history: 543
- 2nd most career rushing yards in UGA history: 3,232
- UGA record-holder for single season rushing touchdowns in 1992: 19 (was an SEC record until broken by Tim Tebow in 2007.)
- 3rd most career rushing touchdowns in UGA history: 33
- UGA record-holder for single-season yards per carry: 1992 (6.8 ypc) - SEC record
- Leading rusher for UGA: 1990, 1991, 1992 seasons
- All-SEC: 1991 (AP 2nd team); 1992 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)
- All-American: 1992 (Kodak, Associated Press, Walter Camp, Football Writers' Association of America, Sporting News, UPI)
- Finished 3rd in 1992 Heisman Trophy balloting
- 1992 Doak Walker Award winner (for best collegiate junior or senior running back)
Hearst is widely considered to be the 2nd best running back ever to play at UGA. He was one of the country's top recruits out of state powerhouse Lincoln County in 1990. He broke several state rushing records, including Herschel Walker's record for career rushing yardage. He was an early commitment to 2nd year UGA head coach Ray Goff, and began to contribute early and often. He started most of the games during his true freshman season, as UGA labored to a 4-7 record. Beginning in 1991, much of the success that the program experienced over the next 2 seasons could be traced to Hearst toting the lumber. Hearst didn't have a defined running style - he did everything well. He was strong, fast, elusive and durable...everything you could possibly want in a workhorse tailback. Many (including yours truly) feel that he was jobbed in the 1992 Heisman Trophy balloting, as the most overrated quarterback in the history of the college game won the award in Miami's Gino Toretta. (Hearst would finish neck and neck for 2nd with a sophomore, Marshall Faulk of San Diego State.)
The Arizona Cardinals selected Hearst in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft. He struggled during his years with Arizona (as most players did back then), and then journeyed to the Cincinnati Bengals, and ultimately to the San Francisco 49ers, where his pro career finally took off. He'd make the Pro Bowl in 1998 with San Francisco before suffering a gruesome leg injury against the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs that year. After believing his career might be over, he made an amazing comeback in 2001 with the 49ers, once again making the Pro Bowl and earning NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors (for the 2nd time in his career.) He'd finish his career with the Denver Broncos.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
3. Eric Zeier (1991-1994)
- Led UGA in passing for 4 straight seasons (1991 through 1994)
- All-time leader at UGA for single-season pass completions: 1993 (269)
- 2nd most career pass completions in UGA history: 838
- Has the top 6 best single-game passing yardage performances in UGA history
- Has the top 2 best single-season passsing yardage totals in UGA history: 1993 (3,525); 1994 (3,396)
- 2nd most career passing yards in UGA history (11,153)
- 2nd best single-season completion percentage in UGA history: 1993 (63%)
- Best career completion percentage in UGA history: 60%
- Tied for most single-season touchdown passes in UGA history: 1993 (24); 1994 (24) - tied with DJ Shockley (2005)
- 2nd most career touchdown passes in UGA history: 67
- 4th highest career pass efficiency rating in UGA history: 137.08
- 4th best in SEC history in career total offense (10,841 yards)
- 4th best in SEC history in career passing yardage (11,153 yards)
- 544 yards passing vs Southern Miss in 1993 (UGA and SEC record for passing yards in a single game)
- All-SEC: 1992 (AP 2nd team, Coaches' 2nd team); 1993 (AP 2nd team, Coaches' 2nd team); 1994 (AP 2nd team, Coaches' 2nd team)
- All-American: 1994 (AFCA Coaches', Playboy)
Zeier was the quarterback during the most prolific passing era in UGA history, which certainly contributed to his monster statistics. But make no mistake, he was one of the most talented and highly regarded quarterbacks ever to play in Athens, and still is to this day.
After transferring to Marietta High School from Germany, where his father was an Army Colonel, Zeier became one of the first high school players ever to graduate early to enroll at college in time for spring practice. (Of course, that is more commonplace now.) His first start as a true freshman was under the lights at Sanford Stadium against the Top 10 Clemson Tigers in 1991, a game the Dawgs won by 2 touchdowns. He'd start the final 7 games of that season at quarterback for Georgia, and every game after that until he graduated. Zeier never lost to Georgia Tech during his career. He finished his career with 67 UGA records, and 18 SEC records, before being selected in the 3rd round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He'd play 6 seasons in the NFL for 4 teams (including the Atlanta Falcons), before retiring to pursue various business ventures. Currently, Zeier is the color analyst for the Georgia Bulldog Radio Network for all football games.
Monday, May 25, 2009
4. Champ Bailey, CB/WR (1996-1998)
- Leading UGA kickoff returner: 1997 and 1998
- 2 year starter at cornerback (1997 and 1998), also started 11 games at WR in 1998.
- All-SEC: 1997 (AP 2nd team, Coaches' 1st team); 1998 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)
- All-American: 1998 (AFCA Coaches', AP, Walter Camp, Football Writers' Association of America, Football News, Sporting News)
- 1998 Winner of the Bronco Nagurski Award (given to the nation's top defensive player)
You won't find Champ in many places in the UGA record book, because he was primarily a defensive player, and rarely did the opposition throw the ball toward his side of the field. He was easily the best shutdown corner ever to play in Athens. In 1998, he was also UGA's go-to wide receiver. He played over 100 plays in 7 games as a junior, on the field for over 1,000 plays for during that entire season. By the way, he was also the UGA record holder in the track and field indoor long jump for a number of years (finished 3rd in the 1998 SEC indoor track and field championships.)
In perhaps the biggest no-brainer in the history of football, Bailey declared for the NFL Draft before his senior season at UGA. He was selected 7th overall in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. After a solid rookie season that had plenty of the usual ups and downs, Bailey has been selected to the Pro Bowl every season since while playing for the Redskins and Denver Broncos. He'll be in Canton the first year he's eligible. At the current level he's playing, that will be no time soon.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
5. Hines Ward (1994-1997)
- 3rd best single-season completion percentage in UGA history: 1995 (62%)
- 2nd best career completion percentage in UGA history: 59%
- Led team in receiving yards: 1996 and 1997
- 4th most career pass receptions in UGA history: 144
- 3rd most single-season yards receiving in UGA history: 1996 (900)
- 2nd most receptions by a junior in UGA history: 1996 (52)
- 2nd most receptions by a senior in UGA history: 1997 (55)
- 2nd most career all-purpose yardage in UGA history: 3,870 (1,063 rushing; 1,965 receiving, 842 return)
- 7th most career kickoff return yardage in UGA history: 740
- 5 catches for 184 yards vs Mississippi State in 1996 (36.8 yards per catch, 7th best single game YPC in SEC history)
- 31 for 59 for 413 yards passing in 1995 Peach Bowl, all records for bowl games in UGA history (completions, attempts, yardage)
- All-SEC: 1996 (AP 2nd team, Coaches' 2nd team); 1997 (AP 2nd team, Coaches' 1st team)
There are few players in the history of our beloved program, that UGA fans are more proud of than Hines Ward. His story is amazing. After being born to an African-American father and Korean mother, he became a high school All-American and blue chip recruit from Forest Park High School south of Atlanta.
While he was recruited as a quarterback, as a freshman he was forced into action as a tailback after Terrell Davis suffered an early season injury. The highlight of that season was his 137 yards rushing at Alabama.
As a sophomore, he began the season as a tailback again, but was moved to quarterback after another injury, this time to Mike Bobo. After struggling through his first few games, being benched, and subsequently booed off the field by the UGA faithful, he came back at the end of the season, with his famous Peach Bowl performance.
Ward's career at UGA really took off when Jim Donnan was hired in 1996. Donnan and Ward became very close, and Ward was immediately moved him to wide receiver permanently when Donnan came on board. He would line up just about everywhere on the field as a receiver during those next 2 seasons, and ultimately became the unquestioned leader of the program on and off the field.
While a number of NFL teams became enamored with his versatility, it is believed that he dropped in the Draft after it was discovered that he had no ACL in his left knee (the result of an accident as a young child.) The Pittsburgh Steelers grabbed him late on the 1st day of the 1998 NFL Draft, a decision which contributed in large part to a change in course of an entire NFL franchise. Four Pro Bowls and 2 Super Bowl titles later (one of which he was named MVP), Ward is headed for Canton when his career ends. He will have likely played his entire career with the same NFL team, which is unheard of in the current era of free agency. He holds every career receiving record in the storied history of the Pittsburgh Steeler franchise, and is considered by many to be the best blocking receiver in football history.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
6. Rodney Hampton (1987-1989)
- Highest single-season average gain per rush in UGA history: 1987 (7.06)
- 3rd most rushing yards in a 3 year stretch in UGA history: 1987-1989 (2,668)
- Highest single-game All-Purpose yardage in UGA history: 1987 vs Ole Miss (290 yards: 227 rushing, 28 receiving, 35 kickoff return)
- 227 rushing yards vs Ole Miss in 1987 (6th best single-game in UGA history)
- 5th most career All-Purpose yardage in UGA history: 3,582
- 5th most career rushing yards in UGA history: 2,668
- All-SEC: 1988 (AP 2nd team); 1989 (AP 2nd team, UPI 1st team)
- 3 touchdowns in 1989 Gator Bowl (tied for UGA record in bowl games)
- Member of Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame
Hampton came to Athens as a high schooler in Texas, and as a freshman cemented himself as what would end up being the last great tailback of the Vince Dooley era. Ask UGA football historians, and most would say that Hampton was the 2nd best tailback of the Dooley era, even though his numbers don't necessarily bear it out when compared to Lars Tate or even a Willie McClendon. After almost 1,000 yards in his true freshman season, which included the 227 yard game vs Ole Miss, Hampton went slightly backwards as a sophomore (thanks in large part to a reduction in carries to Tim Worley), before bouncing back as a junior with a 1,000+ yard season. Hampton was a workhorse back, who stands 6th on the all-time rushes list at UGA, despite playing only 3 seasons and having to split carries with other great tailbacks during his first 2 seasons.
His success as a junior led him to declare for the NFL Draft before his eligibility at UGA was completed. He was chosen 24th overall in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. Hampton played his entire career (8 seasons) in New York. He was a Pro-Bowler in 1992 and 1993, got himself a Super Bowl ring, and was the Giants' all-time leading rusher until Tiki Barber broke his record in 2004. Hampton now runs his own company that offers expertise to training facilities and to athletes looking to develop their own training program.
Here's an entertaining interview with Rodney Hampton from a few weeks ago that I found on You Tube (credit NSIWorld.) Topics include Matthew Stafford, and looking back on Hampton's transition from UGA to the NFL.
Friday, May 22, 2009
8. David Greene (2001-2004)
- All-time leader at UGA in career pass completions: 849 (still 4th most in SEC history)
- 3rd, 4th, and 5th highest passing yardage in a single-season in UGA history: 2003 (3,307); 2002 (2,924); 2001 (2,789)
- Most career passing yardage in UGA history (SEC record at the time, since broken by Florida's Chris Leak): 11,528
- 20 for 23 vs Vanderbilt in 2002 (best single-game passing completion % in UGA history)
- 3rd best career completion % in UGA history: 59%
- 5 touchdown passes vs LSU in 2003, tied for UGA record in single-game TD passes
- 3rd and 4th most touchdown passes in a single-season in UGA history: 2002 (22); 2004 (20)
- Most career touchdown passes in UGA history: 72
- UGA record holder for most consecutive passes thrown without an interception (SEC record at the time, since broken by Kentucky's Andre Woodson): 2004 (214)
- 2nd highest career passing efficiency rating in UGA history: 138.8
- 1st all-time in UGA history in career total offense: 11,528 (SEC record)
- All-SEC: 2002 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team); 2003 (Coaches' 2nd team); 2004 (Coaches' 2nd team)
- 2001 SEC Offensive Rookie of the Year
- 2002 SEC Offensive Player of the Year
- Winningest Quarterback in NCAA History: 42 wins
The fact that Greene started as a redshirt freshman under a brand new coach and new offensive system, and was as successful as he was in his first season, is pretty astonishing to me. While UGA has had quarterbacks with better overall skill sets, there has been no UGA player in history that better exemplified leadership and a winning attitude. Accuracy was Greene's calling card, but he had better arm strength than most fans gave him credit for. One could argue that after the 2002 season, the rest of his career was a bit of a letdown, but he still had some tremendous moments, especially in the 2003 season.
After being drafted in the 3rd round by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2005 NFL Draft, Greene was a bit of a journeyman in the league, playing for 3 more teams before retiring a few months ago. He and former UGA offensive lineman Matt Stinchcomb now operate an insurance brokerage firm in the Atlanta area.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Until then, a few questions:
1) What would the loyal readership like to see from the countdown this year?
2) We still have the top 7 UGA football players of the last 25 years to countdown between now and next Friday. Based on what has been done so far, who would be in your Top 7? I'm sure that where we are right now, most people have a similar final 7. I also would like to hear your major disagreements to this point.
Here's a recap of #s 8-25:
8. Knowshon Moreno
9. Terrence Edwards
10. Ben Smith
11. Thomas Davis
12. Matt Stinchcomb
13. Andre Hastings
14. Robert Edwards
15. DJ Shockley
16. Tim Worley
17. Kevin Butler
18. Jeff Sanchez
19. Richard Seymour
20. Lars Tate
21. John Little
22. Randall Godfrey
23. Mitch Davis
24. Billy Bennett
25. Randy McMichael
8. Knowshon Moreno (2006-2008)
- 5th most rushing attempts in a single-season in UGA history: 2008 (250)
- 6th most career rushing attempts in UGA history: 498
- 4th most career rushing yardage in UGA history: 2,734 (in only 2 seasons)
- Tied 4th most touchdowns in a single-season in UGA history: 2008 (16)
- 4th most career rushing touchdowns in UGA history: 30
- Led UGA in rushing: 2007 and 2008 seasons
- All-SEC: 2007 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team); 2008 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)
- All-American: 2008 (AP 2nd team, Walter Camp 2nd team)
- 2008 Doak Walker Award Finalist
This one is bound to get some opposition from the masses. Disclaimer: the only reason he is this low on the list is because he only played 2 years in Athens (not counting the redshirt season.) Another year (or two) in college, and he might have been 7 spots higher on this list.
Moreno was the consummate crowd-favorite. Not only is he blessed with an abundance of talent and athleticism and at times was simply toying with defenses when he carried the ball, he also knew how to play to the home crowd, and knew how to make the crowds on the road hate him. When he wanted to be, he was simply as good as any running back ever to play Between the Hedges, except (of course) for one. Incredible balance, vision, strength and quickness. Not the fastest straight-line runner that UGA has ever lined up at tailback, but he was as fast on his 30th carry as he was on his 1st of the game. He'll carry that to the pros, where he was the 12th overall pick of this past year's NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.
Here's a great video of the best Moreno highlights from his career at UGA, thanks to Dean Legge at DawgPost.com:
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Friday, May 29th marks 99 days until Georgia and Oklahoma State kick off their 2009 seasons in Stillwater. Leading up that date, we are counting down the Top 25 UGA football players of the past 25 seasons.9. Terrence Edwards (1999-2002)
- Leading UGA pass receiver for 4 straight seasons (1999-2002.)
- Tied 2nd most pass receptions in a single season in UGA history: 2002 (59)
- Most career pass receptions in UGA history: 204 (2nd most in SEC history)
- 196 yards receiving vs Utah State in 1999 (3rd most in UGA history for a single game)
- Most yards receiving in a single season in UGA history: 2002 (1,004)
- Most career receiving yards in UGA history: 3,093 (still an SEC record)
- 3 receiving touchdowns vs Kentucky in 2002 (Tied for most in a single game in UGA history)
- Most touchdown receptions in a single season in UGA history: 2002 (11) - also tied for the 2nd most in UGA history: 1999 (9)
- Most career touchdown receptions in UGA history: 30
- 6th most career all-purpose yardage in UGA history: 3,536 (24 rushing, 3,093 receiving, 419 return)
- All-SEC: 2002 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)
Edwards is quite simply the most productive wide reciever ever to wear a UGA uniform. While he was often underappreciated because of some key drops and a slump during his junior season, there is no doubt that he was as important to the 2002 SEC Championship as anyone on the roster. He came to UGA from Washington County High School in Tennille, not knowing what position he'd play. After beginning at WR and having one of the best freshman seasons in UGA history in 1999, Jim Donnan would even try him at quarterback on certain plays (he played some QB in high school.) It was under Mark Richt and David Greene that Edwards really began to flourish. It is often forgotten just how great his senior season was. Any conversation of the best WRs ever to play at UGA has to begin and end with Edwards, but that is probably not always the case.
After being signed by the Atlanta Falcons, and actually making the team out of training camp, Edwards signed in the Canadian Football League in 2005. He signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2007 and has since had 2 breakout seasons.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
- Tied 2nd all-time in UGA history, single-season interceptions: 1989 (10)
- Tied 4th all-time in UGA history, career interceptions: 13
- All-SEC: 1988 (AP 2nd team, Coaches' 1st team); 1989 (AP 1st team, UPI 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)
In my opinion, Smith was probably the 2nd (or 3rd) best defensive back under Vince Dooley at UGA, even though he is often forgotten when talking about the great defensive players at UGA in the Dooley era. He was also among the most versatile, as a shutdown cornerback who could also step up and play the run if needed. Before his senior season, he was moved from cornerback to free safety, and his interception total actually increased after the move. Coming up with big interceptions in key games were his forte.
Smith was taken in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, and also played for the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals during his pro career.
Monday, May 18, 2009
11. Thomas Davis, S (2002-2004)
- 10th in UGA history in solo tackles (185)
- 4th in UGA history in single-season solo tackles: 2003 (89)
- Leading UGA tackler: 2003 and 2004
- All-SEC: 2003 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 2nd team); 2004 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)
- All-American: 2004 (AFCA, Walter Camp, The Sporting News)
Davis and David Pollack were the straws that stirred the drink of Brian Van Gorder's famous UGA defenses in the early part of this decade. Van Gorder and Mark Richt offered him a scholarship (the only D1 offer he received) from tiny Randolph-Clay High School after watching him play basketball. He was a ferocious tackler, and may have had more "football speed" than anyone that ever played defense at Georgia. His ideal blend of size and speed made him an ideal "hybrid" LB/S combination, which was proven after he was converted to linebacker following his selection by the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He has since started 31 games in his NFL career, and has been a durable and solid defensive player for the Panthers.
Here are some of Davis' best moments in Athens (thanks to kcmci1 via You Tube):
Sunday, May 17, 2009
#12 Texas 4, #4 Georgia 2
RECORDS: Texas 23-6; Georgia 25-4;
1. (#19) Dimitar Kutrovsky, TEX def. (#12) Nate Schnugg, UGA, 6-4, 7-6 (2)
2. (#62) Javier Garrapiz, UGA def. (#69) Ed Corrie, TEX, 6-4, 6-3
3. (#75) Jamie Hunt, UGA vs. (#80) Kellen Damico, TEX, 6-4, 5-7, 2-3, DNF
4. Olivier Sajous, TEX def. Josh Varela, UGA , 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4)
5. Josh Zavala, TEX def. Christian Vitulli, UGA, 6-4, 6-1
6. Miguel Reyes Varela, TEX def. Borja Malo, UGA, 6-2, 6-1
1. (#5) Hunt/Schnugg, UGA def. (#27) Corrie/Damico, TEX, 8-5
2. Malo/Vitulli, UGA def. (#60) Kutrovsky/Zavala, TEX, 9-8 (9)
3. Bernstein/Garrapiz, UGA vs. Reyes Varela/Sajous, TEX, 7-8, DNF
ORDER OF FINISH:
Doubles: 1, 2
Singles: 6, 5, 1, 2, 4
Georgia Head Manuel Diaz Coach: "Texas played a great match today. We had a lot of momentum after the doubles point yesterday, but with the rain delay today was a separate match. We just got outplayed today.
(On the weather delay) "It took away our momentum, but that what happens in sports. It's just the way it is. We maybe could have dealt with it a bit different. Our guys showed up and did everything I asked them to do. They were prepared, alert, awake, and enthusiastic. It was windier out there today. I think that played a small part. I think Texas handled that challenge a little bit better than we did."
Georgia junior Jamie Hunt: "They played great. I'm proud of my teammates. They fought as hard as they could and left it all out on the court. That's all we can ask for. We gave it our all and that's all you can ask for. I think we came out fired up and ready to play. We were just as excited and pumped up to play as we were yesterday. They played well in a couple of spots and got some momentum. We tried to shift it back, but they came through in the end."
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Dawgs lost in straight sets at #1, #5, and #6 singles. We are up a set at #2 and #3 singles and down a set at #4 singles. We have to win them all. It's time to fight like DAWGS !!
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12. Matt Stinchcomb (1995-1998)
- Started 32 consecutive games at offensive tackle
- Finalist for 1998 Lombardi Award
- 1998 Draddy Award recipient (given to the college football player nationally who exemplifies the best combination of academic achievement, athletic achievement, and community service)
- All-SEC: 1996 (Coaches' 2nd team), 1997 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team), 1998 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)
- All-American: 1997 (AFCA Coaches'), 1998 (AFCA Coaches', Playboy, Associated Press, Walter Camp, Football News, Sporting News)
Stinchcomb was dominant from the first time he started as a sophomore at UGA. He moved from right tackle to left tackle before his junior season, maintained that dominance, and became an All-American. He was perhaps the best combination of athletic and academic prowess ever to play football for UGA. Former winners of the Draddy Award (mentioned above) include Danny Wuerffel and Peyton Manning.
Stinchcomb was selected in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders, and also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before retiring due to numerous injuries and a heart problem that occurred during back surgery. He now works for both CSS and 680 the Fan in Atlanta as a college football analyst.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas --- Fourth-ranked Georgia leads 12th-ranked Texas 1-0 here in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men's Tennis Championships Saturday. Severe thunderstorms halted singles play. They will resume singles at 10 a.m. ET Sunday. There is no indoor facility here on the Texas A&M campus.
Georgia (25-3) won a hard-fought doubles point that the No. 2 team of Borja Malo and Christian Vitulli clinched 11-9 in a tiebreaker, saving five match points in the process. They got down two match points at 8-7 in regulation and then saved three more during the tiebreaker against the 60th-ranked duo of Dimitar Kutrovsky and Josh Zavala. Malo and Vitulli converted on their third chance in the tiebreaker. Malo's volleys coupled with Vitulli's strong service game keyed the win in the tiebreaker. They built a 6-3 lead in the match and then the Longhorns rallied to take a 7-6 lead. The Malo/Vitulli team is 9-7 this year.
Georgia got in position to clinch by getting a key win from the fifth-ranked All-America duo of Jamie Hunt and Nate Schnugg. They roared out to a 6-1 advantage and eventually posted an 8-5 win over the 27th-ranked tandem of Kellen Damico and Ed Corrie. The Hunt/Schnugg team is 30-11 this season including 21-6 at No. 1. With the point determined, the No. 3 match was suspended with the Longhorns leading 8-7.
Singles got underway for approximately 20 minutes when play was halted due to the bad weather. At that point, 12th-ranked Schnugg and 19th-ranked Kotrovsky were 3-3 at No. 1. Sophomore Javier Garrapiz led 3-1 over Ed Corrie in the No. 2 contest. At No. 3, Hunt had a 4-3 edge on Damico while senior Josh Varela and Olivier Sajous were 2-all in the No. 4 contest. In the No. 5 match, Vitulli trailed Zavala 3-2 while Malo was down 3-2 to Miguel Reyes Varela at No. 6.
The Georgia-Texas winner advances to the semifinals and faces the winner of the Virginia/Southern California match. The eighth-ranked Trojans (22-5) have a 1-0 lead on the top-ranked Cavaliers (32-0) after taking the doubles point.
#4 Georgia leads #12 Texas 1-0
1. #5 Jamie Hunt/Nate Schnugg def. #27 Ed Corrie/Kellen Damico (UT) 8-5
2. Borja Malo/Christian Vitulli (UGA) def. #60 Dimitar Kutrovsky/Josh Savala (UT) 9-8(9)
3. Drake Bernstein/Javier Garrapiz (UGA) vs. Miguel Reyes Varela/Olivier Sajous (UT) 7-8 susp.
Order of Finish (1,2)
Sent via Blackberry from T-Mobile
13. Andre Hastings (1990-1992)
- Led UGA in receiving yards in 1991 (683) and 1992 (860)
- Tied for 4th highest single season recieving yardage in UGA history: 1992
- 3rd most career kickoff returns in UGA history (43)
- 2nd all-time at UGA in most kickoff return yardage in a single game: 1990 vs Kentucky (159 yards on 3 returns)
- 3rd all-time in career kickoff return yardage in UGA history (1,096 yards)
- 4th all-time in UGA history in kickoff return average in a single season: 1990 (28.1)
- All-time leader at UGA in career kickoff return average: 25.5
- All-SEC: 1991 (AP 2nd team), 1992 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)
At the time he came to UGA in Ray Goff's 1st recruiting class, Hastings was probably the most highly touted wide receiver that had ever been recruited to Athens, after being named the USA Today High School Offensive Player of the Year in 1989. He quickly got acclimated to catching passes from Eric Zeier in the most prolific passing attack that a UGA team had ever had in its arsenal. At the same time, Hastings was a great special teams weapon, returning punts and kicks for the Dawgs and doing it well.
Hastings was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but played his most significant time in the NFL as a member of the New Orleans Saints. After a short arena football stint a few years ago, he now is a worldwide competitive dog trainer.
Friday, May 15, 2009
14. Robert Edwards, DB/RB (1994-1997)
- 3rd in UGA history in career rushes per game (17.1)
- 3rd in UGA history for average yards rushing per game (88.4)
- Leading team rusher: 1996 and 1997
- Team scoring leader: 1996 and 1997
- Most points scored, single-game in UGA history: 1995 vs South Carolina (30 points on 5 touchdowns)
- All-SEC: 1996 (AP 2nd team); 1997 (Coaches' 2nd team)
Here's another example of a player who may be higher on my list than some others would have him. This is as much based upon the potential of what Edwards would have accomplished at UGA, if it hadn't been for injuries. As a true freshman at UGA, Edwards started at cornerback, and while he struggled like many true freshmen would, you could see tremendous athleticism and talent. Prior to the 1995 season, Edwards was moved to tailback. In his first game of the 1995 season, all he did was set the all-time UGA record for rushing touchdowns in a game (5.) In his 2nd game, he was on his way to a potential SEC record-setting performance with over 125 yards rushing in the first quarter in Knoxville. But, because this was a Ray Goff coached UGA team, Edwards fell snake-bit like the rest of the roster, and broke his foot early in the 2nd quarter. He continued to play into the quarter before calling it a day, and eventually a season. UGA barely lost the game and the season continued to spiral downward from that point. In 1996, Edwards returned at tailback, and despite not getting much going until season's end, he (among others) led the Dawgs to the late season OT upset of Auburn. He was back at full strength in 1997, two of his best games coming in the memorable upset of Florida in Jacksonville, and the Outback Bowl stomping of Wisconsin.
Edwards was drafted in the 1st round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He suffered about as bad a leg injury as one could have without having to have the leg amputated, which for most players would have been career ending. Edwards made an amazing comeback with the Miami Dolphins in the early part of this decade, before joining the Canadian Football League, where he led the Montreal Alouttes in rushing for 2 consecutive seasons. Along the way, Edwards won the Football Writers of America Halas Award, in recognition of his amazing comeback from injury.
From personal experience, I can tell you that he wasn't a bad high school basketball player either.
The Dawgs get a much needed day off after Thursday's thrilling 4-3 win over Illinois in the Round of 16. Our next match is on Saturday at 1:00 EST against #12 Texas, who upset #5 Tennessee in the Round of 16. This match should be a battle in what has become a bitter rivalry over the last few years. It all started when former UGA star Travis Helgeson transferred from Texas to Athens and continued through last year when we knocked Texas off in the NCAA finals for our 2nd consecutive national title.
Check out these quotes made by Texas head coach Michael Center a few years ago as he talks about Helgeson... “He was our Vince Young. There are some things behind the scenes there. I’m not going into all the details, but it’s just not good for our sport. To be honest with you, it’s a real difficult thing for me to talk to the media about. It was a difficult situation; I don’t feel good about the way it transpired. There were some things going on I didn’t feel good about. But, in the end, it happened, so there’s nothing for me to sit here and dwell on.” After being pressed, Center went on to say, “Well, I’m going to leave it at this: There was nothing done against the rules, but there are some ethics that are involved in our sport. For me, it crossed the line. They didn’t break any rules, but, ethically, we all have to make a decision in our life about how we’re going to handle things, and that’s up to each coach to make.”
UGA Head Coach Manuel Diaz, who is a true class act, responded with this... “The one statement I’ll make is there has not been anything illegal or unethical done in our program. If I was Michael Center and I had two No. 1 players leave in the last few years, I’d probably feel the same way. But there have been a lot of players leave Texas over the years. Maybe he should be looking in the mirror rather than coming over here and attacking my integrity.”
I will add this... Coach Diaz is looked upon very favorably across the country. Despite being the man running the show at a perennial powerhouse that competes for the national championship year in and year out, these comments by Michael Center are the 1st that I have ever heard that call Diaz' ethics/integrity into question. There is a reason that Tennessee and Florida have both made runs at Coach Diaz and thrown ridiculous amounts of $$$$ to try and lure him away from Athens - he is the premier college tennis coach in America and he handles everything the right way. There is also a reason that Coach Diaz has stuck around - Because UGA Men's Tennis is a family - We all love going back and seeing him and the current players. No other program in the country has the loyalty of the lettermen the way that UGA Men's Tennis does. And that is all due to the great lineage of coaches we have in Dan Magill and Manuel Diaz. Every year the NCAA's is in Athens (I can't wait til next year), you would not believe the amount of former players that fly in from across the country and the world to gather and cheer on Coach Diaz and the team. And I can guarantee you that no other program gets that kind of support. So, Michael Center and Texas tennis can kiss my white ass - I hope we beat the hell out of them on Saturday... GO DAWGS. You can follow the live scoring here.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
15. D.J. Shockley (2002-2005)
- 8th most career passing yardage in UGA history: 3,555 (despite only starting during one season)
- Highest career passing efficiency ratio in UGA history: 142.86
- 3rd best career average gain per play in UGA history: 7.03 (trailing only Charlie Trippi and Mike Bobo)
- 6 touchdowns in a single game vs Boise State in 2005 - 5 passing, 1 rushing (UGA record)
- Most touchdowns in a single season in UGA history: 2005 (28)
- All-SEC: 2005 (AP 1st team, Coaches 2nd team)
- MVP of the 2005 SEC Championship Game
Numbers and statistics don't get D.J. this high on my list. What got him here is his heart, determination and leadership, willing the Dawgs to only its 2nd SEC title in the previous 23 years, with a story that seems like you'd only see in the movies. The highly touted in-state recruit chooses his home state school, even during a coaching transition, and with quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding the program. He chooses to sit and wait his turn behind one of the best QBs ever to play at UGA, for one single shot at the starting job in his senior season. All he does then is lead the program to an 8-0 start, before an injury sidelines him for the biggest game of the season (the 1st loss of the year), and costs the Dawgs another loss in the following game.....only to return and lead the team to a convincing SEC title over a Top 5 team in LSU. (I don't doubt that without the injury hiccup, the Dawgs would have pounded Florida and probably carried that over into a win against Auburn. The WVU loss in the Sugar Bowl was certainly not on D.J.) After all that, he's drafted by the hometown pro team. Through everything, he is a model citizen and one of the greatest representatives of the University of Georgia that has ever lived. It pains me not to have him higher on this list.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
16. Tim Worley (1986 - 1988)
- 3rd highest TD total for single-season in UGA history: 1988 (17)
- 5th highest career average yards per rush in UGA history: 5.8 yards per rush
- UGA scoring leader: 1988 (108 points)
- 4 TDs vs Mississippi State: 1988
- 2nd highest average kickoff return for single season in UGA history: 1988 (34.3 per return)
- 1,216 yards rushing in 1988 (led SEC)
- All-SEC: 1988 (AP 1st team, UPI 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)
- All-American: 1988 (Kodak, Walter Camp, Football Writers of America)
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
17. Kevin Butler, PK (1981-1984)
- Kicked 3 of the 5 longest FGs made in UGA history: (60 yards vs Clemson, 1984; 59 yards vs Ole Miss, 1982; 57 yards vs Georgia Tech, 1984)
- 11 FGs made over 50 yards (most in UGA history), also highest percentage of FGs made over 50 yards in UGA history (52%)
- UGA's leading scorer: 1983 and 1984
- 2nd most career points scored in UGA history (353)
- 2nd most career FGs made in UGA history (77)
- Tied for NCAA record of most games in career kicking 2 FGs (27, tied with former UGA kicker Billy Bennett)
- 4 time All-SEC: 1981 (AP 2nd team, UPI 1st team); 1982 (AP 2nd team); 1983 (AP 1st team, UPI 1st team); 1984 (AP 1st team, UPI 1st team, Coaches 1st team)
- 2 time All-American: 1983 (Football News); 1984 (Kodak, UPI, Football Writers of America, Walter Camp, Football News, Sporting News, NEA)
- 2001 College Football Hall of Fame inductee
- Member of the Consensus College Football Team of the Century
Butler's accomplishments speak for themselves, but it should also be noted that he enjoyed a long and solid NFL career, most notably with the Chicago Bears (with whom he won a Super Bowl in 1985), and 2 years with the Arizona Cardinals.
This clip pretty much sums it all up:
Monday, May 11, 2009
18. Jeff Sanchez, S (1982-1984)
- All-American: 1984 (Kodak, UPI, Football Writers of America, Walter Camp)
- All-SEC: 1982 (AP 1st team, UPI 1st team); 1984 (AP 1st team, UPI 1st team, Coaches 1st team)
- 4th all-time in UGA history in single-season interceptions: 1982 (9)
- 4th all-time in UGA history in career interceptions (13) - in only 2 seasons
Sanchez makes this list thanks to an injury that kept him out for the entire 1983 season, but allowed him to take a medical redshirt and come back for his senior season in 1984. He began his career at UGA out of junior college in California, and was immediately 2nd on the UGA team in interceptions with 9 in 1982, which incidentally put him behind only teammate Terry Hoage that year. He led the Dawgs in interceptions and was 3rd in tackles as a senior in 1984. Larry Munson's call of his pass breakup against Auburn in 1982 which clinched the SEC title ("Look at the Sugar falling out of the sky") might have been Sanchez' lasting memory with most Dawg fans.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 29th marks 99 days until Georgia and Oklahoma State kick off their 2009 seasons in Stillwater. Leading up that date, we are counting down the Top 25 UGA football players of the past 25 seasons.19. Richard Seymour (1997-2000)
- All-SEC: 1999 (AP 1st team, Coaches 2nd team); 2000 (AP and Coaches 1st team)
- All-American: 2000 (Playboy, Walter Camp, AFCA)
- 2000 semifinalist for National Defensive Player of the Year (Football News)
- Leading UGA tackler in 1999 (74)
One of the few defensive linemen that could dominate a game without even registering in the stat book, Seymour demanded a double team from virtually everybody he faced. The fact that he led the team in tackles in 1999 from the defensive tackle position is somewhat amazing. His career numbers were 223 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss, all while being double teamed often and avoided altogether by opposing offensive coordinator.
Seymour was the 6th overall pick of the 2001 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He has been selected to 5 Pro Bowls and 3 NFL All-Pro teams, while playing both defensive tackle and defensive end during his post-UGA career. During that time, many would argue that he is the key cog on a Patriots defense that has contributed to 3 Super Bowl championships. It could also be argued that he has enjoyed the most successful and decorated NFL career of any UGA player in history.
Everybody has a strong opinion on the subject, but I sure as hell hope that this is all posturing to get more $$$ out of the city of Jacksonville. I love Richt and support him as much as anyone out there, but I am sick of hearing about our disadvantage in this game. Everybody knows that we have been getting our ass handed to us at the WLOCP since the 90s began. And, despite losing nearly every year for the last 2 decades, everybody also knows that we still lead the overall series vs the Gators. So, are we losing because we have an "unfair" trip to JAX every year or because we have had an inferior program for the last 20 years? I hate to admit to it, but that's an easy answer. Ever since Sprurrier came to Gainesville from Duke, we have had our moments, but overall - they have us beat.
Is moving the game to Atlanta going to make a difference? HELL NO. I tell you what else won't make a difference - all this bitching about how unfair it is. The last thing the players need to hear is that our coach thinks we are at a disadvantage before we step on the field on Halloween weekend every year. Do we have to travel further? Sure, but it's not as if the team is in 1 big caravan from Athens to Jacksonville piled into a bunch of 1994 Honda Accords. These guys are on a plane that is in the air for about 1 hour (maximum 90 minutes), while the Gators are on the road for 45 minutes. Is it a little warmer in Jacksonville and Gainesville than it is in Athens? Absolutely, but it's not like we are practicing in Madison, Wisconsin the week before the game... As for the former name of the stadium, who friggin' cares? What the hell does that have to do with running and catching and tackling? We come off sounding like a bunch of whiny losers with all of these excuses... Not to mention the fact that all of these differences have always been there. Yet, we still found a way to dominate the series pre-1990.
My central point here is that we aren't losing because of where the game is played - we are losing because of our attitude/mental approach to this game. In 2007, we showed up with an ass-kicking attitude. Whether you agree or disagree with our end-zone celebration, there is no doubt that we showed up with a chip on our shoulder and walked into the "Gator Bowl" and told the defending national champions and their arrogant-as-hell coach that they can kiss our ass. Personally, I loved the attitude - we looked like a team that believed in ourselves and we didn't give a damn about who we were up against or where we were playing - we had a confidence and a swagger that we knew we were going to win. That feeling is a complete 180 from what I see now with all this talk about moving the game from JAX.
For the record, I think this is the 1st thing I have ever disagreed with Coach Richt on. I have always given him the benefit of the doubt (Coach Willie included), as he clearly knows more than I do about motivating players, running a program, and the X's and O's of football. But, it is time for the staff at UGA to accept the game in JAX and start finding a way to win it, as opposed to searching for reasons why we are going to lose the damn game.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
20. Lars Tate (1984-1987)
- 2nd most career rushing TDs in UGA history (36)
- 2nd all-time in UGA history in career rushing attempts (615)
- 3rd all-time in career rushing yards at UGA (3,017)
- 16 rushing TDs in 1986 (tied 4th all-time for a single season at UGA)
- 5th all-time for most TDs scored in a single season: 1986 (17)
- UGA's leading receiver in 1986 (22 receptions for 214 yards)
- 8th all-time at UGA in career all purpose yards (3,393)
- 7th all-time at UGA for career points scored (222)
- 218 yards rushing vs Virginia in 1987
- 4 TDs vs Richmond in 1986, and again vs Oregon State in 1987
- All-SEC: 1986 (AP 2nd team, UPI); 1987 (AP 2nd team, UPI)
Tate was one of the great workhorse tailbacks in UGA history, during a decade when UGA would trot out great running backs every year. He is often overshadowed by more decorated UGA running backs of his time, like Rodney Hampton or Tim Worley, but Tate was right there with both of those guys. He parlayed a 1,000 yard season in 1987 into becoming a high-draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he led the franchise in rushing for a couple of seasons in the late 1980's.
Friday, May 8, 2009
21. John Little, ROV (1983-1986)
- Two-time All-American: 1985 (Football News); 1986 (Walter Camp, Football News)
- 1st team All-SEC: 1985 (AP, UPI, Coaches); 1986 (AP, UPI)
- 8th All-Time in total tackles at UGA (381), and all-time leader at UGA for total tackles by a defensive back.
- 4th All-Time in solo tackles (216), all-time leader at UGA for solo tackles by a DB.
- 25 total tackles in 1985 vs Georgia Tech (tied for 2nd all-time in a single game at UGA.)
- Two-time Academic All-SEC performer
Little never gets as much recognition as he probably should, given that he filled the shoes at rover of the legendary Terry Hoage beginning in 1984. A 3-year starter, a 6-2 and barely 200 pounds (which I suppose was "big" for a safety back then - although the "rover" in Bill Lewis' defense was essentially a glorified LB), Little was not only a great tackler, but also had a nose for the football. Two big interceptions against Clemson in 1985, both in the 4th quarter, were perhaps what fans would remember most from Little's career.
Little was also a tremendous student, and a great representative of UGA.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
22. Randall Godfrey, LB (1992-1995)
- All-SEC: 1992 (Coaches 1st team), 1993 (Associated Press 2nd team)
- 8th All-Time at UGA in career total tackles (365), 3rd All-Time at UGA in career solo tackles (231)
- Leading team tackler in 1992 and 1993 (114 each season)
One of the most productive and talented linebackers ever to play in Athens, Godfrey began his career as one of the most promising freshman defensive players that UGA has ever seen or likely will see. He was a 1st team All-SEC performer as a freshman, and had another very solid year as a sophomore. In 1994, he was moved to middle linebacker and his production suffered (as did the entire defense's.) A move back to the outside in 1995 got him back on track.
Godfrey was a vicious tackler, but also one of the more intelligent defensive players to grace the field at Sanford Stadium, which gained him a 12 year NFL career with 5 different teams (Dallas, Tennessee, Seattle, San Diego and Washington) before officially retiring in 2008. He returned to UGA this year to get his degree, and now spends time coaching his children.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
23. Mitch Davis, LB (1990-1993)
- All-SEC: 2002 (AP 1st team, Coaches 1st team), 2003 (AP 1st team, Coaches 2nd team)
- 4th all-time sacks at UGA (27.5)
- 2nd highest sack total in one season in UGA history (13 in 1993.)
- 3 sacks in one game vs Texas Tech (1993)
- Most Valuable Defensive Player: 1993 Florida Citrus Bowl
An Alabama native, Davis spurned the home state schools for Athens. At 6-3 and 240 lbs, and one of the best pass-rushers in UGA history, Davis was the key cog in Richard Bell's 3-4 defense as the 4th linebacker/defensive end. He always seemed to be around the ball (14 tackles vs Tennessee in 1992 prove that he wasn't just a sack artist), but his craft was to sack the quarterback. He did it well. Davis isn't one of the first guys you think of when talking about the great UGA defensive players in history, because much of his career was spent playing for mediocre UGA teams. But there was no denying his talent and intensity.
After 9 seasons in the NFL, some of them spent with the hometown Atlanta Falcons, Davis returned to UGA for his collegiate diploma in 2007.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
24. Billy Bennett, PK (2000-2003)
- Holds top 2 seasons all-time in UGA history for points scored: 2003 (131 points), and 2002 (130 points.) 2003 season was an SEC record for points scored at the time.
- Holds UGA record for most points scored in career (409.) Still an SEC record for career points, and 2nd all-time in NCAA.
- Holds top 2 seasons all-time in UGA history for most FGs made in a season: 2003 (31), and 2002 (26.) 2003 season is an SEC and NCAA record.
- 87 FGs made in career, which was an NCAA and SEC record at the time. Also holds NCAA and SEC record for most FGs attempted in career (110.)
- 13 of 14 on FGs as a freshman in 2000, highest percentage of FGs made in a season in UGA history.
- NCAA record holder for most FGs attempted in season: 2003 (38.)
- NCAA record holder for most FGs made over a 2 season span: 2002-2003 (57.)
- NCAA record holder for most games in career kicking at least one FG (43.) Also tied for NCAA record with former UGA kicker Kevin Butler for most games in career kicking 2 FGs (27.)
- 6 for 6 on FGs in 2001 vs Georgia Tech, most FGs made in one game in UGA history.
Some might have an issue picking a kicker (or perhaps even 2 kickers) in any list of "Top 25" football players. But if any kicker deserves to make the list, it would be this one, and the list of statistics and records above clearly demonstrate that. After walking on at UGA in 2000 and taking over the starting PK job early in the season (and being named All-SEC by the end of his first season), Bennett frankly became an offensive weapon for Mark Richt. His most memorable kick was probably one of his shorter ones, the game-winner at Alabama in 2002. But for being one of the smaller players ever in Athens, he had a big leg, making a few from over 50 yards during his career.
After tryouts for the NFL after his UGA days were over, Bennett appeared in the 2006 motion picture "We Are Marshall", and is now producing albums for Athens area musicians.
Monday, May 4, 2009
25. Randy McMichael, TE (1997-2001)
- Associated Press and Coaches' All-SEC 1st Team: 2001
- Associated Press All-SEC Honorable Mention: 2000
- 12 receptions vs Georgia Tech (156 yards): 2000 - 3rd All-Time UGA history
- 34 receptions in 1999: 6th all-time for UGA freshmen (Also named Freshman All-American)
- Career stats: 90 receptions, 1,113 yards, 5 touchdowns
- Drafted by Miami Dolphins in 4th round in 2002 (currently with St Louis Rams)
McMichael had a fantastic NFL rookie season in Miami, and has since settled in for his 2nd pro contract, in St Louis.