Saturday, December 31, 2011

11 Greatest University of Georgia Football Players 1940-2011

This post is motivated by a Bill King AJC Junkyard Blawg.


Criteria is Georgia play and plus - in most cases their pro success.
Brief bio on the most well known players.
This is the real deal and not decided on by public relations junk or favorites. This is not who primped or PR'd the media. Just show me the facts and hardware.
Longer post on the lesser known Dawgs for today's younger fans.

#1 Herschel Walker 1980-1982 Jersey #34 retired
He was 18 years old. He signed with a 6 win and 5 loss team. He plays for them the next year. Now they are a 12 win ZERO loss team that are National Champs-because he played for them. On ESPN Bud Wilkinson called him the best football player in 1980, co-host Jim Simpson said "In America?", Bud said "No,The planet." Jersey retired. Dooley's hallmark years.

#1-A Charlie Trippi- RB 1942, WW II service 1945, 1946 Jersey #62 retired
He is the only player in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with 1000 yards of receiving, 1000 yards passing, and 1000 yards rushing. Trippi attended the University of Georgia and was a two-time All-America selection. He played for Georgia in 1942 along side Heisman winner Frank Sinkwich. Georgia finished the season 11-1. He was named Most Valuable Player in the 1943 Rose Bowl in Georgia's 9-0 victory over UCLA. He won the Maxwell Award in the 1946 season. After his college career was interrupted by World War II.  He completed his career at Georgia by playing in 1945 and 1946. Jim Thorpe (The world's all time greatest athlete - my opinion backed up by hardware) called him the best football player he had ever seen. Bill Hartman called Trippi the greatest defender to play at Georgia as a defensive back.  He was my father's favorite and he led to my Dad's conversion away from white and gold.  Thanks Charlie, the jackets got some but ugly uniform colors.

#2 Frank Sinkwich RB 1940,1941,1942 Jersey #21 retired
From Athens /Online Mark Lancaster
"UGA Highlights: Won Heisman Trophy in 1942, the first Southern player to win the award. Consensus All-American in 1941 and '42. Rushed for 2,271 yards and passed for 2,331 yards during his career, scoring 60 touchdowns - 30 rushing and 30 passing. Named Most Valuable Player of Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1942, after leading Georgia to a 40-26 win over TCU with 139 yards rushing, 243 yards passing and three touchdowns. Scored the only touchdown in Georgia's 9-0 Rose Bowl win over UCLA in his final college game, despite playing on two sprained ankles. As a junior, set SEC rushing record of 1,103 yards which stood for eight years and is still the seventh-best season total in UGA history. As a senior, set SEC passing record of 1,392 yards, which also held up for eight years. Still holds UGA record for touchdown responsibility in a season, with 27 in 1942. Original member of UGA Circle of Honor in 1996. Was the first Bulldog to have his jersey retired; his No. 21 was honored in 1943."

#3 Francis Tarkenton QB 1958,1959,1960 Jersey #10
The DAWGS had a bad decade in their 1950's football fortunes. They went 10-1 and won the 1959 SEC title because he played for them. He always won-Athens High,UGA.  Plus he had  many Super Bowl trips pushing inferior teams of his to the max with the Minnesota Vikings who came up short despite his efforts.
Great Pro. Retired with all the major NFL passing records and as the leading all time passer, which is often forgotten. The "Scrambler" is underrated still. Some folks at UGA seem to resent him, maybe it's a personality thing. WINNER-Documented!

#4 Jake Scott Safety 1967,1968 Jersey #13
Big plays, interceptions punt returns for touchdowns and "swagger".  Plus he allegedly drove his motorcycle over the basketball coliseum riding up and down the swooping arches that lead to it's roof.
He was the #13 Miami Dolphin who won Super Bowls (Taste it Marino). He motivated by performance and a personality that made James Dean look like a conformist.
Under-publicized due to he did not have to answer to reporters, or Dooley or Shula with the Dolphins. He let his greatness talk for him.
1968 SEC player of the year at Safety. Super Bowl VII MVP. Six years with the Miami Dolphins and three Super bowl appearances. The Fish should have a statue of this #13 at their stadium.

#5 Bill Stanfill 1966,1967,1968 Jersey #77
Won all the lineman awards in major college football. SEC titles in 1966 and 1968.  Three time All-American.
Altered the game plan for the other team. Dolphins All-PRO. Two time Super Bowl Champ. Long time holder of the Dolphin sack record. Still underrated. Not even close to who ever you think the number 2 next best DL is for UGA or in the SEC in the 1960's.

#6 Terry Hoage 1980, 1981,1982,1983 Jersey #14
Blocked a field goal in the 1981 Sugar bowl as a little used freshmen.
He led the team in tackles and nation in interceptions in 1982. Long time pro.
He was a DB back when you got attention by performance. He was not a 5 star recruit. He was a no star recruit.  Coach Dooley always bemoaned his lack of athletic ability.  Hogwash.  Tall-a leaper-strenth-plus enough speed to play along time in the NFL.  Sacks, leading the nation in interceptions, blocked kicks. What else do you want?

#7 Champ Bailey DB/WR 1996,1997,1998 Jersey #4
Head Football Coach Jim Donnan got the most out of Champ. From Chicago Tribune, July 25, 1999 "Bailey was regarded as one of college football’s greatest multiple threats (offense, defense and special teams) in his three seasons at the University of Georgia. During his final year at Georgia as a junior, he registered 52 tackles (four for losses), three interceptions, seven passes defensed, 47 catches for 744 yards (15.8 avg.), five touchdowns, 84 yards rushing on 16 carries, 12 kickoff returns for 261 yards and four punt returns for 49 yards. He averaged 103.5 all-purpose yards per game and logged 957 plays (547 defense, 301 offense and 109 special teams) on the way to earning consensus All-America and first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors and claiming the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s top defensive player following his junior season. Against Virginia in the Peach Bowl, he caught three passes for 73 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown, rushed three times for nine yards, returned five kickoffs for 104 yards, returned a punt 12 yards, and posted two tackles and one pass defended at cornerback. In three years at Georgia, he played 33 games (24 starts) and recorded 147 total tackles, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, eight interceptions and 27 passes defended. He was an All-SEC first-team selection as a sophomore, starting every game at left cornerback and one game at wide receiver. Bailey set a school indoor long jump record in 1998 of 25-10 3/4 feet to finish third at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships."
Champ crushed Michigan DB Rod Woodson in performance.  Woodson won the Heisman.
1999 NFL Draft  -  Bailey was drafted in the first round (seventh overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He is playing still for the Denver Broncos as an every year all pro.

#8 Len Hauss Center 1961,1962,1963 Jersey #56
He is the lone player from the era of head coach Johnny Griffith. From his Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Entry -   "Hauss attended Jesup High School, where he played high school football as a fullback. As a senior, he rushed for 1,500 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. At the University of Georgia, where he became a center. He received All-Southeastern Conference honors as a sophomore.
Professional career- Hauss was drafted in the ninth round (115th overall) of the 1964 NFL Draft. He started his first game at center four games into the 1964 season, a job he would not lose until retirement. Hauss helped lead the Redskins to the Super Bowl VII in 1972. He started 192 consecutive games for the Redskins between 1964 and 1977. He was named to the Pro Bowl each year between 1967 and 1972."

#9 David Pollack 2001,2002,2003,2004 Jersey #47
"David Pollack attended Shiloh High School in Snellville, Georgia, and was a star in football, basketball and wrestling. In football, as a senior, he was a Class 5A All-State selection and the Atlanta Touchdown Club named him the Defensive Lineman of the Year.
College career
Pollack played with the University of Georgia and was a roommate of NFL quarterback David Greene.
He was a the second 3-time All-American. (2002, 2003, 2004) In addition to his All-American honors, Pollack received the:
2002 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Award,
2004 Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award,
2004 Chuck Bednarik Award: given annually to the top collegiate defensive player,
2003 and 2004 Ted Hendricks Award: given annually to the top collegiate defensive end,
2004 Lombardi Award: given annually to the top defensive or offensive collegiate lineman who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline of Vince Lombardi, and
2004 Lott Trophy: given annually to a defensive player exemplifying integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community, and tenacity.
His signature play came during the second game of the 2002 season. Pollack batted down a pass from South Carolina quarterback Corey Jenkins in the South Carolina end zone and managed to catch the ball in the end zone before it hit the ground; Pollack was credited with a 0-yard interception return for a touchdown. Pollack ended his college career with 36 sacks, a University of Georgia all-time record."
He is the Dawg of the 2000's.  His G.A.T.A. (Get After Them Aggressivenely is what you told your Mom it meant)  that he supplied was sorely missing from the Dawgs attitude after he left.  he was the Cincinnati Bengals #1 pick.  A broken neck stopped his pro career.

#10 Mike "Moonpie" Wilson
"Moonpie" was unheralded when he signed with UGA from Johnson High School in Gainesville.  Heplayed right tackle on the 1976 Champs as they were a running team. Played on the goal-line defense. Consensus All-American. Played in Canada one year. Played till he got tired of it. he was in the NFL fourteen years for the Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks. UNDERRATED. The best OL in UGA history. Signed with Canadian league and played one year with Dawg teammate "Cowboy" Joel Parrish before he went with the Bengals.

#11 George Poschner End 1940,1941,1942 Jersey #41
Because he is tougher than any Rambo movie, or any body you might have put at #11 from anywhere.
Here is a long entry on a little known story about the toughest Bulldog ever.
From the George Poschner entry in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame -
"Poschner was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and came to the University of Georgia as a result of the efforts of his good friend, Frank Sinkwich. When Sinkwich was recruited by Georgia, he accepted the scholarship on the condition that Poschner would be granted a scholarship as well. Poschner earned All-America honors in 1942, and was selected in the eighth round of the 1943 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.[4] The most celebrated event in Poschner's collegiate career came when he caught two fourth-quarter passes from Sinkwich in a 21-10 win over Alabama in 1942.
Military service
Poschner served in the United States Army in World War II, where he received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Distinguished Service Cross. On January 8, 1945, Poschner participated as a lieutenant in the Battle of the Bulge. While advancing into enemy territory, he was severely injured by machine-gun fire and did not receive medical treatment until two days later [He was laying in the bloody snow unattended]. Poschner lost both legs and several fingers as a result of his injuries. A New York Times report on Poschner's injuries observed, "His brilliant pass receiving added much to the reputation of All-America Frank Sinkwich, also of Youngstown, as a forward passer". The news report added that "Poschner's mother advised Coach Wally Butts of her son's case".
Poschner was admired as much for his military valor and buoyant optimism as he was for his impressive achievements on the gridiron. In 1982, his former teammate, Frank Sinkwich, lauded him at a testimonial dinner held at Youngstown's Croatian Home. "Knowing George has made me stronger all my life", Sinkwich said.
In his letter nominating Poschner to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, Sinkwich wrote: "In my opinion, George Poschner is perhaps the greatest competitor of all time, both on and off the field. I have never known anyone with more courage on the football or the battlefield". Poschner was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1982, and the Orange Bowl Hall of Honor in 1985.

11-A Hines Ward 1994,1995,1996,1997 Jersey #19
From " - Ward still plays with chip on his shoulder - Feb 1, 2010". Yahoo!
 Retired Feb 1, 2012:     As a wide receiver for the University of Georgia Bulldogs (1994–1997), Ward's 149 career receptions for 1,965 yards placed him second in team history. He also played tailback and totaled 3,870 all-purpose yards, second only to Herschel Walker in Bulldogs history. In 1996, Hines had 52 receptions for 900 yards, and also ran 26 times for 170 yards. In 1997, Hines hauled in 55 passes and scored six TDs, getting All-SEC honors in the process. Ward played some quarterback his sophomore year, and holds Georgia bowl records for Pass Attempts, Pass Completions, and Passing Yards in the 1995 Peach Bowl in which he completed 31 of 59 passes for 413 yards.
4× Pro Bowl selection (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
3× 2nd Team All-Pro selection (2002, 2003, 2004)
2× Super Bowl Champion (XL, XLIII)
Super Bowl MVP (XL)
3× Steelers MVP (2002, 2003, 2005)
Steelers Career Records for Receptions, Receiving Yards, & Receiving TDs"
When he was a Steeler he made the Raven defense scared of his lethal de-cleating blocks.
Sorry for this late edition- I almost left this all time great off.

Please send your THOUGHT out comments.
* Note-Georgia has had many great offensive linemen, DB's and TE's. Surprised by how few great [not just favorite] QB's and LB's UGA has had in it's long football history. We are talking Best.
I hated to leave off -OL Edgar Chandler, Royce Smith, Guy McIntyre, Mack Guest and John Kasey senior.
QB's Andy Johnson and Preston Ridlehuber, Buck Belue, David Greene [he was probably my #13].   RB's Glenn Harrison, Willie McClendon [way underrated], Garrison Hearst (great stats but always hurt it seemed).
DL Jimmy Payne, Eddie "Meat Clever" Weaver. Steve Greer.
DB's Jeff Sanchez
LB's Chip Wisdom and Ben Zambiasi, Knox Culpepper, Rickey McBride, and short lived sensation Sylvester "The Sacker" Boler.
WR's Andre Hastings, Charles Whittemore, TE Dennis Hughes, Pat Hodgson.

Kickers- Bobby Etter, Alan Leavitt, Rex Robinson, Kevin Butler.
Punters- "Spike" Jones, Chris Carpenter, Drew Butler.

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