Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My top five All-Time UGA Players.......


Someone asked me the other day who were my top five all-time favorite players from UGA. I had never thought about it until then, but my all time favorite player has to be Hershel Walker. I believe that he is one of the greatest players to ever play college football. I did not know much about Hershel Walker until I came to UGA, but everyone was always talking about Hershel Walker. I watched his highlights for the first time during my official visit to UGA. I was amazed to see how he ran over people. I had never seen a running back like that before. He was also the second player in school history to win the Heisman Trophy.

My second favorite UGA player of all-time greatest is Knowshown Moreno. I’m not being biased just because I played three years with him, but he is the best running back I have ever played with. In 2005 when he came to the UGA camp, he was the best back at the camp. I did not know he would make an impact like the way he did, but he was a beast the first day he put pads on! In 2006 fall camp, I gave him a solid hit to welcome him to college football. But he took it all in stride. In the past three years, I've seen him do some amazing things. During every Thursday practice, he would practice in a weight vest and run around like he had nothing on. I've seen him do 360’s on the basketball court and I've seen him run over defensive lineman. Knowshown is a freak of nature. He can make a 2 yard run look amazing. The things he does on the field are awesome he will probably go down as one the greatest athletes to play at UGA.

My third all-time favorite Bulldog is David Pollack- another freak of nature. I consider him to be the best defensive end to play college football. He was a three time All-American. He played the game with so much emotion and passion. His motor would never stop and he always played 100% on every snap. When I first wore the “G” I wanted to mimic David Pollack. I wanted to study him and become a great player like him.

My fourth all-time favorite Bulldogs is Champ Bailey. He is the only player in UGA history to play over a 100 snaps in one game. He wasn't just a corner back at Georgia but he also was a slot receiver, and a kick-off and punt returner. I really did not see a lot of Bailey’s games in college but I watch him a lot in the NFL.

My fifth all-time favorite Bulldog was a very hard choice. I did not know who to choose because there have been so many great players to come through this program. So, I decided to limit myself to the players that I’ve played with. To me, the fifth greatest player is Greg Blue. I got the opportunity to play with Greg Blue my freshman year. I saw him run through people. In practice, the coach would not let him tackle because they feared he would hurt someone. I remember my first time seeing him hit somebody in a game. It was in 2005 against Boise State. When he stopped the guy in his tracks, the crowd screamed his name “Blueee!” Another one of his greatest hits was against Vandy. He caught the guy in mid air and power-bombed him to the ground. Greg Blue was never afraid of contact. He said that is what separates you from all of the other players.
It was hard to come up with just five players because UGA has had hundreds of athletes who could have made this list. By choosing the five that I did, I by no means want to take anything away from any of the other athletes who have worn the “G”. For those of you who follow my blog, please feel free to comment on who your favorite Bulldog of all-time is and why…and don’t feel like you have to limit it to football. We’re all a part of Bulldog Nation!

35 comments:

  1. JT Wall is a personal favorite. Great block like Moose Johnston of the Cowboys.

    Veron Haynes is another fave.

    Look up Garrison Hearst's numbers from 1992. All time Dawg great.

    Smitty

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  2. Hines Ward's gotta be up there. Shockley's 5th year was pretty cool, too. Great blog.

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  3. Great idea for a post, Jeff. My favorite all-time Dawg is already on your list (Pollack), and for much of the same reasons you like him. I loved his passion, his tenacity, and his pure desire to hit and hit hard. That game against South Carolina where he sacked the QB, stripped the ball, and caught it as it fell for a TD was honestly one of the best plays I've ever seen. Of the ones (and there are many) not on your list, I really liked Thomas Davis. He just seemed to get a lot of pleasure out of knocking the sense out of players, and that's what I love to see on the Georgia defense. Love your blog, and GO DAWGS!

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  4. Top 5

    Herschel Walker - nuff said

    Garrison Hearst - at the time had broken all kinds of SEC records. Third in Heisman

    Boss Bailey - had like a 89 1/2 inch vertical. Epitome of FREAK

    David Pollack - like you said, non-stop motor and the heart of a lion. A good dude too.

    Sean Jones - Hard hitter/smooth stride/nice hands/good hips. Prototype safety. DGD.

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  5. Jake Scott was the baddest SOB to ever put on the red and black. He played before our time, but he's a living legend, and a Super Bowl MVP.

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  6. 1. Hershel Walker
    2. David Pollack
    3. David Greene
    4. Hines Ward
    5. Knowshon Moreno

    Jeff, I have to follow up with this. UGA should be very proud to have a student athlete like you representing the University! You are a smart young man that is not afraid to talk about your faith in God and young kids need role models like yourself to look up to. YOU are by far MY favorite Dawg of the 09’ season! Keep up the great work and Go Dawgs!

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  7. Hines Ward - consummate team player, amazing athlete and a hell of a Dawg.

    David Pollack - he never, ever quit and guys played with him and because of him. A great leader and a great guy on and off the field.

    Herschel Walker - He was the first football player I ever knew about. I was 5-6 years old when I saw him play live and in person at Sanford in the early 80's. You can't ever forget seeing such a pure player do his thang between the hedges.

    Scott Woerner - In the '81 Sugar Bowl, he intercepted Notre Dame's QB in the final minutes of the game and sealed our National Championship. He still holds return records at UGA: the most kickoff return yards (190) in a single game (vs. Kentucky, 1977). He also holds the most punt return yards (488) in a season (1980). Second only to Jake Scott for career interception return yards (Scott has 315, Woerner 303). He's out of Jonesboro, GA where I grew up - so I'm biased.

    I can't pick a 5th - so many other great Dawgs to choose from...

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  8. 1) Herschel
    2) David Pollack
    3) DJ Shockley
    4) Champ Bailey
    5) Thomas Davis

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  9. 1) Herschel
    2) David Pollack
    3) DJ Shockley
    4) Champ Bailey
    5) Thomas Davis

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  10. There are a lot of greats. Personal favorites?

    Robert Edwards: watching him run was like watching water flow he was so smooth.

    Will Witherspoon: Having played linebacker myself, I really appreciated watching his great blend of athletic talent and natural instincts. In particular, the pass-knockdown he made on an LSU two-point conversion to preserve a win comes to mind.

    Rennie Curran: for much the same reasons as 'Spoon.

    As far as the non-football sports go, my wife got me watching the Gym Dogs, and they are some amazing athletes themselves. Kim Arnold, Cory Fritzinger, Courtney Kupets all come to mind.

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  11. DJ Shockley for me.

    Talk about a guy who epitomized 'team > me'. He had a rocket arm, roller skates for feet, and an infectious smile and attitude that the other guys gravitated towards. The Boise State game remains the biggest lovefest between a UGA home crowd and one player I've ever seen.

    I also shared a class with DJ, and he was as nice and humble and funny as they came. Just a cool cat.

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  12. Well im only a soph at UGA so im not old enough to have watched Hearst, Ward or some of the earlier greats.. but the 5 favorite i have ever seen...

    1.) Shockley- Waiting your turn for 4 years than going out with a bang like he did puts him at the top of my list

    2.) Pollack- Non stop motor and one of the greatest plays ive ever seen against South Car

    3.)CURRAN- I love this guy. Me and him went to the same high school togther and i remember having to go against him in team sports class... im a 5'5 150 white kid... i guess you can think who won that one

    4.) Odell Thurman- Freak of nature i remember his 100 yard interception against auburn

    5.) AJ GREEN- i have never seen a FR WR be that big of a threat right away

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  13. Hines Ward is awesome! My fave!!

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  14. Favorite all time Dawg:
    Reggie 'count to four' Ball

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  15. Hershel Walker
    David Pollack
    Charlie Trippi
    Boss Bailey
    David Greene

    Jeff - The greatest Bulldogs were all champions. When we "knocked the lid off the program" in '02, I loved sitting in the west end zone student section and watching Boss elevate into the sky to block all those kicks. He battled a lot of injuries, but in '02 he was a huge part of our championship run. I'mway to young to have ever seen Trippi play, but he is a legend in Athens.

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  16. Hey Jeff,

    Great blog! I don't know if anyone remembers the running back Michael Cooper, but I really liked him. Shockley was awesome. Boss Bailey, Greg Blue, Sean Jones, Thomas Davis, Odell Thurman. Lots of good defenders.

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  17. Gotta get Hines Ward up there somewhere. And to stretch it outside of football, what Ryan Peisel and Gordon Beckham did for the Georgia baseball program was monumental.

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  18. Great list Jeff: There is one guy who stands out to me: Herschel was absolutely awesome and he put up the numbers to get your rating, but the guy I'd choose first if I was picking my team played at UGA: He excelled at QB, WR, RB, ran back kicks & punts, special teams coverage, plus could easily have played cornerback, safety, or linebacker. He was ALWAYS the toughest, most focused guy on the field back in the day. He could come out tomorrow and start for UGA at any of the positions listed above. I think he is the definition of a great Dawg:
    Mr. Hines Ward. Oh yes, he was a LEADER too!

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  19. interesting ...no M Stafford on anyone's list ...

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  20. I'm so glad you put Greg Blue on your list. I LOVED watching him play while I was in school. I remember one of the first games I went to my freshmen year and I was really unfamiliar with the players' names. When Greg Blue hit someone and everyone yelled out "Bluuue" I thought they were booing him! It took me a little while to figure out they were cheering him on. Anyways he was a BEAST. My top 5 would be (and this is biased since I just graduated in May):

    1. Herschel Walker
    2. David Greene
    3. Rennie Curran
    4. Knowshon Moreno
    5. AJ Green

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  21. Another great post to get everyone thinking! Though I think your choices are pretty good - here are mine:
    David Greene-the play fake master
    Garrison Hearst-great athlete- I had class with him and he was very funny and told jokes
    Boss Bailey-loved to watch him jump to try and block kicks
    David Pollack - Probably my all time favorite-first UGA jersey I ever bought for myself was his number
    and of course Herschel Walker

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  22. My favorite part of this post:

    > I got the opportunity to play with
    > Greg Blue my freshman year. I saw
    > him run through people. In practice,
    > the coach would not let him tackle
    > because they feared he would hurt
    > someone.

    Wow. I never knew that. Makes sense though - that guy was a ferocious hitter.


    -Michael
    Muckbeast - Game Design and Online Worlds
    http://www.muckbeast.com

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  23. Reggie 'count-to-four' Ball

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  24. I sure am glad someone brought up Terry Hoague. Simply one of the best to play at UGA. Meat Clever Weaver wasn't too bad either.

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  25. Well, Hershel is easy, but it is also easy to forget how much of a man amongst boys he really was ... it was truly exciting to come to Sanford because you knew that Hershel might break one on every single play. You didn't leave the stadium early back then, I can tell you.

    I wanted to talk about Terry Hogue ... he was a difference maker, in the truest sense of the phrase. I've never seen a football player win games through the strength of his will rather than his talent, but Hogue was that kind of guy. I can recall watching him come off the field with bits and pieces of his gear falling off ... it was literally as if he left part of himself on the field every time he went out there. It was a privilege to get to watch him play the game.

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  26. 1. Joe Cox
    2. Jeff Owens
    3. AJ Green
    4. Richard Samuel
    5. Rennie Curran

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  27. I gotta do five for offense and five for defense to make it fair.

    Offense
    1. Herschel
    2. Garrison Hurst
    3. Hines Ward
    4. Eric Zier
    5. David Greene

    Defense
    1. Terry Hoage
    2. David Pollack
    3. Champ Bailey
    4. Scott Woerner
    5. Greg (Muddy) Waters

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  28. Top 5 UGA Athlete's of All time

    1. Herschel Walker (football)
    2. Dominique Wilkins (basketball)
    3. Hines Ward (football)
    4. Champ Bailey (football)
    5. Kara Lynn Joyce (swimming)

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  29. great idea for a post. most of my favorites have been named, but I would like to add one player I really enjoyed watching.
    Richard Tardits.
    Richard came to UGA from France and had never played football. In his first game, he was rotating off the field and didn't have time to get to our sideline. He just ran off the field onto the visitors side and waited for the next play to end. Of course we got a penalty for this infraction, but he didn't know you had to come off on your own side of the field.
    Richard was known as les sack. He set the Bulldog record for sacks in his career, which was finally broken by Pollack. He always played really hard and kept a smile on his face like the game was the most fun he ever had. DGD

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  30. 1. Hines Ward - was anyone ever more of a team player?
    2. David Green - all-time winningest college QB; nuff said.
    3. Kevin Butler - broke the mold on kickers.
    4. David Pollack - everyone has already said why.
    5. Herschel. The only reason he's down this far on my list is he is the only one I never saw play in person.

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  31. Jeff, I was at that road game against Vandy in '05 when Blue lifted that joker up in the air and body slammed him. It is still one of my all time favorite plays. I'm glad you enjoyed that as much as I did.

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  32. Sticking with the guys I actually saw play and in no paticular order.

    Hines "Mr. Everything" Ward
    DJ "epitome of team" Shockley
    David "non-stop" Pollack
    David "Mr. Win" Greene
    Champ "im about to take this tunnel screen to the house" Bailey

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  33. I'm only 12 years old, but I follow your blog, Jeff. I obviously didn't see Herschel or Hines, so I'll stick to who I've seen play.

    1. Gotta go with David Pollack. He did not stop, he just continued to go... and go and go and go and go and go.
    2. David Greene. Mr. Win. He was an absolute stud and was so calm and in control of each and every game.
    3. Jeff Owens. You're scary good. You get the crowd into it every time you hit somebody. Last year was unfortunate, but your decision to return has made fans happier than you think. You're a great player, and I hope you have another great season for us.
    4. DJ Shockley. That Boise game. I always liked the guy, but after that game, I think everyone fell in love with this guy.
    5. Reggie "BUT COLORODO GOT 5 DOWNS!!!" Ball. Still to this day, I beleive we should retire his jersey. He did more for us than guys who PLAYED for us. Amazingly terrible, Reggie Ball.

    There are plenty of other players I could have put on here (Richard Samuel, Rennie, AJ Green, Joe Cox, Carlton Thomas), but I loved the way these guys played, there was just something about them. Thanks for reading.
    Tate Smillie
    AKA
    Not Anonymous

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  34. I loved Matthew Stafford, but this is "ALL TIME FAVORITES" Doesn't mean nobody liked him.
    Tate Smillie

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