Dog fans, who’s in your dream backfield?

Time for some fun.

If you could pick and choose from throughout the ages, who’d be in your all-time Bulldogs dream backfield? Would you try to get Trippi or Sinkwich in there with Herschel? Who’d play fullback? Quarterback?

For some unknown reason, I woke up with that question in my head the other day (beats worrying about the economy), so I put it to my brothers and a few other friends. 

Particularly at running back, there’s an embarrassment of riches from which to choose. Besides the obvious No. 34, fellow Heisman winner Frank Sinkwich and his 1942 backfield mate Charley Trippi, there’s Willie McClendon, Musa Smith, Garrison Hearst, Kevin McLee, Jimmy Poulos, Rodney Hampton, Lars Tate, Terrell Davis, Glynn Harrison, Robert Edwards, Tim Worley and the recently departed Knowshon Moreno, just to rattle off a few.  

Stellar fullbacks available include Bill Hartman (daddy of the former TV sports anchor, longtime assistant coach and Bulldog Club scholarship fund namesake), Theron Sapp (the famed “Drought Breaker” and the fourth player to have his jersey number retired, along with Herschel Walker, Sinkwich and Trippi), Ronnie “Bull” Jenkins, Brad Johnson, Keith Henderson, Mack Strong, Verron Haynes and recent Dog Brannan Southerland.

Then there are the wingbacks, flankers and others playing a position that is now more receiver but originally was one of the halfbacks, including the great Jimmy Orr, Horace King, Gene Washington, Andre Hastings, Brice Hunter, Hines Ward (who was technically a split end after playing tailback and quarterback but often lined up in the slot and still sometimes ran the ball), Terrence Edwards (who went back and forth from split end to flanker), Mohamed Massaquoi (likewise) and current star flanker A.J. Green.

Quarterbacks? Again, lots to choose from, depending on whether you want primarily a running attack (a natural inclination with those tailbacks), a passing attack or something more balanced like Mark Richt employs. Among your many choices: Johnny Rauch, Zeke Bratkowski, Fran Tarkenton, Larry Rakestraw, Andy Johnson, Matt Robinson, Ray Goff, Buck Belue, Eric Zeier, Mike Bobo, David Greene, D.J. Shockley and Maria Sharapova’s fave, Matthew Stafford.

So, who to choose? 

My brother Jonathan, a true believer in the running game, said he would “run the wishbone with Herschel, Knowshon and Verron Haynes.” 

My other brother, Tim, who thinks outside the box, would go back to the future by running the old wing-T offense (precursor to today’s “wildcat”) with Sinkwich taking the snaps at tailback (technically the quarterback was mostly used for blocking in that offense), Herschel at the other running back position and Trippi or Moreno at wingback. This actually would be a pretty balanced offense since “Flatfoot Frankie” threw for 2,331 yards and rushed for 2,271 yards during his three-year career, scoring 60 touchdowns — 30 rushing and 30 passing. Tim says if he needed a blocking fullback, he’d use the junior-year Southerland, and if Sinkwich were in a passing mode, “I’d have him throw to Hines and A.J.”

Tim’s buddy Van would run a more traditional Dooley-style offense with Herschel at tailback, “Pulpwood” Smith at fullback and Poulos as the other running back. His QB would be Andy Johnson, backed by David Greene.

My high school classmate Johnny, who actually favors defensive players, limited his choices to those he saw play but couldn’t limit himself to just four backs in his backfield. Among his choices: tailbacks Glynn Harrison (”when he was given the ball, Gliding Glynn did more with it than most other running backs at UGA”) and Garrison Hearst (”work horse with results”); fullbacks Ronnie Stewart from the 1981 team (”who do you think opened up those holes?”), Keith Henderson, Haynes and Southerland; and among his quarterbacks was his “personal favorite,” Andy Johnson (one of our Athens High School classmates). Moreno, Johnny said, “left the Dawgs too early to make the dream team.”

OK, now to my own dream backfield. 

I’d alternate between the I-formation and more or less a pro set and, of course, Herschel would be a given at tailback. To spell him, I’d have Garrison Hearst, who ranks right behind Herschel in most of the Dogs’ rushing records. Just for fun, occasionally I’d load the backfield with both of them. My change-of-pace back would be the 5-10, 185-pound Sinkwich (especially good for halfback passes) or the 6-0, 186-pound Trippi. With the size of defensive players these days, I’d want to try to get them the ball in open space. My fullback would be Mack Strong, with Verron Haynes spelling him and giving me another running threat. And I’d have Hines Ward and Jimmy Orr rotating as my flankers. I’d cheat a bit by adopting the old Dooley two-quarterback system, with Andy Johnson directing my running attack and either Tarkenton or Greene chunking the seed, as my pal Carl used to say.

I think we’d score a lot of points.

Your turn. …

105 comments Add your comment

Rusty Gunn

May 15th, 2009
9:36 am

Bill – I like your lineup, partly for sentimental reasons – only tweek might be to figure a way to get Buck Belue in there somehow, especially when the game is on the line. Not a great runner, not a great passer but and unsurpassed WINNER. Woof.


May 15th, 2009
9:36 am

Now that is a real dream team backfield. Each and everyone of them the best UGA has had to offer.


May 15th, 2009
9:40 am

All of the above would work as long as the 2002 defense is on the other side of the ball.

My picks:

QB: Belue, Greene,Tark
FB: Haynes, Southerland, Strong
RB: Herschel, McClendon, Hearst

Right On Time

May 15th, 2009
9:58 am

I will continue to beat this dead horse:

goff HAD a dream backfield in 1992. Zier at QB, Hearst and T.Davis at TB, Strong and Harvey at FB, Mitchell at TE, Hastings and group at receiver. That is a dream team that existed and goff STILL screwed it up. And the defense had players to. What a waste.

My team:

QB: Zier, Greene
FB: Strong, I liked JT Wall
RB: Walker, Moreno, Hearst


May 15th, 2009
10:09 am

In the spread, I’d run Sinkwich at QB, Walker and Moreno at RBs, Trippi at Wingback/slot back

Val E. Dicktorian

May 15th, 2009
10:09 am

Enter your comments here

Gary Wright

May 15th, 2009
10:13 am

If I were to weave a dream backfield team, I would be Jackie DeShannon, Kelly Lee Ripa, Alyssa from the card store, and Tessa. Stella McCartney as a sub.


May 15th, 2009
10:19 am

The 1942 teams official ” Dream backfield ” included Sinkwich, Trippi, and Lamar ” Racehorse ” Davis. Trust me, it did not get any better than that. I will add Herschel in there for good measure.


May 15th, 2009
10:22 am

Right on Time I agree. Coach Kines did not get to Athens in time.


May 15th, 2009
10:35 am

Buck Belue? I don’t know if I’d add him. It’s like that old joke. How many Buck Belue’s does it take to change a light bulb? Zero. He’ll just give it to Herschel and let him do all the work! Very good idea for an article though. Go Dawgs

C tha 1

May 15th, 2009
10:40 am

It’s funny how Hershel and Hearst are everyone’s favorite runningbacks at UGA . . . and rightfully so. But Terrell Davis who probably won’t make anybody’s all time fantasy backfield actually had the better NFL career of both of them.


May 15th, 2009
10:55 am

Belue at QB as an all time UGA GREAT! Are U kidding me???? NO WAY! I could have won in those years! all you had to do was hand it to Walker. Walker left, Walker Right, Walker up the gut…made no difference. Our D was good enough to do the rest. In 80′ he threw a short pass to Lindsey that is famous but who couldn’t make that easy throw? He was 1 completion out of 11 attempts in the Sugar Bowl where as Walker ran the ball like 40 times for 150 yards. We relied on the D and Walker to win that game like we did every game that year. I seriously doubt Belue is in the top 20 of UGA QB’s even though he was the QB for our Championship. But I certainly do enjoy his sports broadcasting and the UGA endorsements!!! Luv you Buck- just honest.


May 15th, 2009
10:56 am

Herschel in the backfield and anyone else to pitch it and block


May 15th, 2009
11:00 am

I like:

TB – Herschel (of course)
FB – “Pulpwood” Smith
QB – Eric Zeier


May 15th, 2009
11:06 am

C tha 1 don’t leave out Hampton and Worley


May 15th, 2009
11:10 am

2nd Unit –

TB – “Electron” Jackson
FB – Mack Strong
QB – Jeff Pyburn


May 15th, 2009
11:14 am

3rd Unit –

TB – Rodney Hampton
FB – Hiawatha Berry
QB – Brian Moore


May 15th, 2009
11:17 am

Call me crazy, but I think Hershel and Moreno in the backfield at the same time would be a deadly combination. I know neither is a fullback, but I’m not sure that they wouldn’t be capable, and just look at the matchup problems a defense would have stopping them. Throw in someone like Zier at quarterback, and WOW! Of course, you have to have an offensive line for any combo to work.


May 15th, 2009
11:20 am

Woops! Sorry bout the typo Herschel.

Herschel Talker

May 15th, 2009
11:23 am

Me, myself, and I. End of story. All 3 of my personalities in the backfield is all that is necessary.



May 15th, 2009
11:23 am

Lindsay Scott, a great receiver on a run oriented offense, could be up there. And what about the stellar tight ends UGA has put out?

Right On Time

May 15th, 2009
11:26 am

Hey Winder:

Hiawatha could block for Jasper Sanks. That is the “all hype” backfield.

richard cranium

May 15th, 2009
11:30 am

Want a dream backfield… look at Georgia Tech.


May 15th, 2009
11:32 am

C tha 1, you’re right about Davis and the NFL but at Georgia he was mediocre at best. I would have never bet on him to have the kind of career he had with Denver.

Dawg Fan

May 15th, 2009
11:34 am

QB – Stafford, Zeier, Tarkenton
TB – Walker, Hearst, Moreno
FB – Strong, Haynes, Henderson
WR – Ward, Green, Hastings


May 15th, 2009
11:34 am

I agree with Right On Time’s comment. How that team didn’t at least play for the Nat’l Championship is baffling.
And Moreno was a great, special back. But we have forgotten just how good good Hearst was during that ‘92 season. He should’ve won the Heisman over the Miami QB Torreta (who wasn’t even the second best player on his own team). In fact, Hearst did win several national player of the year awards.


May 15th, 2009
11:41 am

QB: Greene/ Shockley
RB: Walker/ Moreno
FB: Strong/ Southerland


May 15th, 2009
11:43 am

If you could clone him I say we just use Herschel for all three positions.

Right On Time

May 15th, 2009
11:46 am


You are correct, Toretta winning was a joke. goff cost that 92 team a shot at the first SECCG, a NC and the heisman. One of the best teams ever with the worst coach ever. Am I bitter? YES


May 15th, 2009
12:01 pm

QB: Jeff Pyburn
RB: Jasper Sanks
RB: Caleb King

Manfred P. Mann

May 15th, 2009
12:08 pm

This is so easy:

QB – Zeier. (better than Stafford and more of a leader)
RB – Walker.
RB – Hearst (a perfect complement to the bruising track star in Walker)
FB – Henderson (if you say Southerland, it’s because you’re too young to remember Henderson)

Erk Russell

May 15th, 2009
12:19 pm

QB: Tark, Zeier, Greene
FB: Sapp, Strong
RB: Walker, Hearst, Trippi

Tech Alum

May 15th, 2009
12:20 pm

QB: Captain Kirk
FB: Spock
RB: Bones


May 15th, 2009
12:22 pm

I know Trippi and Sinkwich were good but never saw them play so can’t really judge. I know this may blow some folks away because all they know is what he did as coach but Ray Goff was a pretty good quarterback if a running quarterback is your style. Too bad we couldn’t have put his running ability and Matt Robinson’s passing skills together in one package back in the 70s. John Lastinger was another good quarterback especially in leading us to the 10-9 win over Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Mike Bobo was good. So was James Jackson and Wayne Johnson. Jeff Pyburn came from one of the best high school teams Athens has ever produced and I thought he was also very good. But for my money I’d have the following starters and subs in my backfield.

QB – Green, Shockley, and Pyburn
TB – Walker, McClendon, and Harrison
FB – Strong, Stewart, and Haynes

For receiver, let me say this. I think Green, if he stays healthy and remains at Georgia all 4 years will demolish the receiving records. I’ve never seen hands like his, with perhaps the exception of Hines Ward, at Georgia. But after that, just like the other positions, we’ve been blessed to witness a lot of talent down through the years. I’m really going to miss Massaquoi. Hastings and Hunter were exceptional. Who could ever forget the end around to Appleby who hit a streaking Gene Washington for a touchdown . . . . or Belue’s pass to Lindsay Scott . . . both against Florida. Wow! Those plays still bring chills even now . . . and will forever be two of my favorites. But I’ll take the following as my favorite receivers.

WR – Ward, Scott, and Appleby

To be honest, it’s difficult to pick your favs and not leave off someone who is not as good or better. But these are the Dawgs that I’ve cheered and pulled for the most at these positions.


May 15th, 2009
12:35 pm

QB: Professor Zinkhan
FB: Jan Kemp
TB: Jim Harrick


May 15th, 2009
12:39 pm

QB – Zeier
FB – Southerland / Mack Strong / Veron Haynes
RB – Terrell Davis – (And I’d give him the blasted ball)
WR – Hines Ward


May 15th, 2009
12:41 pm

QB-Greene-not the most gifted, but won games
FB-Sapp-couldn’t be stopped on short yardage and bruising blocker
RB-Walker-most dominating college RB ever, no name you bring up comes close


May 15th, 2009
12:52 pm

Shockley, H. Walker, and Mack Strong. I know bloggers are saying Shockley? Yes Shockley! Due to the versatility he would bring with him and Herschel, they would freeze defenses.


May 15th, 2009
12:56 pm

FB- Jeremy Thomas
RB- Jeremy Thomas
TE- Jeremy Thomas
WR- Jeremy Thomas
PK- Jeremy Thomas
Def. Cord.- Jeremy Thomas
Team Physician- Jeremy Thomas
Harry Dawg- Jeremy Thomas
The Guy with the Bullhorn- Jeremy Thomas
WG(watergirl)- Jeremy Thomas
The Trumpet man in the Southwest Corner- Jeremy Thomas
Jeremy is all things to all people, he is all we needed

Hunk Erdown

May 15th, 2009
12:56 pm

I like the idea of a wishbone with

QB: Fran the man
FB: Trippi
HB: Walker and Sinkwich

I’d also mention that we’ve had some great kickers at UGA, for me it would be a close call between Butler and Robinson, but I think I’d give Rex the nod.


May 15th, 2009
1:07 pm

Stephen White could be the cheerleaders for the North and South because he is that good. He could also be backup FB to give J-man a breather


May 15th, 2009
1:08 pm

Can Widespread play at halftime?


May 15th, 2009
1:09 pm

QB: Stafford. Look- bring Zeier, Shockley, Greene, Bobo, Belue, whomever to camp in August with Stafford and Stafford starts your first game. period.
FB: Verron Haynes or Mack Strong. Probably Verron- he runs like a TB and blocks like a FB with soft hands. Pretty special.
RB: Herschel Walker or 1995 era-Robert Edwards pre-foot injury against Tennessee. Five touchdowns in his first game against USC. He would have won the heisman that year.


May 15th, 2009
1:21 pm

Roddy Jones (A-Back)
Jonathan Dwyer (B-Back)
Josh Nesbitt (Triple Option Engineer)

Dorsey Hill

May 15th, 2009
1:27 pm

Charley Trippi – QB

Herschel Walker – FB

Robert Edwards – TB (before he broke his foot vs. UT.)

Run the veer. No receivers necessary. No need for a punter either. People forget that Edwards scored 7 TD’s in less than 4 quarters in 1995. 5 in the second half vs. USC and 2 vs. UT in the first. The guy was flat unstoppable and then his foot broke… His line vs. UT: 12 carries 154 yards and 2 TD’s. The closest thing to Herschel I’ve seen at Georgia. Both hit the hole downhill and were nearly impossible to tackle. Both were as strong as anyone else of the field. Neither was getting caught from behind, ever. Put 13 in the box and we’ll still run for 500.

It would be very similar to the Tommy Frazier, Mackavika (sp) and Lawrence Phillips backfield that scored 62 on UF in the Fiesta Bowl vs. Gators. Of course our backs, save Frazier perhaps, would be better than Nebraska’s. By the fourth quarter you could run FB dives every play and average 20 yards a clip.

yellow fuzz

May 15th, 2009
1:28 pm

Good call BUZZ!

Jonathan Dwyer (B-Back)
Roddy Jones (A-Back)
Josh Nesbitt (Triple Option Engineer)

I’ll put that backfield ahead of anything Georgia has produced in the past. OR future!

Bull Dawg

May 15th, 2009
1:29 pm

I have to agree with BUZZ and yellow fuzz. Gaining 400 plus yards on the ground against us last fall was very impressive.


May 15th, 2009
1:32 pm

walker haynes and uga5

Sugar Hill Dawg

May 15th, 2009
1:32 pm

I agree,

Jonathan Dwyer (B-Back)
Roddy Jones (A-Back)
Josh Nesbitt (Triple Option Engineer)

may just be better than anything we have ever produced. And BUZZ’s A in college Calculus was a bit more impressive than the C I made in my 099 maths the first year.


May 15th, 2009
1:35 pm

Widespread Panic at the half is a must if we get this fantasy line-up.