UGA’s greatest athletes?

The Gym Dogs’ Courtney Kupets is easily the most honored and winningest collegiate gymnast ever. She is the only gymnast ever to win the all-around and every individual event in NCAA competition, and is the all-time NCAA leader with nine individual championships. She also won a silver team medal and an individual bronze at the 2004 Olympics.

So does she belong on a list of the five greatest UGA athletes ever?

Which of these UGA sports has the best all-around athletes?

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A Junkyard Blawg commenter going by the name UGADawg83 thinks so, posting Monday after Kupets was named the top female college athlete of the year that she is “easily among the top five greatest athletes ever” at UGA. Joining Kupets in that Dog fan’s Top 5 were Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker, basketball “Human Highlight Reel” Dominique Wilkins, football and baseball star Charley Trippi and football star David Pollack.

I like the concept, though I’d argue the members of that list.

Walker, who was also a track star at UGA, is a given. I’d also have Trippi, who was the Heisman runner-up and Maxwell Award winner as the best college football player, on the list.

Beyond that, it gets tough. Wilkins certainly went on to be a dominating figure in the NBA after his career at UGA, but should he beat out Trippi’s teammate Frank Sinkwich, another two-sport star and Heisman Trophy winner, on the shortlist of greatest UGA athletes?

UGA sports legend Dan Magill, who probably knows more about UGA athletics than anyone, has written in the past that he considers “Long” John Carson, UGA’s last four-letter athlete, one of the greatest all-around Bulldogs. Carson was an all-America end on the 1953 football team, leading the nation in receiving; an all-American in golf; played forward in basketball; and was a first-baseman in baseball. 

What about basketball star Teresa Edwards, who went on to become a four-time Olympian? Or Andy Johnson, a terrific all-around athlete who starred in football and baseball at UGA and went on to the NFL?

And then there’s Champ Bailey, an absolute iron man who played both defense and offense for UGA in football long after the days of the two-way player were over, and who also was on the track team.

I think if I had to cut the list down to five, it would include Walker, Trippi, Wilkins, Bailey and … Kupets. 

You don’t think a female gymnast belongs on such a list? Maybe you’ve never heard about the Challenge of the Champions three years ago where Kupets and her teammates bested the Georgia football team in push-ups, pull-ups, leg lifts … everything except sprints.  

Which brings me to our Question of the Day: Which of these UGA sports has the best all-around athletes: football, basketball or gymastics? Feel free to comment, vote in the poll or do both.

162 comments Add your comment

Ramblin Rick

June 23rd, 2009
7:15 am

Quincy Cater, Jasper Sanks, Travis Stroud, Jon England.

fear the triple option mutts

Kupets...

June 23rd, 2009
8:05 am

…all the way – she overcame TWO torn achilles tendons to still reach the pinnacle in her sport and LEAD the team in everything. And it pains me to write that, ’cause Herschel is as near an immortal in UGA sports and athleticism as one could be. As quoted in Sports Illustrated back in 1980 when asked if he got tired having to carry the ball 30 times a game and get pounded, he replied “No sir, ball ain’t heavy”! And before that he said, as quoted in the title of the article “My body is like an Army”!

Just ask that Clemson guy who dreamed of trying to tackle him, and after the game, after Herschel had run right over the guy, Herschel just said, “I’m glad I could help make his dream come true.”

Robert

June 23rd, 2009
8:07 am

Ramblin Rick,

Fear armed robbers on your concrete campus.

MrDawg

June 23rd, 2009
8:29 am

Two words. Charles Grant.

BG

June 23rd, 2009
8:39 am

UGA owns tech!!!!!!!!

Nut Licker

June 23rd, 2009
8:39 am

I would have to say it is the 5 foot 11 inch corner back from FLA that is coming to GA next spring. Oh wait, he sould be at least 6 foot according to all the uga coaches that post comments here. Sorry I won’t say he will be the best then. My bad. I go with Dominique then.

Nut Licker

June 23rd, 2009
8:41 am

Great insight there BG. Way to answer the question that was asked. I guess comprehending english is hard for you.

82dawg

June 23rd, 2009
8:58 am

Its pretty much apples and oranges, but probably gymnastics has the best all-around athletes. And most of them are pretty cute!!

Voice of Reason

June 23rd, 2009
8:59 am

Why does everything have to come back to Georgia- Georgia Tech? This article has nothing to do with Tech. This is not about Ryan Ayers Nut Licker, go comment on that story.

I think it that Kupets should definitely be in that list. Anyone who thinks gymnasts aren’t amazing athletes need to try and do the things they do. I would like to think Andy Johnson would bed included in at least the top-10, maybe not top 5.

The Mole

June 23rd, 2009
9:01 am

Anthony Flanagan

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 23rd, 2009
9:02 am

That’s easy, Reggie Ball.

Now, which one of you fleabags are trying to rob our students?

Hands Down

June 23rd, 2009
9:10 am

Reggie Ball was the greatest player UGA ever had…”lets throw the ball away on 4th and 7!”…what a masterful idea!

GO DAWGS!

The Joke by Coke

June 23rd, 2009
9:14 am

Tech fans are amazingly immature. Anyway, I like the list that Bill threw out. But what about Fran Tarkenton? Pollack shouldnt be on it, but maybe DJ should.

gatorman770

June 23rd, 2009
9:16 am

Number one would be Hershal who is to UGA history/lore as Tebow will be to the Gators after this year if he goes on to a decent NFL career as Hershal did. Dominique would be next. I was too young during the Trippi and Sinkwich years to rate them. That said, I’d have to put Hines Ward ahead of David Pollack if one considers what they did during their collegiate years and what they did after.
Lady dawg’s greatest would have to be Teresa Edwards for now. Now if Kupets goes on to win Gold in the next Olympics she could move ahead.

Reality Check...

June 23rd, 2009
9:16 am

Ramble quit looking at the radar screen… It’s going to make you delusional…Oh wait it has already happened. The best was Mr. Walker period…

PACK OF SMOKES

June 23rd, 2009
9:16 am

The athletes that play sports at all colleges are doing what they can to become the best and overcome all the obstacles in they’re way.My old man played college ball up north and loves what he did to change the way the sport is played today.All athletes need our support and they all will do what they can to change our lives.

Frank

June 23rd, 2009
9:18 am

Hines Ward was the best athlete, other than Herschel, to ever wear the rad and black.

Nothinh But The Truth

June 23rd, 2009
9:19 am

Football has the best all-around athletes, but the gym dogs are HOT!

ga dawg

June 23rd, 2009
9:19 am

Hines Ward was the best all around athelete to play at Georgia.

PACK OF SMOKES

June 23rd, 2009
9:20 am

Hines played college ball for georgia when we wanted him the most.Good linebacker and miss him all the time.

Burkester

June 23rd, 2009
9:21 am

Herschel Walker is definitely on my list. GA legends = Herschel Walker. Heisman Trophy winner, college football hall of fame, freshman rushing record. need I say more? legendary!!

superDawg

June 23rd, 2009
9:32 am

I like all of them.GO DAWGS!!!

Big 12 Rules

June 23rd, 2009
9:34 am

Read’em and weep UGA fans: http://espn.go.com/college-football/

You’ll be facing a OKSt team that averaged 400+ yards of offense in 2008, ALL of the returning Offensive Stars from 2008,….AND…has a new defensive coordinator.

Count on it. OKST is going to pound UGA.

Ramblin Rick

June 23rd, 2009
9:36 am

Did Herschel Talker ever get out of those remedial courses at UGA? I hear technically he is still a freshman.

PAUL JOHNSON: undefeated in Athens!

superDawg

June 23rd, 2009
9:37 am

Buzzy Rosenberg Dooly said he was the strongest player pound for pound he had ever seen.

MH

June 23rd, 2009
9:37 am

Florida owns Georgia.

Birmingham Bulldog

June 23rd, 2009
9:38 am

You correctly noted Teresa Edwards as one of the all-time UGA greats. However, you actually short-changed Teresa one Olympics! She was a 5-time member of the USA Olympic team, not 4 (1984, ‘88, ‘92, ‘96 and 2000)…a feat unmatched by any other USA basketball Olympian!

Otto

June 23rd, 2009
9:39 am

It only comes back to Tech in the rare years they win.

They’re all great Dogs. The older UGA athletes often do not get the credit they deserve because fans do not remember them or never saw them in competition.

Wilkins higher than Sinkwich? I never saw Sinkwich play but those teams in the 40s were great. The ‘42 and ‘46 teams were considered national championship material depending on which ranking system you look at.

Mobile Dawg

June 23rd, 2009
9:40 am

Big 12, that’s why we play’em on the field. If this team, and staff, overlooks OKST, shame on them. My opinion is that they have something to prove this year, especially the “D”. I hope so, they have the personnel and weapons to compete with anyone in the Country.

The only thing I can count on is to see you disappear if the Pokes lose.

coachdawg 2000

June 23rd, 2009
9:41 am

Ramblin Rick’s mom must be quite an athlete for birthing a jack a#*.

Otto

June 23rd, 2009
9:42 am

Big 12 rules? Is this pound the SEC like OU vs Fl or pound in TxTech vs Ole Miss or maybe go back in history Bama vs Tx Tech ‘06 cotton bowl?

superDawg

June 23rd, 2009
9:44 am

MH stands for queen of the gayturs.Florida is still behind in the overall W-L column.LINDSEY SCOTT.

Ty Cobb

June 23rd, 2009
9:45 am

Which of Herschel’s 18 personalities was the best athlete ???????\

COBB IS BASEBALL!

Huh?

June 23rd, 2009
9:45 am

Bill, I wish our defense had half the balls of our female gymnasts. True story. That’s right, I said it. They got no heart. Lets see if they can prove me wrong in ‘09.

Mangum

June 23rd, 2009
9:45 am

Hey Ramblin Rick…

MARK RICHT: undefeated in Atlanta!

Nothing But The Truth

June 23rd, 2009
9:46 am

I think I saw rambling rick running off with a freshmans bookbag across the highway the other night. I do love Paul Johnson, but UGA owns Tech in football.

Ramblin Rick

June 23rd, 2009
9:46 am

hey fleabag mangum – quit living in the past. Its 2009… PAUL JOHNSON time!

R.I.P. mutts

reservoirDAWG

June 23rd, 2009
9:47 am

Champ Bailey? It was also nice watching Boss get big air blocking field goals. Herschel was the best though.

Huh?

June 23rd, 2009
9:53 am

If you’re going to throw Champ Bailey and David Pollack’s names out there I think you also have to mention Hines Ward.

Mangum

June 23rd, 2009
9:59 am

Ramblin Rick, facts are facts. It’s not my fault that you can’t handle the truth.

It’s funny how one Tech win and all of a sudden they think they own us.

Gen Neyland

June 23rd, 2009
10:02 am

The greatest..? Depends on the perception of a given era. To me, I’d say the unborn 6 Star Recruit and the guy that puts on the Hairy Dawg suit in a Georgia September heatwave…

Pete Orr

June 23rd, 2009
10:03 am

Gordon Ely-Kelso is by far the best athlete!

Mikey

June 23rd, 2009
10:04 am

That Moreno kid wasn’t all that bad either.

DirtyDawg

June 23rd, 2009
10:04 am

Max Mayo…won the Intramural Best Overall Athlete award several years running back in the mid-late 60’s. Best fast-pitch softball pitcher since the King and His Court. You got an intramural sport, Max was the best athlete on the field/court/diamond/alley/you name it…and coached track in his spare time.

Crank Dat Soulja Boy Noshow Moreno

June 23rd, 2009
10:06 am

MATT STAFFORD! His performance against Florida and Alabama last year was amazing!

coachdawg 2000

June 23rd, 2009
10:06 am

I think that Kirby Smart deserves some recognition. It’s got to be hard to miss that many tackles without accidentally causing someone to fall down.(see the 1998 Tech game-I’ve seen fog show more fortitude!).

Reality Check

June 23rd, 2009
10:07 am

BIG 12 Rules – Could you please tell us what the Big 12 bowl record was for 2008? Furthermore, could you tell us what your bowl record was against the SEC in 2008?

Burkester

June 23rd, 2009
10:09 am

Cobb, you need to stop bashing Walker (not Talker!). The man’s a legend. Are you starring in a poker tournament in the Bahamas?

coachdawg 2000

June 23rd, 2009
10:10 am

The Big 12 doesn’t exist. It’s the cows and sonners and their 10 step children. i’m a boy! i’m 36!

PACK OF SMOKES

June 23rd, 2009
10:11 am

The way kids paly ball these days is what i was talking about man