The news this week that Jake Scott and Bill Stanfill will be inducted into the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll is a welcome return to the spotlight for two players who not only rank among UGA’s storied All-Americans, but are two of my all-time favorite Bulldogs defenders.
Leading the SEC in interceptions and punt returns in his two years playing for the Dogs in the late ’60s before going pro, the tremendously exciting Scott was a legend in Athens as well for his off-field exploits, which included riding a motorcycle over the Coliseum roof. And on a personal note, the product of the Athens YMCA’s football program was one of the guys running the movie projector when they showed us the infamous “Signal 30″ film in the driver’s ed class I took at UGA in the summer of 1968.
And teammate Stanfill, of course, is UGA’s only winner of the Outland Trophy, signifying the nation’s most outstanding lineman. More importantly, he terrorized Gators quarterback Steve Spurrier in the Dogs’ 1966 victory in Jacksonville.
Thinking about Scott and Stanfill reminded me of other favorite defensive players over the years, starting with Lynn Hughes, the quarterback who became an All-American at safety in the early Vince Dooley years (and whose Atlanta Journal subscription I delivered when he lived at the Town House apartments on Lumpkin Street in Athens).
Other favorites include cornerback Scott Woerner, who set the school record for punt return yards and is second to only Scott for interception return yards; rover Terry Hoage, who placed fifth in the Heisman voting (at the time the highest finish ever for a defensive back); Richard Tardits, the French rugby player who held UGA’s career sack record for years with 29; iron-man two-way player Champ Bailey, who was in for more than 1,000 plays in the 1998 season, including more than 100 in seven different games, and won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s best defender; and everyone’s favorite human version of the Energizer Bunny, David Pollack, whose 36 quarterback sacks broke Tardits’ record.
There’ve been many other great defensive players at Georgia, of course, but these are the ones that I think of most fondly.
Who are your favorite Dawg defenders?