ESPN.com spent the past week trotting out its Simply Saturday series, a countdown of the 50 greatest college players who didn’t go on to become great NFL players.
Ohio State’s Archie Griffin topped the list, which was heavy on names from Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oklahoma and FSU. Strangely, only five SEC players were included, and three of them were from Auburn.
No Georgia Bulldogs made the list, possibly because many of UGA’s best-known players have gone on to long and occasionally even stellar careers in pro football. But ESPN SEC blogger Chris Low did include a couple of Bulldog defensive legends on his own Simply Saturday list: David Pollack, whose NFL career was ended prematurely by a neck injury, and Scott Woerner, who played mainly in the USFL after a brief stint in the NFL.
I’m not sure it’s really fair for a list of Simply Saturday stars to include players like Pollack or running back Robert Edwards, who might well have had hugely successful NFL careers had they not fallen victim to injuries, but there are quite a few other Bulldogs who achieved All-America status in college and yet didn’t make much of a name in the NFL.
Like linemen Ray Rissmiller, George Patton and Joel Parrish, for instance. And defensive backs Jeff Sanchez, Bill Krug and, more recently, Greg Blue, who’s been playing in Canada. And All-America running back Tim Worley, who showed promise as an NFL rookie but saw his career fall off quickly amid injuries and suspensions.
And then there are the Dawgs who didn’t make the All-America lists but won plenty of college plaudits that didn’t translate into NFL success, like All-SEC running backs Willie McClendon and Musa Smith, and quarterbacks Eric Zeier and David Greene.
In fact, you can make a good case that Greenie really should have been included in ESPN’s Simply Saturday Top 50, since he finished at UGA as the then all-time winningest college football quarterback but never got to play in a regular season game during his brief career as an NFL backup. If that’s not Simply Saturday material, what is?
Feel free to share your thoughts on any other Dogs who ought to make a list of Simply Saturday legends.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg