UGA football heroes: Who’s on the All-Richt team?

Knowshon Moreno tops the running backs on the All-Richt team. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Knowshon Moreno tops the running backs on the All-Richt team. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

A dozen years into the Mark Richt era at UGA, it seems like a good time to take stock of the amazing talent that has played under him and compile an All-Richt team of the best players at each position.

It’s a fun exercise for a Bulldog fan, but tough when it comes to deciding between some of the stellar athletes who’ve played in Athens over the past 12 years. So I’ve taken advantage of the fact that most teams rotate what you might consider co-starters at some key spots to allow myself some latitude in making my choices. Basically, that’s my excuse for not narrowing each spot down to one name!

So here goes, the Junkyard Blawg All-Richt Team:

OFFENSE

RB: Knowshon Moreno and Musa Smith. Moreno, an All-American, was a lock for the first spot. I put Richt’s first tailback in the other spot. A couple of folks I solicited nominations from thought Todd Gurley already deserved a place on the list as well, and if this list was done a couple of years from now that might well be the case, but I couldn’t really justify it after just one season.

FB: Verron Haynes and Brannan Southerland. Most lists of this sort don’t break the fullbacks out separately, but I think it’s an important enough position in the Richt offense to merit inclusion.

QB: David Greene and Aaron Murray. The Lefty, as Jeff Dantzler likes to call Greenie, was an easy choice, but I debated the second spot here for quite a while and nearly gave it to Matthew Stafford, who probably is the most talented quarterback Richt has had. However, I finally went with the kid who came back for his senior year and already has the UGA records for the most passing yards and most touchdown passes in a season. D.J. Shockley gets honorable mention in that, like Greene, he won an SEC title, but he was only a starter for one year.

Is there an easier choice for the All-Richt team than David Pollack? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Is there an easier choice for the All-Richt team than David Pollack? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

WR: A.J. Green, Terrence Edwards, Fred Gibson and Mohamed Massaquoi. Since Georgia routinely uses four or five wide receivers between its split end and flanker spots, I felt justified in naming all four to my team. I’d admit, though, if I’d had to go with just one name it would have been Green.

OL: Jon Stinchcomb, Max Jean-Gilles, Fernando Velasco, Nick Jones and Ben Jones. Although the offensive line has been a perennial weakness for Richt teams, he’s had some superior talent playing up front. There are three All-Americans on that list and the others were All-SEC.

TE: Leonard Pope and Orson Charles. Pope was the quintessential tight end, effective both blocking and receiving, while Charles was really more of a receiver, making All-America because of his game-breaking capability.

PK: Billy Bennett. Runnerup: Brandon Coutu. Richt has had a number of top-notch placekickers, but these were the two who were always Mr. Reliable.

DEFENSE

Leonard Pope is the top tight end on the All-Richt team. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Leonard Pope is the top tight end on the All-Richt team. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

DE: David Pollack and Charles Grant. Defensive end has been one of those positions where Richt has had a wealth of talent. Pollack was a lock, but for the second spot I also gave consideration to sack specialists Quentin Moses, Marcus Howard and Charles Johnson. And it’s worth noting that Justin Houston was all-conference as a DE before switching to linebacker, where he an All-American.

DL: Johnathan Sullivan, Geno Atkins. Both of these All-SEC players were big tacklers and tough against the run.

LB: Jarvis Jones, Boss Bailey, Justin Houston and Tony Taylor. Linebacker is another position with a glut of talent in the Richt era. Worthy of honorable mention are Alec Ogletree, Rennie Curran and Odell Thurman.

CB: Tim Jennings, DeMario Minter. Both cornerbacks were All-SEC selections. Also worthy of mention are Donnan era holdover Tim Wansley from Richt’s first team, and Paul Oliver, whose too-short tenure at UGA included absolutely smothering and shutting down the nation’s best receiver at the time, Calvin Johnson.

S: Thomas Davis, Sean Jones and Greg Blue. I know, Georgia only plays two safeties at a time, but how are you going to decide between these three All-Americans?

P: Drew Butler. The All-American won the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s best punter. Honorable mention: Jonathan Kilgo and Gordon Ely-Kelso.

Boss Bailey carried on the family tradition at UGA. (Associated Press)

Boss Bailey carried on the family tradition at UGA. (Associated Press)

Kickoff returner: Brandon Boykin. Always a threat to score returning kicks, he holds a bunch of UGA records.

Punt returner: Damien Gary, Georgia’s career leader in both returns and yards. Honorable mention: Mikey Henderson.

I know there’ll be some “How could you forget so-and-so” comments, but be assured I didn’t “forget” anyone. These are my top choices, but I’m sure yours may differ in some spots (and at another time I might even have picked a couple of different names). Feel free to share your won favorites from the Richt era.

JUNKYARD MAIL

I’ll be off next week as we get my daughter Olivia set up in Athens for her sophomore year at UGA. But before I go let’s answer a couple of quick questions …

Josh Arthur writes: Bill, Take a look at this video on ESPN’s college football homepage. If you fast-forward to the 3:37 mark it looks like it may be a silver UGA helmet. Thoughts?

Josh, you weren’t the only UGA fan who watched that video and wondered whether that was some sort of alternate Bulldogs helmet, despite the blue stripe on it. But when I put the question to Georgia’s sports information chief, Claude Felton, he quickly shot that idea down. “This is not a Georgia helmet,” he said.

ECDawg writes: Bill, Could you provide us the date and time for 2013 Picture Day?

Yes, indeed. Picture Day will be Saturday, Aug. 17, in the Reed Plaza area on the north side of Sanford Stadium between Gates 2 and 4. Special tickets will be required for access to mascot Uga IX (aka Russ) and to Coach Richt. Those tickets will be distributed at 8 a.m. to the first 150 fans at the East ticket window on East Campus Road. Uga will be available from 1 to 3 p.m. (which is also when athletes from other UGA sports will be on hand) and Richt will be there from 3 to 5 p.m. Georgia football players will be available for photos and autographs from 3 to 5 p.m. The cheerleaders and Hairy Dawg will be available the entire time, from 1 to 5 p.m. To cut down on autograph sales, no outside items may be brought to Picture Day for signing. The athletic association will provide each fan with two free schedule posters for autographs. Concessions and merchandise sales will be available. Fans should enter Reed Plaza through Gate 2 in the northwest corner of the stadium across from the Tate Student Center, or through Gate 4 on East Campus Road. Both gates will open at 1 p.m. Parking will be available to the general public in all campus lots surrounding the stadium. Handicapped parking will be in the Tate Center lots.

And one last thing …

The UGA Athletic Association is launching a social media countdown to the season starting Tuesday, Aug. 6. Beginning that day and running the 25 days until the Clemson game, they’ll choose the best fan-submitted photo each day that shows you “committing to the G.” They want you to be creative. To participate, email your photo to CommitToTheG@gmail.com (please include your name and hometown). Then check the UGA sites on Facebook (GeorgiaBulldogs), Twitter (@UGAAthletics) and Instagram (ugaathletics) to see if your photo gets posted. Fans also are encouraged to share their favorite photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #CommitToTheG. The athletic association will retweet its favorites.

Go Dawgs!

Got something you want to discuss concerning the upcoming football season or UGA athletics? Or a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Email me at  junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

239 comments Add your comment

Bulldawg35

August 3rd, 2013
10:22 am

Okay
Joe cox
Connor Norman
Isaiah Crowell
Caleb king
Washun ealey
Ty- smith

ARdawg

August 3rd, 2013
10:22 am

SportsPaige

August 3rd, 2013
10:36 am

I would have Randy McMichael as the #1 TE

Butler5

August 3rd, 2013
10:47 am

TE…Randy McMichael??

Butler5

August 3rd, 2013
10:52 am

McMichael should definitely be the number one TE.

vince

August 3rd, 2013
11:01 am

Conner Noman and Bleake Sellors

GT93

August 3rd, 2013
11:42 am

don’t forget Reggie Ball ;-)

DawgFood

August 3rd, 2013
11:47 am

Odell honorable mention??? McMichael missing too. Reggie Brown not even mentioned. Paul Oliver and Boykin both over Minter.

DawgFood

August 3rd, 2013
11:50 am

GURLEY MON over Musa already. The man is a BEAST!!

dawgfan

August 3rd, 2013
11:52 am

1. Murray
2. Stafford
3. Greene
4. Shockley

That’s if we’re going on talent and ability. If we’re going on sentimentalism and selective memory then the most overrated player in UGA history, David Greene, surely gets the nod.

I honestly have nothing against the guy but it’s just ridiculous.

Thanks.

DawgFan

August 3rd, 2013
12:06 pm

Also, Ben Watson as TE.

Dr. John Trotter

August 3rd, 2013
12:06 pm

Randy McMichael. But, did he also play for Coach Donnan? Mo Matt Stafford? Hmm.

dawgfan

August 3rd, 2013
12:17 pm

1. Murray
2. Stafford
3. Greene
4. Shockley

That’s if we’re getting crazy and going on things like talent and ability. If we’re going on sentimentalism and selective memory then the most overrated player in UGA history, David Greene, surely gets the nod.

Thanks.

david

August 3rd, 2013
12:27 pm

If you had to choose, who would be your #2 receiver?

yearofthedawg

August 3rd, 2013
12:29 pm

My selective memory seems to remember that David Greene was a winner, cool under pressure, and a leader when we really needed one. He may not have been as talented as some of the others on that list, but the bottom line is winning, which he did.

ESPN...grEene Spoons Pollack Nightly

August 3rd, 2013
12:37 pm

Leg humpers gonna be 0 – 2 ….0 vs State of SC….get ready

Bulldawg35

August 3rd, 2013
1:04 pm

Not another blog like this….oh well it’s still better than the other blogs with the buckeye idiots all over them….in all seriousness I miss pollack and sully…those were two bad mama Jamas!

dawgfan

August 3rd, 2013
1:04 pm

My memory tells me that Murray has faced two #1 teams in the Dome while Greene lucked in to a 9-5 Arkansas team for his lone championship that everyone seems to think makes him walk on water.

ESPN...grEene Spoons Pollack Nightly

August 3rd, 2013
1:10 pm

Errin Murray has place in the QB pantheon given his crappy record against tough competition.

If there was a hall of fame for racking up passing yards and TD’s vs. teams like GA Southern, Buffalo etc….then yep he’s #1 with a bullet.

Pitbull

August 3rd, 2013
1:24 pm

So its really the All Bill King Team during Mark Richt’s UGA career with a misleading headline leading you to believe Mark Richt selected them (which he would never do)..

That’s the AJC for you.

SickandTired

August 3rd, 2013
1:29 pm

One thing. Murray will almost certainly barring injury have more passing yards than Greenie. But alas he doesn’t have that record yet. When he gets it he will also be the all time leading passer in yards than Greenie when he gets one more yard than him. Not bad huh dawgfan for the most overrated player in georgia history or the fact that when he was done playing he was the winningest QB in NCAA history although not anymore. But don’t let ignorance of facts get in your way as a dawg fan.

SickandTired

August 3rd, 2013
1:31 pm

To clear the statement above up Greenie is still the all time leading passer in SEC history

Bill King

August 3rd, 2013
2:09 pm

Putbull:
There’s nothing in that headline that would imply Richt selected the team. If it were an All-America team, would you think that implied that all of America chose the team? Sheesh.

Bill King

August 3rd, 2013
2:12 pm

David:
If I could only choose two receivers, they’d be A.J. and Fred Gibson, I think. But, really, any of them would be good.

Bill King

August 3rd, 2013
2:13 pm

On tight ends: I considered Randy McMichael and Ben Watson but wound up just going with two in that category.

dawgfan

August 3rd, 2013
2:44 pm

Last time I checked its a team game. Teams win and lose games, not individual players. Take Advil for headaches. The fact that you Greene Super Fans almost exclusively harp on his win total tells me you have little else to go on.

Thanks.

DoubleDawg

August 3rd, 2013
3:08 pm

I am not the biggest Greene fan but why would you not look at wins more than anything else from a stats perspective?

adam

August 3rd, 2013
3:26 pm

calab king? No way. that loser was a big mistake

UGA DAWG

August 3rd, 2013
3:41 pm

Terrence Edwards is the only WR in UGA history with over a 1000 yards and people always underrate him.. Why is that?

dawgfan

August 3rd, 2013
4:15 pm

Uh, maybe because there are about 100 guys on the roster who also contributed to that win total. If we’re going to give Greene all the credit for the wins, it’s only fair that he take some blame for the losses. Like how his lackluster senior year arguably cost us the SEC East title (15 of 34, 163 yards vs. Tennessee). Like how he went 1-3 vs. Zook era Florida and his embarrassing performance against them in 2002 arguably cost us a shot at a national title, or at least an undefeated season.

Thanks.

loserdawg

August 3rd, 2013
4:25 pm

The All-Donnan team would stomp the ALL-Richt teams backside…

Goff's boys

August 3rd, 2013
4:40 pm

The All-Goff team would handle any of them including All-Dooley team.
Garrison Hearst
Andre Hastings
Bryce Harper
Terrell Davis
Eric Zeier
Adam Meadows
Mack Strong
Bernard Williams
Shannon Mitchell
Mitch Davis
Just to name a few…..

DIT

August 3rd, 2013
4:49 pm

Bill, good list. It would be a tough list to make. However, the only thing I would disagree with is Fred Gibson. I just never thought he measured up to the hype.
I would never put Stafford on the list, my boy would kill me because he loves Stafford. However, he displayed absolutely no leadership skills and with the talent could not rally that team to an SEC Championship. DJ was better, Murray is better and of course Green is. Of course that’s just my opinion.

Bill King

August 3rd, 2013
5:10 pm

Goff’s boys:
That depends on whether Goff was coaching them …

DawgFood

August 3rd, 2013
5:14 pm

Am I taking Crazy Pills? DIT you wouldn’t put Stafford (the #1 overall pick who has thrown for back to back 5,000 yard seasons) on the list??? David Greene sells insurance. Stafford is without a doubt the most talented QB to ever wear the G. You put Stafford with those teams Greene had and he we win a Natty. By the way Stafford led us to a #2 final ranking. Dawgfan is right on most of his points. Thomas Davis, Greg Blue, Sean Jones, Odell, Tony Taylor, Boss Bailey, David Pollack, Tim Jennings, Minter, Fred Gibson, Reggie Brown, Terrence Edwards, Damian Gary, Musa Smith, Randy McMichael, Ben Watson , Charles Johnson. Think these guys helped out with that win total of Greene’s just a little.

DawgFood

August 3rd, 2013
5:22 pm

You could put a lot of those guys on the Donnan team since he recruited them too. Also AJ should really just have a separate category and then list all of the other WR’s. He is the best WR to ever wear the G period. If he avoids injury he is probably going to end up being one of the best WR’s in NFL history. Bill King over/under of 3 on how many games into this season you will wish you put Gurley over Musa. TAKE THE UNDER!!!

GTBob

August 3rd, 2013
5:27 pm

Here is my list:

QB – Zach Mettenberger
RB – Isaiah Crowell, Washaun Ealey, Caleb King
TE – Orson Charles, Ty Flournoy-Smith
WR – Sanford Seay
DB – Nick Marshall, Sanders Commings, Branden Smith
LB – Alec Ogletree, Demetre Baker
DE – Montez Robinson
S – Bacarri Rambo, Josh Harvey-Clemons
K – Marshall Morgan
AD – Damon Evans

DawgFood

August 3rd, 2013
5:35 pm

GTBob CMR is 12-2 vs the Nerds. BEAT IT GEEK!

DawgFood

August 3rd, 2013
5:37 pm

*11-2 (excuse me). now BEAT IT GEEK!

DawgFood

August 3rd, 2013
6:02 pm

Also Bill King did you consider Ellerbee? Did you base it off just what they did at UGA I can see him being left off, or did you base it off their career path? Both Ellerbee and Dent would have to be in there as well if the latter. We have had some great LB’s over 13 seasons. Hopefully Herrara and Jenkins will be in this conversation after next 2 years.

KOOL

August 3rd, 2013
6:03 pm

Ben Watson @ TE is the most glaring omission… Leonard Pope & Orson Charles would be adequate runners-up

ShoalCreek

August 3rd, 2013
6:05 pm

Bill, I always cringe when you post…Your “Dawg” knowledge is NOT representative of the average fan.

DawgFood

August 3rd, 2013
6:24 pm

Greene at #1 QB is worse than Ben Watson omission (which is very bad). Watson and McMichael you would think are CLEAR 1 and 2 at TE. BUT to put Greene who never threw an NFL pass and sells insurance for State Farm over Stafford is just ABSURD.

markv.rodriguez

August 3rd, 2013
6:52 pm

If you think Albert`s story is impossible…, last pay-cheque mother in law basically also made $6065 putting in a eighteen hour week at home and they’re neighbor’s mother-in-law`s neighbour done this for 4 months and got a cheque for more than $6065 in there spare time from a pc. the advice from this address,

markv.rodriguez

August 3rd, 2013
6:52 pm

If you think Albert`s story is impossible…, last pay-cheque mother in law basically also made $6065 putting in a eighteen hour week at home and they’re neighbor’s mother-in-law`s neighbour done this for 4 months and got a cheque for more than $6065 in there spare time from a pc. the advice from this address, http://www.work25.ℂom

NCDawg

August 3rd, 2013
7:22 pm

Sad stuff… Stafford would be the #1 until Murray finishes. Greene was a game manager and did a great job of it. The D was what got us to 3 SEC CGs and 2 wins. Greene didn’t have enough to get us past teams that played really good defense. He didn’t loses many games. If he had a bit better arm we get by UF and probably win a NC. Likewise put Moreno or Gurley on that team and perhaps we overcome Greene’s mediocre arm.

Stafford played with 1 defense that got the job done most of the time. 2007… and it was horrid defensive breakdowns against Tennessee that cost the Dawgs a legitimate shot at the NC that year.
Put Stafford on that 2002 team they cruise to an undefeated and pretty much unchallenged BCS championship.

I will always hold David Greene in high regard for doing much with not as much as other guys. He was a great leader but in the end his shortcomings loom too large to put him ahead of Stafford or after this year Murray. ( Listing current players on ALL XX teams is against my religion.)

NCDawg

August 3rd, 2013
7:23 pm

Yes I realize that 1 of those SEC CG wins was under Shockley. I was referring to that era of UGA football as a whole.

ESPN...grEene Spoons Pollack Nightly

August 3rd, 2013
7:25 pm

Murray’s senior year may cost him big $’s in the NFL…. especially if GA finishes 4th in the SEC EAST!

dawgfan

August 3rd, 2013
7:26 pm

I would list all the Georgia Tech players that have gotten in to trouble in the past 12 years but I could really give a crap and have better things to do with my time.

Poor Bob.

DawgTired34

August 3rd, 2013
7:27 pm

Murray’s senior year may cost him big $’s in the NFL…. especially if GA finishes 4th in the SEC EAST!