UGA’s Figgins feels old when telling teammates about ‘that Sugar Bowl’

ATHENS — Bruce Figgins‘ college football career began promisingly. He started the first game of his freshman season for Georgia in 2007 and even caught a touchdown pass in his debut. A few months later, he played in the Sugar Bowl as the Bulldogs routed Hawaii to finish the season ranked No. 2 in the nation.

Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?

Figgins

Figgins

“It seems like forever ago,” Figgins, 22, said. “We talk about it in the locker room, and I say, ‘Man, I’m too old; I got to get out of here; y’all don’t know what I’m talking about.’

“Guys are used to Memphis and Shreveport and the Capital One Bowl,” he continued, recounting the Bulldogs’ more modest postseason destinations of the past three seasons. “All bowls are nice, but I tell them, ‘Oh, that Sugar Bowl!’”

One of just two players on this spring’s roster who appeared in that Sugar Bowl –- offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant is the other -– Figgins now finds himself adjusting to a new position in hopes of finishing his UGA career with a flourish as a fifth-year senior in the fall.

Figgins has moved from tight end, where playing time would have been scarce behind Orson Charles and Aron White, to fullback, where the starting job is open.

“It’s going well,” Figgins said. “I’m doing a lot of learning on the run. Some things are clicking; some things are a little shaky. But we’re getting it done. . . It’s my last go-round.”

Figgins, from Columbus, has played in 37 games for Georgia but has started only four — the 2007 opener against Oklahoma State, two in 2008 and one last season. (He was redshirted in 2009 after shoulder surgery.) He has caught nine passes for 83 yards and three touchdowns, including a 12-yard TD pass from Matthew Stafford in the 2007 opener.

Now listed at 6-foot-4 and 272 pounds, Figgins began the transition from tight end to fullback in December and played “a couple of snaps”  at the new position in the Liberty Bowl loss to Central Florida. This spring, he is battling rising sophomore Zander Ogletree for a starting spot. One thing that hasn’t changed for Figgins: his number. He is still proudly wearing No. 89, resisting suggestions that he might want to switch to a fullback-like number in the 40s.

Figgins “is seeing the possibilities of his new role and how it could be really good for him and very good for Georgia,” coach Mark Richt said. One potential advantage, Richt noted, is that when Figgins is in the game, opponents won’t know for sure whether he will line up at fullback or tight end. “It gives them less of a clue” what’s going on, Richt said.

Figgins just wants to be in the game — and to go out with a taste of the success with which he came in.

“That was great, playing in the Sugar Bowl my freshman year,” he said. “I just want to see a championship before I leave. So I want to do my part and contribute to the team the best I can.”

– Tim Tucker, AJC

230 comments Add your comment

freedyg

March 24th, 2011
5:40 am

gomdawg

March 24th, 2011
5:57 am

GOOD TEAM PLAYER GO DAWGS

FalconUGAFan

March 24th, 2011
6:12 am

Great stuff! Bruce if you are reading this..take the reins young man! Show the young guys the way back!

michael

March 24th, 2011
6:14 am

This guy will definately put some linebackers on their ass!

Slippage | Get The Picture

March 24th, 2011
6:14 am

[...] this is a sad and ugly quote from Bruce Figgins: “Guys are used to Memphis and Shreveport and the [...]

Cmon man

March 24th, 2011
6:45 am

I would hate to be the linebacker that has to take that beating from a 270lb lead blocker for 4qtrs. Get the ice packs ready!

AltamahaDawg

March 24th, 2011
6:47 am

The 2 plays that I saw him in at FB in the bowl game, he ran his assigment to perfection.

football_365

March 24th, 2011
6:49 am

keep up the good work bruce, hard work pays off! By 7:30a im willing to bet there will be at least 5 people to put a negative spin on this story!

dawgerbrown

March 24th, 2011
6:53 am

Good to hear such a positive attitude, hope he reflects the feeling the team has coming into the season. He’ll be a great target to throw to on 2nd and long, 3rd and short situations in addition to being a strong blocker.

Dawg Consultant

March 24th, 2011
6:59 am

Figgins is a damn good dawg!!! I have been amazed last year at his lacking of playing time. He is a great in line blocker and has sure hands. I hope he can brings those traits to fullback. I love the move. Get your best 11 players on the field.

Nub

March 24th, 2011
7:16 am

Can’t wait for Big Fig to pancake some belly sliders in Jville. Bruce is a damn good Dawg. Sic um woof woof…..

UGA '92

March 24th, 2011
7:33 am

Good for Figgins. Also glad to see Zander competing for a starting job as a soph. Looks like he was a good sign after all.

JB

March 24th, 2011
7:37 am

opponents don’t need to watch figgins. They just need to watch film of the last 2-3 years and look at the down and distance and field position to know what play we are going to run unless we are 3-4 TD’s down, Then we fling it almost every play. Richt/Bobo run a scripted offense and our opponents defensive cord. wife can game plan for us.

Columbus Dawg

March 24th, 2011
7:46 am

Read some comments about the offense going “hybrid”. Looks like Coach Richt and BoBo are cooking up something special for our foes this year. Gonna be interesting to see some changes in the offense with Richt getting back involved. Expect breakout, wide open running game with a renewed Ealey and with Crowell coming in all backs improve. OL WILL live up to expectations this time around.

I expect in our annual trip to the Smokey Mountains in TN, that wearing our UGA gear up there will be great. Everyone is doubting the Dawgs right now, but there will be a lot of surprised folks after they have seen the new, improved 2011 Georgia Bulldogs!!!

JB

March 24th, 2011
7:56 am

I ‘d like to see fundamentally sound blocking and tackling before I see ‘hybrid”.

bitter "OLE" School Dogs-fan

March 24th, 2011
7:57 am

first 2 games against (2) senior QB’s, the out come doesn’t look good unless there is a united front
———that can learn to fight on every play!!!!!!!!!!!!!

————-PS–?????can murry play better against the 2 top 10 teams????—-remember by the
——————————–middle of sept the season will be won or lost——————————-

———————–no season for the weak hearted———————————-

Chuck

March 24th, 2011
7:58 am

You guys fall for this Spring time chatter about how Georgia will use the TE’s more.

Never do.

Charles got 2 passes a game, Whie less than 1.

But, Georgia PROMISED last Spring TE’s would be used heavily.

Read it:
http://www.ajc.com/sports/uga/tight-ends-loom-large-586873.html

Scooter McDoogle

March 24th, 2011
7:59 am

Wow, these kids need to expect to be playing in the Sugar Bowl (at least) every year. “Guys are used to Memphis and Shreveport”….. not gonna cut it. As our Sergeant told us in the Marines, complacency kills. Not only are they used to the second tier bowls, it seems to me that they don’t mind going to them. But that’s just my humble opinion.

Scooter McDoogle

March 24th, 2011
8:01 am

That is a BIG fullback though, hopefully he creates some more blocking lanes than we’ve had in the past… As we say every year, “THIS IS THE YEAR.” I really see no reason why we can’t compete for the SEC this year. Do or die for Richt and he WILL get it done…

JB

March 24th, 2011
8:03 am

We ought to use the TE more. We have about 6 on roster.Bottom line, we have got to stop teams to win more games, giving up 400+ yards and 30+ points to unranked teams will not get you very far.The offense in Athens plays wreckless because of the pressure of being down 2-4 TD’s. We don’t control the tempo of games anymore. We spend a lot of time in fire drill mode.

Looper

March 24th, 2011
8:03 am

Figgins is Richt’s 2011 Logan Gray.

He’s moving him to another position, with promises to use him heavily, in an attempt to curtail a transfer.

Richt threw the ball to Gray 12 times.

Keep in mind Richt doesn’t always keep his promises.

LilburnDAWG

March 24th, 2011
8:04 am

Hate to admit it JB, but you bring up some good points. The offense is predictable. We have the players to line up against anybody but it doesn’t matter if your opponent know what’s coming. Mike “run it up the middle again” Bobo better pull his head outta his bhole this year.

Sitar Power

March 24th, 2011
8:05 am

Love the quote from the 2010 article from Chuck above:

The coaches “say they’re going to use all of us because we all have something different that Georgia needs,” Charles said.

Yeah, they threw 3 balls a game to TE’s.

Lee

March 24th, 2011
8:06 am

Not all that long ago a loud mouth named Jabari Davis said he went to Tennessee because he didn’t want to go to the Peach Bowl, Liberty Bowl and Independance Bowl because that’s where Georgia always went. We’ve had a couple of down years; let’s not prove Jabari “Never Was” Davis a prophet of doom.

JB

March 24th, 2011
8:07 am

One stat I would love to see. The number of times teams punted in Van Gorders last three years vs the number of punts the last three years. I bet we would all be shocked.

Jim

March 24th, 2011
8:10 am

Sitar:

Yes, you missed the quote from Mark Richt in 2010’s promise to use the tight ends more:

“I don’t want to give away too much of the game plan, but we’ll be pretty versatile,” coach Mark Richt said earlier this week. “We’ll major in at least three or four different personnel groupings, and there will be some [others] that we’ll sprinkle in. We’ll probably be more versatile than we’ve been in a while.”

Hilarious. Broken promises, shattered dreams.

Probably designed to try and make Boise & SC over-prepare + keep guys like White & Figgins from transferring.

Compare the 2010 story to the 2011 one, they look the same.

2010 story about using tight ends more:
http://www.ajc.com/sports/uga/tight-ends-loom-large-586873.html

GT1977

March 24th, 2011
8:11 am

Jabari Davis was right. The bulldogs had a couple good years a while back but then things settled down and you found your groove again in the bottom of the pack. Dream on dawgs, I hope you guys finally get rid of Richt, seeing as you all want to run him out of town and he’s the best thing to happen to you, and hire some other loser who will continue the tradition of underachieving football.

Uncle Toast

March 24th, 2011
8:15 am

in 2010, Charles was thrown to 3 more times than 2009 (26 passes), Figgins 2 more times (4 passes), White 4 less passes (9).

In 2009, TE’s caught 41 passes, in 2010, 39.

Georgia used the TE’s LESS, depsite all the empty off-seaosn promises.

Pretty much, Georgia throws to the TE 3x a game.

QB #7

March 24th, 2011
8:15 am

I’m sure that number would be astounding JB. We all know (or should) that BVG was the real deal. If he hadnt taken the head coaching position at Georgia Southern, there’s no telling where he would be right now.

JB

March 24th, 2011
8:17 am

Only a Techie wants Richt gone. I don’t blame them. To come into Grant Field and beat the best team Tech has had in 20+ years, ACC champs, BCS bowl bound, with a pretty horrible UGA team, with a lame duck DC, on National TV, had to be a low point in Tech football history.
Any way you cut it, 9 of the last 10, even with Richt as coach.

LilburnDAWG

March 24th, 2011
8:17 am

Hey, at least we made it to 8:11 before the nerds showed up to ruin the blog. It must be sad for the little guy. We get excited every year and have been let down the last few, but they have nothing to look forward to at all. Everybody has figured out there cute little offense, basketball sucks, man it’s still great to be a Georgia Bulldog!

QB #7

March 24th, 2011
8:19 am

It seems youre a bit conflicted GT1977. Should we keep him since hes the best thing to ever happen to us? Or fire him and move on because his teams have underachieved recently?

Delta Stewardess

March 24th, 2011
8:20 am

He should feel old. Most of his teammates think Hawaii matters only because it is where Obama was born.

Dan Dawg

March 24th, 2011
8:21 am

Tight ends are what the Georgia-Florida game is all about. Tight end yards predicts winner of this game 80% in last 9 seasons. In other words, whichever team uses their tight end more in the Georgia-Florida game, almost always wins the game. In Richt’s 2 wins against Florida, Richt won the tight end battle.

true, Richt also had a RB rush for 100 yards in both wins, but 100 yard rusher + more tight end yards = Florida formula that works 90%.

South Ga Dawg

March 24th, 2011
8:23 am

BOBO HAS A SOME SERIOUS WEAPONS TO USE THIS YR!!!

DawginLex

March 24th, 2011
8:25 am

GT1977,

Back for more abuse?

You want us to get rid of Richt because your team CAN’T BEAT HIM.

M & M Dawg

March 24th, 2011
8:25 am

Actualy, according to a poll Bradley did of over 3000 AJC readers, 75% say Georgia’s program is in worst shape than Tech’s:
http://blogs.ajc.com/mark-bradley-blog/2011/01/03/both-finished-6-7-but-ugas-woes-run-deeper-than-techs/

GT1977

March 24th, 2011
8:26 am

If you were smart, you would definitely keep him. I’m hoping you fire him though so we can hire him and get rid of CPJ. You are not the only ones who make fun of the gimmick offense.

BUCKEYE

March 24th, 2011
8:34 am

Can anyone say Play Action? Bo Bo?

bitter "OLE" School Dogs-fan

March 24th, 2011
8:41 am

david green proved how important the QB position is—————stop whinning punks

PS————either murry will perform at a high level or he will choke——game 1@2 will determine all

GrizzlyDawg

March 24th, 2011
8:45 am

@ bitter, it’s *whining and *Murray. And that last statement is like saying, either they will win or they will lose. Duh. I think Murray proved last year he can play at a very high level and he doesn’t seem like the guy to get relaxed and not wanna work on getting better. Idk though, never met the kid.

QB #7

March 24th, 2011
8:52 am

As good as Greene and Stafford (and even quincy carter) were as freshmen none had better seasons statistically than Aaron Murray. I think we’ll be just fine once the defense gets on board

QB #7

March 24th, 2011
8:55 am

and Bobo controls his urge to run up the middle

GrizzlyDawg

March 24th, 2011
8:56 am

Stafford sucked as a Dawg, especially his freshmen year

Bowtie Bob

March 24th, 2011
8:57 am

Chuck…… excellent point! Its the same crap whether its more use of the tight ends or working harder in the weight room. Its coaching period and these clowns havent gotten it done in the last 3 years. Its time to start beating the Gators and quit losing to teams like Mickey Mouse U.

Delta Stewardess

March 24th, 2011
9:01 am

QB7
And what was Greene, Stafford, and Carters record as freshmen? Stats sound great but the Ws and Ls are what matter. After 4yrs and Murray is Statically the best ever UGA QB and his best record is 8-5 would you be happy?

Jimmy Crack

March 24th, 2011
9:02 am

Griz you are out of your tree. Stafford began his ascent to #1 QB status with consecutive wins over ranked teams to close the season, including the comeback against a super defensive VT team in the bowl game that year. Cmon. Yes he was shaky in the beginning, as he was a true freshman on the big stage, but he finished the year with a flurry.

http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=263640259

JDawg1785

March 24th, 2011
9:02 am

Figgins is definitely a solid player and a DGD! I’m looking forward to seeing him put some defenders on their backs this season.

QB #7

March 24th, 2011
9:04 am

2006 135 256 1749 52.7 6.83 53 7 13 12 108.99
2007 194 348 2523 55.7 7.25 84 19 10 15 128.92
2008 235 383 3459 61.4 9.03 78 25 10 17 153.54

pretty damn good stats actually Grizzly. I agree he didnt fulfill his potential, but to say he sucked is just ignorant

DawginLex

March 24th, 2011
9:08 am

jimmy crack,

We only had 200 yards total offense in that bowl in 2006 and held VT to 189. When is the last time that happened??