A list of the best football players in Georgia history is quite difficult to complete. The program has been around for nearly 100 years, and they have produced talent on a level that is matched by only a few schools. This is a story about the talent that has made the biggest impact on the school, and the players listed here may be considered some of the best in college football history, too.
#1: Herschel Walker
Herschel Walker is often called the greatest college football player ever to play the game. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1983, and he nearly won the award as a freshman. His record of rushing at Georgia is enhanced by the national championship they won in 1980 when he was only 18 years old. His mark is on the school to this day because everyone at UGA is looking for someone who is just like Herschel.
#2: Buck Belou
Buck Belou receives criticism from time to time because he is the man who handed Herschel the ball in 1980. He was passing the ball, and he was managing an offense that won a clear and decisive national championship that season. He was the glue that made the team work because everyone respected him, and he is a state treasure even today doing sports radio in Atlanta along with commentary on baseball which he played professionally after college.
#3: Garrison Hearst
Garrison Hearst came within a breath of winning the Heisman, and his teams were very good because of his contribution running the ball. He was so skilled with the ball that no defense could properly handle him. Holding Garrison Hearst to 100 yards in a game was an achievement, and his team were so potent on offense that they became known for scoring over defense.
#4: Champ Bailey
Champ Bailey made his name known to the world in the NFL playing for the Denver Broncos, but he was a Georgia Bulldog before he was a Bronco. He was the backbone of a defense that competed well in the 90s, and his prowess on defense was sometimes supplemented by work on offense. A rare defensive player like Champ Bailey comes along once a generation, and he has one of the best names in all of sports. He truly is a Champ.
#5: Thomas Davis
Thomas Davis has been with the Carolina Panthers since the day he was drafted, and he came out of Georgia at a time when they were competing for the SEC title and national titles. He was a bruiser across the middle who stopped other teams from playing slot receivers so much, and he does the same thing today in the NFL. Anyone who watches and follow Georgia football must recall Thomas Davis and his incredible skill.
#6: Hines Ward
Hines Ward played quarterback at Georgia in an era where the team was transitioning. He was known as a talented man who did not grade well for the NFL, but he is now on a short list of people who may well make the hall of fame at wide receiver. His willingness to do anything to help the team win made him popular with the fans, and his transition in the NFL proves that he is more than capable of tackling any task.
The University of Georgia has a history of players who are great on an historical scale. These six men brought pride to the uniform every day, and they are remembered in the hearts of fans. Their skill on the field, character and dignity make them the best UGA has seen.