UGA Produced the Second Most 2012 NFL Starters w/ 31

Fwiw, Southern Cal produced the most NFL starters last season; Georgia had the second most, LSU had the third most, Texas had the fourth most, and Miami had the fifth most:

Southern Cal (33)

1. Sam Baker – started 15 games at LT for Atlanta in 2012
2. Charles Brown – started 3 games at RT for New Orleans in 2012
3. Reggie Bush – started 16 games at RB for Miami in 2012
4. Jurrell Casey – started 16 games at DT for Tennessee in 2012
5. Matt Cassel – started 8 games at QB for Kansas City in 2012
6. Shaun Cody – started 11 games at NT for Houston in 2012
7. Brian Cushing – started 5 games at MLB for Houston in 2012
8. Fred Davis – started 7 games at TE for Washington in 2012
9. Sedrick Ellis – started 16 games at DT for New Orleans in 2012
10. Rhett Ellison – started 7 games at FB/TE for Minnesota in 2012
11. Everson Griffin – started 1 game at DE for Minnesota in 2012
12. Stanley Havili – started 2 games at RB for Philadelphia in 2012
13. Winston Justice – started 12 games at RT for Indianapolis in 2012
14. Matt Kalil – started 16 games at LT for Minnesota in 2012
15. Ryan Kalil – started 5 games at C for Carolina in 2012
16. Deuce Lutui – started 8 games at RG for Tennessee in 2012
17. Kaluka Maiava – started 13 games at WLB for Cleveland in 2012
18. Clay Matthews – started 12 games at ROLB for Green Bay in 2012
19. Rey Maualuga – started 16 games at MLB for Cincinnati in 2012
20. Taylor Mays – started 3 games at FS/SS for Cincinnati in 2012
21. Anthony McCoy – started 5 games at TE for Seattle in 2012
22. Fili Moala – started 8 games at DT for Indianapolis in 2012
23. Kyle Moore – started 7 games at RDE for Buffalo in 2012
24. Carson Palmer – started 15 games at QB for Oakland in 2012
25. Nick Perry – started 5 games at LOLB for Green Bay in 2012
26. Troy Polamalu – started 7 games at SS for Pittsburgh in 2012
27. Chilo Rachal – started 8 games at LG for Chicago in 2012
28. Keith Rivers – started 6 games at SLB/WLB for New York Giants in 2012
29. Frostee Rucker – started 16 games at RDE for Cleveland in 2012
30. Mark Sanchez – started 15 games at QB for New York Jets in 2012
31. Malcolm Smith – started 3 games at OLB for Seattle in 2012
32. Tyron Smith – started 15 games at LT for Dallas in 2012
33. Damian Williams – started 2 games at WR for Tennessee in 2012

Some Notable UGA Football Walk-ons that Earned Scholarships

Taking a moment to reflect, UGA has had some really outstanding walk-ons come through the football program. Many of these walk-ons eventually earned a scholarship, started games, made big plays, and earned SEC honors. Some notable (50+) walk-ons through the years:

Coach Butts:

Jimmy Orr (slotback) – led UGA in receiving in 1955 & 1957; 2-time NFL Pro Bowler caught 400 passes for 7,914 yds & 66 TDs during his professional career

Coach Dooley (4 former walk-ons started for his 1980 National Championship Team):

Spike “Sputnik” Jones (punter) – 3-year starter [1967-1969]; avg. 41.5 yds per punt [x194] during his career; went on to play 8 years in the NFL

Jim McCullough (placekicker) – 3-year starter [1967-1969]; led UGA in scoring 3 consecutive years totaling 150 pts by converting 84 PATs & 22 FGs

Hilton Young, Jr. (running back) – played on the 1975-1976 teams; 1999 recipient of the Bill Hartman Award (recognizes former UGA student-athletes who have distinguished themselves as alumni)

Jim Griffith (middle linebacker) – 3-year starter [1975-1977]; 325 career tackles

Keith Hall – led JV team in sacks in 1978; awarded a scholarship prior to the 6th game (Virginia) of 1979 after blocking a punt in practice

Mike Fisher (cornerback) – started for UGA’s 1980 National Championship team; intercepted 3 passes that season

Robert Miles (defensive end) – started 3 games as a tight end in 1979, then changed positions and started for UGA’s 1980 National Championship team as a defensive end

Nate “Tifton Termite” Taylor (5’10”, 195-lb. middle linebacker that ran a 5.2 second 40-yd dash) – 4-year starter [1979-1982] that led UGA w/ 390 tackles during his career; Vince Dooley called Taylor “the biggest surprise of my career”

Dale Williams (cornerback) – 2-year starter [1979 & 1981]; intercepted 2 passes for UGA’s 1980 National Championship team

Richard “Le Sack” Tardits (outside linebacker) – earned a scholarship in 1988 and started 9 games that season; finished career [1985-1986] w/ 29 sacks (a UGA record until David Pollack broke it in 2004)

Recruiting Stars and Starts: UGA Football Edition

73.1% of UGA football enrollees (x223) started at least 1 game during their UGA careers (not including current players that haven’t started a game yet but still have time) since Coach Richt was hired on 26 December 2000.5-stars: 11 of 12 [i.e., 91.7%] started at least 7 games during their UGA career [avg. 17.8 starts per player]; only Marquis Elmore didn’t start a game (he had back surgery on 6 August 2002 shortly after arriving to repair a herniated disk and that seemed to derail his career; however, he did play in 17 games and made 8 tackles) Continue reading

Best-of-the-Best: UGA Football Players Under Coach Richt

Special Teams

Placekicker
1) Brandon Coutu (former walk-on placed on scholarship): 3-year starter; converted 51 of 64 FGs [79.7%] w/ a long of 58 yds; 109 of 109 [100%] PATs; 221 kickoffs [avg. 60.7 yds] w/ 47 touchbacks2) Blair Walsh: 4-year starter; converted 76 of 103 FGs [73.8%] w/ a long of 56 yds; 184 of 185 PATs [99.4%]; 292 kickoffs [avg. 63.7 yds] w/ 52 touchbacks Continue reading

UGA Football Recruiting (2001-’13): the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

299 recruits signed LOIs w/ UGA in the last 13 years, an average of 23 recruits per year w/ an average star rating = 3.48
— 5-stars: 14
— 4-stars: 142
— 3-stars: 122
— 2-stars: 18
— Unranked: 3The Good (Academics/Graduation/1st & 2nd Team All-SEC Honors/NFL) Continue reading