Posts Tagged ‘georgia’

For the first time in my blog I am not concerned about NFL stats; I am concerned about how the players played in college.  College football has had almost 150 seasons of different players from all around the country.  Obviously its hard to really say who the best college football players are/were, so the way I am doing this is I am just going to list players who I feel had incredible college careers.  It doesn’t matter what school you went to, what years you played, or how many championships you won; all I care about is how did you perform in those short years that they were in college.  I am sure there will be players that are not on this list, but I will do my best to outline who I feel had the best college careers.

Herschel Walker RB Georgia – From the first time he touched the ball he was impressive.  Just in his freshman year he rushed for 1,891 yards and 18 TDs.  Also, as a freshman he finished second in the Heisman race being beat out by Marcus Allen.  As a freshman he was a huge part in leading the Bulldogs to a National Title.  There was not a time where Walker failed to impress; even his work ethic was better than you could find in any other player.  As a junior he won the Heisman Trophy by rushing for 1,752 yards and 16 TDs.  There are few players who could even come close to the career that Walker had and earned his spot in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Archie Griffin RB Ohio State – Griffin is the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner and he delivered some epic performances.  Between the years of 1972 and 1975 Griffin rushed for more than 1,400 yards in 3 seasons; just in his junior year he rushed for 1,695 yards and 12 TDs.  By the time he ended his college career he totaled up 36 TDs, 5,589 rushing yards, and averaged 6 yards per carry.  There is still yet to be another player to win two Heisman trophies and during his time; there was no better RB than Griffin.

Barry Sanders RB Oklahoma State – Obviously cant have this list without including Barry.  All I need to say is “The 1988 season” and people will know what I am taking about.  Just in 1988, Sanders rushed for an amazing 2,850 yards, 37 TDs, averaged 7.6 yards per carry, and averaged 237.5 rushing yards per game.  He also easily won the Heisman Trophy during the 1988 season and it was well deserved.  I dare you to find a better season for a RB then that; and after that season Barry went pro. 

Tony Dorsett RB Pittsburgh – He was not the biggest guy on the field, but he knew how to make people miss.  Tony led the Panthers to the 1976 National Title and won the Heisman Trophy in the process.  Dorsett made first-team All-American three times and when he graduated he had rushed for 6.082 yards which was a record that stood until 1998.  Dorsett also still hold numerous team records and made the College Football Hall of Fame. 

Bo Jackson RB Auburn – “Bo Knows”.  Between the years of 1982 and 1985; Jackson terrorized defenses across the country.  In the 4 years Bo played at Auburn he totaled up 4,303 rushing yards, 43 TDs, and averaged 6.6 yards per carry.  His best season came in 1985 when he rushed for 1,786 yards in a season which earned him the Heisman Trophy.  After he retired the University of Auburn retired his number and named him to the college Hall of Fame.

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It is very rare that a player comes along and immediately is one of the best players in the NFL.  AJ Green is one of those players; he came into the NFL and made a huge impact right away and now he is one of the best receivers in the NFL.  He is now entering his 3rd season and he has already done more than some receivers do in 5 years.  AJ is also a player that you will never hear bad publicity about; he goes on the field and does his job; then goes home with class.  Young players can learn a lot from the way AJ carries himself and his work ethic.

Adriel Jeremiah “AJ” Green was born July 31st, 1988 in South Carolina.  As a young kid AJ got very interested in juggling.  He would practice this almost everyday and could juggle up to 4 items at once.  Later in his life Green attributes his juggling skills as a huge help in his hand-eye coordination in football.  Green attended Summerville High School and was a gifted football player.  In 2008 Green was listed as the #1 national football prospects by Sports Illustrated.  Green was named an All-State athlete four times and USA Today named him as an All-American as a junior in high school.  His first year in high school he hauled in 57 receptions, 1,217 yards, and 8 touchdowns.  In his high school career he wracked up 5,373 receiving yards rank second in the all-time career receiving records of the National Federation of High Schools and his 279 career receptions rank fourth on that same list.  Rivals.com did a few articles on GReen and ranked him as their #9 prospect going into college.

After his brilliant high school career he went to the University of Georgia here he was a perfect weapon for the Bulldogs.  As a Freshman he led the SEC in receiving yards and was named second-team All-SEC.  In his next season he was battling some injuries, but he still played through most of it which just shows his determination.  Green only spent 3 seasons in Georgia, but he totaled up 166 receptions for 2,619 yards, and 23 touchdowns.  He decided to enter the 2011 NFL Draft after his third year.

In the 2011 NFL Draft the Bengals picked Green with the fourth overall pick.  They immediately signed Green to a 4 year deal worth $19.6 million.  Green was immediately a starter for the Bengals and by the end of the season he had 4 games over 100 yards and led all NFL Rookies in receptions and receiving yards.  By the end of the season he broke Chris Collinsworth receiving yards record that Chris set back in 1981.  Collinsworth as a rookie had 1,009 receiving yards; Green ended his rookie year with 1,057 receiving yards.  He also made the Pro Bowl as a rookie which had not been done since Anquan Boldin in 2003.  The 2012 season was brilliant for Green he ended up having 97 receptions for 1,350 yards and 11 receiving touchdowns.  During this season he had a streak of 9 games with a touchdown which is the longest streak by a receiver in the history of the NFL.  Green made his second Pro Bowl; and in the Pro Bowl game he caught 3 touchdown passes.

Green is still a very young player, but he is going to have a very long career.  He has the chance to surpass all receiving records by the time he retires.  He is reliable, consistant, and dependable as a player and jus tas a person.  In his 2 short years so far he has totaled up 162 receptions, 2,407 receiving yards, and 18 touchdowns.  He has made 2 Pro Bowls already and was named an All-Pro in 2012.  It is refreshing to see a player like Green on the field today and I hope he sticks around for a long time.

 

There are many receivers that have played in the NFL that have better stats than Hines Ward, but very few of them have his determination and love for the game of football.  His career spanned 14 seasons and he was very dedicated to the team that drafted him; the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Very few people will be that dedicated and loyal to the team that drafted them.  They are always looking for the next highest pay check, or hunting down a Super Bowl ring.  Ward was like the John Stockton of football; you never heard bad publicity about him and he just did his job every game and made all his team mates around him better.  Ward has a pretty neat story on how he became a football legend, and he is an amazing role model for future players.  This is his story.

Hines Edward Ward Jr was born on March 8th, 1976 in Seoul, South Korea.  While he was still an infant his parents moved to Georgia, but Hines Sr went on a tour of duty to Germany.  Right after that his parents divorced leaving Hines to be raised by his mother; but his mother was unfit to care for him so he went to live with his paternal grandmother.  When Hines turned 7 he was re-united with his mother, but his father never helped with child support and was not involved in his life in any way.  Still to this day Hines has never reconciled with his father and has a close connection with his mother.  Hines attended Forest Park High School where he was able to show off his athletic abilities as a QB; he earned 2 Clayton County Offensive Player of the Year Awards.

Ward attended the University of Georgia for his college career, and he played both wide receiver and tail back.  Ward was an all around college player and in his college career he totaled 3,870 all purpose yards; that is second only to Herschel Walker.  As a receiver he totaled 149 catches, 1,965 receiving yards, earned All SEC honors as a football player.  What is interesting about all this is that when he was in college he found out that he was missing his ACL in his left knee.  For those of you who don’t know what that is; it is a very important ligament that keeps your knee and place.  It was discovered that he had an incident when he was in the 4th grade and the doctor never took care of it.  Upon graduation he received his Conusmer Economics degree from the University of Georgia.

Coming out of college; Ward went into the NFL Draft where he was considered by numerous teams.  Ward was drafted by the Steelers in the 3rd round of the 1998 NFL Draft.  The coaches were very impressed with how versatile he was, and how excellent of a blocker he was.  Now, one thing you have to know is that most receivers are terrible blockers; but Hines Ward blocked like a tight end.  He had no problem laying a monster hit on someone to make a play.  You just don’t see that in receivers anymore; they are too afraid of getting hurt. 

As a Steeler Hines always took a back seat to other receivers, but he was always a nice target for any QB.  Most games he would only have a few catches, but there were many games where he would just destroy defenses with his blocking and receiving.  In his career he went to the Pro Bowl 4 times, won 2 Super Bowls, was the MVP of Super Bowl XL, and he has made Pittsburgh Steelers All-Team.  Though his 14 seasons he also set records for his team and for the NFL.  He is the Steelers all time leader in receiving touchdowns, receptions, and receiving yards.  His totals as an NFL player are 1,000 catches, 85 receiving TDs, and 12,083 receiving yards.

After retirement he still pursued other ventures.  He was on Dancing With the Stars and his won, he has had numerous business ventures, and he still does analysis for the NFL.  Hines Ward literally went from nothing to something and he was an amazing player to watch.  He is a kind hearted, genuine, and loyal guy and young players can learn a lot from him.  I wish more players played like him, and I hope there is a place for him in the Hall of Fame.