Top Dawgs by position

By Justin Hubbard

 

There is a trend circulating around the social media world where fans of various sports teams list their favorite players from those teams.

These posts and tweets include categories from most positions on the team. The point of this trend is to name your favorite player of each position based on who competed during your lifetime.

I wrote a similar column last year where I named my top five favorite Georgia football players. This week, I want to take that a step further by providing my own list of favorite Bulldogs based on each position.

Here’s a refresher from that column, published in the Aug. 25, 2017, paper: My five overall favorite Bulldogs are, in order from first to fifth, Aaron Murray, David Greene, Todd Gurley, Matthew Stafford and David Pollack. Obviously, I skewed toward the quarterbacks, so that means I must eliminate three names from that list. It also means this column will give me a chance to highlight other big contributors to Georgia football’s history.

Favorite quarterback: Aaron Murray

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Murray officially became my favorite Bulldog when he put his body on the line for a game he should have won in Auburn back in 2013. David Greene was my favorite player up until that point but Murray’s record-setting career and gutsy play was simply incredible.

Favorite running back: Todd Gurley

This was the toughest decision I made for this list. I actually got to interact with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel during my time at UGA. It was hard not going with either of them here, especially considering their career numbers were better than Gurley’s. However, Gurley just brought a different element every single time he touched the ball, whether it was for a carry, catch or kick return. It truly felt as if he could score at any point. If it weren’t for a handful of injuries and a suspension – and if he’d played four full seasons – there’s no telling what kind of numbers he could have posted.

Favorite wide receiver: A.J. Green

Green was simply electric. It’s a shame a late-season injury in 2009 and an early-season suspension in 2010 cost him more opportunities to add onto his impressive stats. Still, Green was arguably the best wide receiver to ever don the red and black. Could you imagine if Murray could have played all of his four seasons with Green lined up on the outside? That offense would have been even more unstoppable.

Favorite tight end: Arthur Lynch

Lynch was a major asset for Murray, which helped power a record-setting Bulldogs offense. I long for the days Georgia uses its tight ends the way it did with Lynch on the field.

Favorite offensive lineman: David Andrews

David “Boss” Andrews was one of the most reliable football players I’ve ever seen at UGA and he was an integral part of the team as its center.

Favorite defensive lineman: David Pollack

As I said before, Pollack is in my all-time top five. He was one of the Bulldogs’ best players back when I first really started watching and comprehending football. His status as a UGA legend cannot be questioned. Pollack is an all-time great Georgia player if there ever was one.

Favorite linebacker: Jarvis Jones

You thought this was going to be Roquan Smith, didn’t you? Although Smith had more total tackles than Jones, Jones still had more tackles for loss and was a sack machine. What always sticks out to me regarding Jones is his gaudy stat line from his two games against Florida: Jones had 18 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and six forced fumbles against the Gators. Incredible.

Favorite defensive back: Bacarri Rambo

The popular choice here is Champ Bailey but I was unfortunately a little too young to really appreciate Bailey’s work. I always enjoyed watching Rambo make tackles, bat away pass attempts and pick off opposing quarterbacks. Also, his last name is Rambo. Sure, he changed it from Fudge, but you can’t beat Rambo.

Favorite special teams player: Brandon Boykin

Boykin could have fit into the last category but this one’s more fitting. During his four years, Boykin returned 110 kicks for 2,663 yards and four touchdowns. He returned 14 punts for 180 yards and a touchdown his senior year. I know Isaiah McKenzie came along and returned five punts for touchdowns and became known as the “human joystick” but the harsh truth is McKenzie seemed a little too erratic at times. Boykin was a steady returner his team could trust to always make the smart play and not do too much.

Favorite kicker: Marshall Morgan

I could have gone with Brandon Coutu or Blair Walsh here, but the stats say you have to go with Morgan. He holds the all-time SEC record for extra point attempts (220) and PATs made (215). Of course, he was a beneficiary, in that regard, of Georgia’s explosive offense during his career, particularly during his first three years. Morgan ranks fourth all-time for most career field goals at Georgia with 64.

Favorite punter: Drew Butler

Butler is the son of Kevin Butler, who I’m sure many of you who were lucky enough to witness would have inserted into the previous category. The younger Butler averaged at least 50 punting yards six times during his career. He was an All-American and won the Ray Guy award in 2009 after averaging 48.1 yards per punt, the most in the NCAA that year and most in Georgia’s history. Butler’s career average of 45.4 is the best in Bulldogs history, too.

Clearly, my list focused on more recent Bulldogs. That’s, of course, due to my age – I’m only 24, so I did not get to experience the careers of Herschel, Belue, Lindsay Scott and others like I’m sure many of you did.

Regardless, I think we can all say the above players are some of Georgia’s best and we were lucky to see them play.

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