Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Countdown to the Countdown: #2 (Garrison Hearst)

Friday, May 29th marks 99 days until Georgia and Oklahoma State kick off their 2009 seasons in Stillwater. Leading up that date, we are counting down the Top 25 UGA football players of the past 25 seasons.

2. Garrison Hearst, RB (1990-1992)
  • 1,594 rushing yards in 1992 - 4th best single season in UGA history (11th in SEC history) - also the most single season yardage by a UGA player not named Herschel Walker
  • 246 yards vs Vanderbilt in 1992 - 3rd best single-game performance in UGA history
  • 7th most career rushing attempts in UGA history: 543
  • 2nd most career rushing yards in UGA history: 3,232
  • UGA record-holder for single season rushing touchdowns in 1992: 19 (was an SEC record until broken by Tim Tebow in 2007.)
  • 3rd most career rushing touchdowns in UGA history: 33
  • UGA record-holder for single-season yards per carry: 1992 (6.8 ypc) - SEC record
  • Leading rusher for UGA: 1990, 1991, 1992 seasons
  • All-SEC: 1991 (AP 2nd team); 1992 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)
  • All-American: 1992 (Kodak, Associated Press, Walter Camp, Football Writers' Association of America, Sporting News, UPI)
  • Finished 3rd in 1992 Heisman Trophy balloting
  • 1992 Doak Walker Award winner (for best collegiate junior or senior running back)

Hearst is widely considered to be the 2nd best running back ever to play at UGA. He was one of the country's top recruits out of state powerhouse Lincoln County in 1990. He broke several state rushing records, including Herschel Walker's record for career rushing yardage. He was an early commitment to 2nd year UGA head coach Ray Goff, and began to contribute early and often. He started most of the games during his true freshman season, as UGA labored to a 4-7 record. Beginning in 1991, much of the success that the program experienced over the next 2 seasons could be traced to Hearst toting the lumber. Hearst didn't have a defined running style - he did everything well. He was strong, fast, elusive and durable...everything you could possibly want in a workhorse tailback. Many (including yours truly) feel that he was jobbed in the 1992 Heisman Trophy balloting, as the most overrated quarterback in the history of the college game won the award in Miami's Gino Toretta. (Hearst would finish neck and neck for 2nd with a sophomore, Marshall Faulk of San Diego State.)

The Arizona Cardinals selected Hearst in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft. He struggled during his years with Arizona (as most players did back then), and then journeyed to the Cincinnati Bengals, and ultimately to the San Francisco 49ers, where his pro career finally took off. He'd make the Pro Bowl in 1998 with San Francisco before suffering a gruesome leg injury against the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs that year. After believing his career might be over, he made an amazing comeback in 2001 with the 49ers, once again making the Pro Bowl and earning NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors (for the 2nd time in his career.) He'd finish his career with the Denver Broncos.


Otto said...

Another DGD!! Just to let u guys know, I got the first interview with GH when he made his decision to leave early for the NFL. With my Mom behind the vhs recorder inside the BM building he was subjected to my vast array of questions and was very kind to me throughout the interview. He said he had just come out of VD's office and informed him he was turning pro.....It was for a HS history class. We had to do video report on something that we thought was important to the history of the state of GA... I picked the UGA football team(imagine that). I got an A btw!!
I'll never forget the long td run he did for SF when he stffarmed the entire defense as he tightroped the sideline!!

JJ said...

How in the hell did I not know that story.

Otto said...

I don't tell to many ppl because I'm afraid they will ask to see the video....which is at my parents house. Looking back at my sense of style is quite entertaining to say the least. If you can imagine what a wardrobe mix of Sinbad(comedian/ 90's sitcom dude) and Corky....ya that Corky! Then throw in my FAILED ATTEMPT at having the hairstyle of Zac (from Saved by the Bell)....something like that but worse. I was one pair of oversized shoes away from being a fullblown CLOWN..da da dunna dunna da da dunna

Bop said...

I like this selection jj.

I'm not sure anyone has looked more like a stud TB in a uniform than Hearst.

What are the odds I dig up that video of the Hearst interview and upload it to youtube and post it on here since otto is in Vegas.