Monday, May 25, 2009

Countdown to the Countdown: #4 (Champ Bailey)

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.

4. Champ Bailey, CB/WR (1996-1998)

  • Leading UGA kickoff returner: 1997 and 1998
  • 2 year starter at cornerback (1997 and 1998), also started 11 games at WR in 1998.
  • All-SEC: 1997 (AP 2nd team, Coaches' 1st team); 1998 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)
  • All-American: 1998 (AFCA Coaches', AP, Walter Camp, Football Writers' Association of America, Football News, Sporting News)
  • 1998 Winner of the Bronco Nagurski Award (given to the nation's top defensive player)

You won't find Champ in many places in the UGA record book, because he was primarily a defensive player, and rarely did the opposition throw the ball toward his side of the field. He was easily the best shutdown corner ever to play in Athens. In 1998, he was also UGA's go-to wide receiver. He played over 100 plays in 7 games as a junior, on the field for over 1,000 plays for during that entire season. By the way, he was also the UGA record holder in the track and field indoor long jump for a number of years (finished 3rd in the 1998 SEC indoor track and field championships.)

In perhaps the biggest no-brainer in the history of football, Bailey declared for the NFL Draft before his senior season at UGA. He was selected 7th overall in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. After a solid rookie season that had plenty of the usual ups and downs, Bailey has been selected to the Pro Bowl every season since while playing for the Redskins and Denver Broncos. He'll be in Canton the first year he's eligible. At the current level he's playing, that will be no time soon.


A Free Man said...

Champ is easily my all-time favorite Dawg. An old school stud!

Otto said...

I'm with Free MAn...... my all time favorite..... with M. Johnson & Verron that is:>

I'll never forget being in Tiger Stadium in 98, the only red dot in a sea of purple & gold and warning all corndogs to watch out for #4! He had a great game (Quinssscthy lived off that game for 2 yrs) and I got escorted out after the big 3rd down catch Champ made late in the game to secure the W. BTW how good was Booger McFarline that game??

Anywho, I love me some Champ!! DGD!!

BayouDawg said...

If it weren't for champ, quinthy wouldn't have had half the stats he did.