Thursday, May 28, 2009

Countdown to the Countdown: #1 (David Pollack)

Tomorrow marks 99 days until Georgia and Oklahoma State kick off their 2009 seasons in Stillwater. Today concludes our countdown of the Top 25 UGA football players of the past 25 seasons.

1. David Pollack (2001-2004)
  • 16th on all-time UGA tackles list: 263
  • All-time leader at UGA in sacks: 36
  • Holds the top single-season sack total in UGA history (as well as 2 of the top 3): 2002 (14), 2004 (12.5)
  • 3 sacks in a game twice: 2003 vs Purdue, 2004 vs Wisconsin
  • All-SEC: 2002 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team); 2003 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team); 2004 (AP 1st team, Coaches' 1st team)
  • All-American: 2002 (AP, Football Writers' Association of America, The Sporting News); 2003 (AFCA); 2004 (AP, Football Writers' Association of America, Walter Camp, AFCA) - only the 2nd three-time 1st team All-American in UGA history
  • Two-time Ted Hendricks Award winner: 2003 and 2004 (nation's top defensive end)
  • 2004 Rotary Lombardi Award winner (nation’s top lineman)
  • 2004 Chuck Bednarik Award winner (nation’s top defensive player)
  • 2004 Lott Trophy winner (nation’s top impact defensive player)
  • Two-time AP SEC Defensive Player of the Year: 2002 and 2004
  • 2004 Coaches' SEC Player of the Year

David Pollack is the most decorated player ever to play at UGA, dominating the national defensive awards after his senior season, and being honored as the SEC Player of the Year from the defensive end position as a senior. His best year statistically speaking was 2002, although one could argue that 2004 was more impressive considering that the opposition was focusing primarily on him and no one else along the defensive line.

Pollack epitomized the entire UGA defensive philosophy under former defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder. While he was blessed with a motor and an inner drive that made him nearly unstoppable at times, he was more talented than most fans often give him credit for. (Example: he ran a 4.7 forty yard dash at his NFL combine workout.) He was one of, if not the, leader on and off the field. His teammates thrived off his enthusiasm and hustle. The crowd loved him, and he loved them back.

Pollack was drafted in the mid-1st round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Contract negotiations held him out of training camp in his rookie season. He would wind up with a nice rookie year, with 4.5 sacks. During Pollack's 2nd season, he suffered a broken vertebrae making a tackle and was forced into a difficult surgery. He never fully recovered, and chose to retire rather than risk permanent injury with a comeback. Since the NFL, Pollack started his own company, and also now works as an afternoon drive co-host on 790 the Zone in Atlanta.

Here's a decent play from Pollack that some might remember vaguely. (credit: kcmci1) Talk about some great memories......

The official countdown begins tomorrow morning. Hope everyone enjoyed the "pre-Countdown."


Bop said...

I remember him getting in a fight with preseason All-American Jon Stinchcomb the moment he showed up on campus. 'Who does this kid think he is' was what everyone was saying.

He earned everything he ever got on the field. Imposed his will on teamates and opposing players.

Like Otto says, too bad Florida's Pollack plays QB.

The_Goat said...

In addition to that 4.7 40 he had a 37" vertical and the best 20 yard shuttle (3.9) of the entire combine at any position (or damn close to it). He was as quick as anyone we'll ever have playing DL. Just insanely fun to watch - and a reminder that the enthusiasm and intensity we hatee in Tebow were awesome when it was our guy.

Hobnail_Boot said...

Great countdown, enjoyed it.

j.leonardjr said...

"How bout that Pollock interception?"

RB said...

Great countdown, JJ.

Pollack is a no-brainer for #1.

Amanda said...

After the game, Pollack saved a baby from a burning house, cured two lepers and turned water into wine. There was nothing this guy couldn't do. Go Dawgs. amanda vanderpool model