Brannan Southerland, Georgia's fullback the last four years, sat through two days wondering if his name would be called in the 2009 NFL draft.
Unfortunately his name was not called. What a travesty!
This young man is one of the good guys that was in the draft and to be quite honest, he was the heart and soul of the Georgia Bulldog football team the last couple of years.
He came from Greater Atlanta Christian in Norcross, GA where he played fullback and linebacker. He was rated the No. 3 fullback by Rivals.com and was offered scholarships by Notre Dame and Oklahoma as well as the Dawgs.
Thank God he chose Georgia!
During his red-shirt freshman year he would get seven starts and play in all 13 games at fullback. He showed quickly why coach Richt had signed him with bruising blocks that opened holes for Thomas Brown while also carrying the ball in short yardage situations.
He would have 18 carries for 26 yards scoring three touchdowns during the 2005 SEC Championship campaign. He also caught eight passes for 57 yards and two touchdowns.
In 2006, Southerland would prove why he was Georgia's heart and soul on offense. He would have 46 carries for 120 yards and led the team with eight rushing touchdowns. He also caught 13 passes for 157 yards and two more touchdowns.
Southerland's 10 touchdowns would lead the Dawgs in scoring. He would become the first fullback to do so since Bulldog great Theron Sapp led the Dawgs in scoring in 1957.
In 2007, he would block for another great back in Knowshon Moreno. He would have 17 carries for 24 yards and five touchdowns. He also caught 11 passes for 59 yards and a touchdown.
During that year he would be one of the main reasons Moreno would become only the second freshman in Georgia history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season.
Before the 2008 season Southerland was voted the Best Blocking Back in the SEC, but would have to miss spring practice because of a surgery on his left foot.
When he was set to come back at the beginning of summer practice he would find out that a second surgery would be needed on his left foot leaving him out of the lineup for the first five games of the season.
Despite these setbacks he would be named the team's offensive captain. His numbers for the 2008 season were not stellar by no means only carrying the ball twice for one yard, but that one yard was a touchdown.
He also caught two balls for 16 yards to finish his college career.
Southerland would then win the team's David Jacobs Award. The award is given to the player who by example portrays courage, spirit, character, and determination.
This 6'0" 244 pound fullback is a complete fullback that has a nose for the end zone and has the hands to catch the ball out of the backfield. If I'm a corner or linebacker, I do not want to hit this guy head to head.
I see him following in the foot steps of another great NFL fullback that played his college days at Georgia in Mack Strong.
Brannan Southerland will play in the NFL, but he will not go down as a drafted player. He will be able to chose the team he wants to play for as a free agent.
If I'm a GM with a great tailback I would be on the phone trying to sign him to a deal. With his skill set, Southerland will only make the tailback position better.
So here is to you Brannan Southerland on a great NFL career. We as Bulldog Nation will always be thankful you were apart of our hearts and our Dawgs.
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