Through the years the University of Georgia has produced some of the greatest defensive players of all-time. They have produced quality players at each position, unlike most schools who produce quality players at just a single position.
I have put together a defense that would have been dominant during any era or against any offense. It would be a defense that former coach Erik Russell would have been proud to call a “Junkyard Dawg” defense.
Defensive End - David Pollack 2001-2004
Pollack helped lead the Dawgs to the 2002 SEC championship, the first in 20 years. He finished his career 16th on Georgia’s career list with 283 tackles with 58 tackles for loss.
Pollack is currently Georgia’s all-time leader in sacks with 36. He also finished with 4 interceptions, with the most memorable one being against South Carolina in 2002 that proved to be the only touchdown of the game.
Pollack will go down as one of the most decorated Dawgs in Georgia history.
He joins Herschel Walker as the only two players to garner All-American honors three consecutive years.
Pollack was also a three-time All-SEC selection, a two-time Ted Hendricks Award winner (Top Defensive End), 2004 Lombardi Award winner (Top Lineman), 2004 Chuck Bednarik Award winner (Top Defensive Player), 2002 and 2004 SEC Player of the Year as voted by the coaches, and the 2004 AP SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
Defensive Tackle - Bill Stanfill 1966 to 1968
Stanfill was a member of two SEC Championship teams, 1966 and 1968. He was a All-American in 1968, as well as a three-time All-SEC selection.
Stanfill is currently the only player in Georgia history to win the Outland Trophy (Most Outstanding Lineman) in 1968.
Defensive Tackle - Richard Seymour 1997 to 2000
Seymour finished his career with 223 tackles, 10 sacks, and 26 tackles for loss. Seymour was an All-American in 2000, as well as a 2-time All-SEC selection in 1999 and 2000.
Defensive End - Freddie Gilbert 1980 to 1983
Gilbert was a member of the 1980 National Championship team and three SEC championship teams from 1980 to 1982.
He was an All-American in 1983 and a two-time All-SEC selection. Gilbert finished his career with 26 sacks which is currently fifth on Georgia’s career list.
Outside Linebacker - Jimmy Payne 1979 to 1982
Payne played both Defensive Tackle and Linebacker during his years at Georgia. He was a member of the 1980 National Championship team, as well as three SEC Championship teams from 1980 to 1982.
He was an All-American in 1982 and also a three-time All-SEC selection. Payne’s 28 career sacks currently rank third on Georgia’s all-time list.
Middle Linebacker - Ben Zambiasi 1974 to 1977
Zambiasi was a member of the 1976 SEC championship team. He was an All-American in 1976 and a three-time All-SEC selection.
Zambiasi is Georgia’s career tackles leader with 467. That is an average of 116 tackles a year for his four years as a Dawg.
Outside Linebacker - Tommy Thurson 1980 to 1983
Thurson was a member of the 1980 National Championship team and three SEC Championship teams from 1980 to 1982.
Thurson was a three-time All-SEC selection and his 448 career tackles currently rank 3rd on Georgia’s all-time list.
Cornerback - Scott Woerner 1977 to 1980
Woerner finished his career with 147 tackles and 13 interceptions. His 13 interceptions currently ranked as the fourth most in Georgia history.
Woerner was an All-American and All-SEC selection in 1980 while helping lead the Dawgs to the 1980 National Championship and SEC Championship.
Cornerback - Champ Bailey 1996 to 1998
Bailey finished his career with 147 tackles and eight interceptions. In 1998, Bailey won the Bronco Nagurski Award (Nation’s Defensive Player of the Year) while finishing seventh in the Heisman voting.
Bailey was an All-American in 1998 and was a two-time All-SEC selection.
Free Safety - Jake Scott 1966 to 1968
Scott was a member of the 1966 and 1968 SEC Championship teams. He was an All-American in 1968 and a two-time All-SEC selection.
In 1968, Scott was voted by the coaches as the SEC Player of the Year.
Scott is Georgia’s career interceptions leader with 16 and he held the single season record for 14 years with 10 interceptions in 1968.
Strong Safety - Terry Hoage 1980 to 1983
Hoage was a member of the 1980 National Championship team and three SEC Championship teams from 1980 to 1982.
Hoage was two-time All-American and a two-time All-SEC selection. He finished his career with 223 tackles, 10 sacks, and 14 interceptions. His 14 interceptions currently rank as 2nd on Georgia’s all-time list.
Hoage currently holds a Georgia and SEC record of 12 interceptions in a single season. He finished fifth in the 1983 Heisman voting and was viewed as possibly the greatest defensive player former coach Vince Dooley had ever seen.
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