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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dawgs of the Decade: Player of the Decade

Through a decade of success, there have been plenty of players who have made their mark in a Georgia uniform, and for the next two weeks, The Telegraph will be giving you the chance to vote on your picks for the Bulldogs’ All-Decade team for the 2000s. We’ll go position-by-position, and you’ll pick the winners by going to to vote.

Our 15th and final ballot is for Georgia’s top overall player of the decade. Narrowing the list down to five wasn’t easy, and there are several other prime candidates. But as the voting has shown, a handful of players have truly stood out in the past 10 years, and this was our top five.

(Note: Years as Georgia’s starter in parentheses.)

A.J. Green (2008-present). While there is still much more time left in Green’s career, he has already established himself as perhaps the most skilled receiver in school history after less than two full seasons. As a freshman in 2008, Green earned All-SEC honors by catching 56 passes (a freshman record) and 963 yards (the third-best total in school history) and was named the SEC’s freshman of the year. As a sophomore, he was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award and made his second straight All-SEC team despite missing three of the final four games of the regular season. His 47 catches and 751 yards both led the team and he hauled in six touchdown catches, including a career-long 61-yarder against Vanderbilt. In just 22 career games, Green has already tallied 1,714 yards receiving, 103 catches and 14 touchdowns.

Thomas Davis (2003-2004). Davis didn’t arrive at Georgia with a lot of buzz but once he got onto the field, he made his presence known quickly – and with authority. One of Georgia’s all-time hardest hitters, Davis finished his career with 272 tackles, 10.5 sacks and three interceptions and earned All-SEC honors in both 2003 and 2004. His 272 tackles ranks 17th all-time in Georgia history and his 138 takedowns in 2003 were the most by a Bulldogs defender since Greg Bright in 1996 and marked the 12th-best during any season in school history. As a junior in 2004, Davis earned All-America honors and was drafted in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers.

David Pollack (2001-2004). One of the most decorated athletes in Georgia history, Pollack was a three-time All-American, who holds the school records for sacks with 36 and was named the SEC’s player of the year in 2004. In his career, he had 58 tackles for a loss, made 283 total tackles, holds the single-season record for sacks with 14 in 2002 and his interception of South Carolina quarterback Corey Jenkins in the end zone in a 13-7 win remains one of the signature plays of the decade and helped propel the Bulldogs to an SEC title. He was selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.

David Greene (2001-2004). Until Texas’ Colt McCoy broke the mark this season, Greene held the NCAA record for most victories by a starting quarterback with 42 in four seasons. His career began as a redshirt freshman the same season Mark Richt arrived in Athens, and he was as much a part of Georgia’s resurgence as anyone. From his “Hobnail Boot” pass to Verron Haynes to beat Tennessee in 2001 to his SEC record 214 pass attempts without an interception to his 2002 SEC title to three straight All-SEC nods, Greene’s career was among the most successful by any quarterback in Georgia history. He holds the school record for completions, attempts, passing yards and touchdowns and ranks third all-time in completion percentage.

Knowshon Moreno (2007-2008). Perhaps no player has made more of an impact in just two seasons in Bulldogs history. Moreno burst onto the scene as a redshirt freshman in 2007, rushing for 1,334 yards including a monstrous 33-carry performance in a win over Florida in which he racked up 188 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He was a freshman All-American that season and an All-SEC selection. In 2008, he was a full-fledged starter and turned in an All-American performance, rushing for 1,400 yards (fifth-best in Georgia history) and 16 touchdowns (fourth-best in school history). His 5.49 yards per carry average was the seventh-best mark of any running back in a career at Georgia, and his 19.2 carries per game average was the second best. He is one of just two tailbacks in school history with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and was drafted in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.

So, who gets your vote? Go to to cast your ballot or vote in our previous categories, and be sure to pick up a copy of the December 27th issue of The Telegraph to find out the winners.

Don't forget to leave your comments here on the blog. Tell us about why you made your selection and your favorite memories of those players, and your comments could appear in our final results issue of The Telegraph.

And if you want to discuss your thoughts on the Dawgs of the decade or any other UGA-related issues, be sure to stop by our live chat today at noon at No time at noon? Just go there now, leave your question, and check back any time for the answers.


Hobnail said...

Gotta go with Pollack, simply for the fact that he was a 3-Time All-American (those don't come down the pike too often). However, as crazy as it may sound, I had to give serious consideration to AJ Green. Simply put, every time I see him play he is the best player on the field and it's not even that close. Often times he looks like a 3rd year NFL player playing against a bunch of high-schoolers.

Anonymous said...

Got to go with David Greene. I started to go with Pollack, but Greene was the epitome of leadership from day one. He drove a stake into many opponents hearts because he knew how to lead his team...not to mention some pretty decent playing skills.
Love Pollack, but the nod has to go to Greene.

Ginny said...

Wow. That's a stout list. My order would be:

1. David Greene
2. David Pollack
3. AJ Green
4. Knowshon Moreno
5. Thomas Davis

opsomath said...

Going with Greene as well. Oh, what a thing of beauty his play-fake was...

Anonymous said...

Greene was a very very good quarterback and but for Pollack, I would pick him.

But Pollack was an absolute, 100% gamechanger. He singlehandedly beat SC in 2002. He also stole the ball from the Wisconsin QB in the 2005 Outback Bowl.

Only two 3-time All Americans in school history, folks. Pollack was the player of the decade easily.

Ozam said...

Greene's consistency and leadership were important, but David Pollack was the heart and soul of the team. Without that defense Mark Richt's tenure at UGA might have been very different.

Anonymous said...

david greene

Anonymous said...

I respect what the Davids did and Pollack is #2 and Greene #3, but Knowshon Moreno is the best playmaker that Georgia has had this decade. He has a presence and personality to go along with his athletic ability that made him the most outstanding player I have ever had the pleasure to watch. He literally dominated the two seasons that he played and carried our team to victory after victory. Too bad we only had two years to watch him play.

gatorhater said...

I'm not saying I would vote for him, but it says something about our talent and player development level that a #1 draft pick isn't on the list

Ivy said...

Do you want more interesting?
In mid-October, the NFL's scheduled holiday showcase game seemed the equivalent of swine flu -- something you completely want to avoid.
Then, the prospect of watching the San Diego Chargers visit the Tennessee Titans on Christmas Day seemed dismal. The teams' combined record through Week 6 was 2-9.
But as we assess the Week 16 NFL Draft Power Rankings, this matchup is a prime ticket. The No. 3-ranked Chargers are the league's hottest team outside of Indiana, winners of nine straight games. After an 0-6 start, the No. 14-ranked Titans have won seven of eight and have a playoff pulse.
Merry Christmas!And have a good time!

Ginny said...

Gatorhater- You could also look at it the opposite way. What does it say about about our talent and player development when a 3 star David Pollack ends up being a 3 time All American?