Bulldogs Opinion Week: Who is the greatest UGA quarterback of all time?

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Sep 28, 2013; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray (11) celebrates beating the LSU Tigers at Sanford Stadium. Georgia won 44-41. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

At UGA, quarterback play is crucial, and with Hutson Mason taking over for Aaron Murray at quarterback for UGA this season, it’s only natural that people will start to talk about how difficult Murray will be to replace, and what his place is in the pantheon of great Georgia signal-callers.

That said, we thought it would be a great opportunity to use our Opinion Week series to talk about Georgia’s quarterback lineage, and where they all rank in terms of their contributions to the Georgia football program during their years between the hedges.

Georgia really has had a rich history of quarterback play, some having long careers with the Bulldogs, while others having more brief (but still important) tenures with the team.

There are quarterbacks who have set SEC and NCAA records, some who went on to NFL greatness to represent the Bulldog name with pride, and there are some who set no records and never played in the NFL, but yet managed to become part of the lore and legend of University of Georgia football.

We’ll go through the greats, one-by-one, and then let you tell us what you think as to who is the greatest all-time UGA quarterback. Make no mistake, all the players on this list are great and had their own important contributions. This isn’t an attempt to take anything away from any one player, but rather to celebrate them all.

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  • RChris

    Frank Sinkwich was UGAs greatest quarterback. The terminology of the time labelled him a fullback, but his function in the offence was identical to that of a Tim Tebow or Cam Newton. He took a direct snap from center and either ran it himself, handed it off, or passed it. He ran for a ton of yards and set SEC records for passing and total yardage. He won the Heisman and led the Dogs to their first National Championship. He was voted athlete of the year over Ted Williams the year Ted hit .400. In the context of his time he had no equal.

    • Michael Collins

      Valid points, and a great Georgia player to be sure. However, this list was more about quarterbacks in the pure sense of the word. Sinkwich was always thought of as more of a runner. He did set rushing records, but to anything I’ve seen he never set any passing records. He did set an NCAA record for what we’d now call “all-purpose” yards. Definitely one of UGA’s all-time greats, and good that you mentioned him.

      • RChris

        Tebow, Newton, and Manziel were also fine runners. Sinkwich set the SEC single season record for passing yards. He had as many touchdown passes (30) as rushing touchdowns. It’s just an accident of history that the name of the position was changed from fullback to quarterback. His role in the offense was almost identical to a quarterback in a shotgun type offense of today.

  • Curtis Lynch

    My vote is for Hines Ward. He may not be the best pure QB UGA has seen, but he is far and away the most valuable player we have had on the team.

    • Michael Collins

      Curtis, like Sinkwich, I seriously considered putting Ward on this list…but he simply didn’t have enough snaps at QB to really warrant it. I will agree, one of the best pure athletes ever seen in college football.

  • Mike

    That’s a very, very worthy list but… at least for now, Belue is the only one to captain us to a N/C and until that changes, he gets my vote :)