The Top Ten All-Time Georgia Football Player Names (video)

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1: Illya Hiawatha Berry

Hiawatha came to Georgia out of Winder-Barrow High School, and that in itself is an accomplishment, Berry being the last W-B performer to claim a Georgia football scholarship.

While Berry was a great high school football player, he is one of the states all-time great high school track and field competitors. His discus throw of 204 – 2 in 1985 is still a Georgia record and his shot put of 64.35 in 1986 leaves him fourth on the all-time Georgia list. Only one top ten other distance on either list was achieved in the previous century.

Berry dabbled at fullback his first season but soon settled in at defensive tackle.

And yes, there is a story behind the name.

Hiawatha Berry’s father, Isaiah Berry himself a legend in Georgia high school track circles as a coach specializing in the technique events, accepted an athletic scholarship to Savannah State College. The first week, Berry was so miserable the decided to quit and go home. However, his roommate, confiscated his clothes and only gave Berry what garments he needed each day, thereby convincing Berry to remain in school. For keeping him at school, Isaiah Berry named his son after his roommate, Hiawatha, and after his favorite TV character Illya Kuryakin of the Man from U.N.CL.E.