In 2002 another Bulldog newcomer introduced himself to the nation competing against South Carolina. David Pollack scored the only touchdown in Georgia’s 13-7 nationally televised victory over South Carolina in Columbia.
In the fourth quarter, Pollack intercepted a pass off the fingertips of Gamecock quarterback Corey Jenkins. The play (along with Pollack’s charge at Jenkins on an option play at the Georgia two yard line on the games last play to create a fumble) not only won the game, but it put the Dawgs on track to win the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division. The Dawgs defeated Arkansas for the Southeastern Conference crown, Georgia’s first SEC Championship since 1980.
Pollack came to Georgia a well-regarded fullback out of Gwinnett County’s Shiloh High School in 2001. Georgia was loaded and well stocked at fullback and Pollack played little. Things were still not going particularly well for the rising sophomore in the spring of 2002. But Georgia defensive coach Jon Fabris saw something in Pollack he could work with. Enticing Pollack to the other side of the ball and installing him as a defensive end is the difference between the 2001 8-4 Georgia football team and the 2002 Southeastern Conference Champions.
Pollack rocketed to the top the Southeastern Conference defensive pile to claim 2002 Player of the Year Honors. The next year he earned the Ted Hendrix Defensive End Award, his senior year walked away with the Rotary Lombardi Award, Ted Hendricks Award, Chuck Bednarik Award, the Ronnie Lott Trophy and SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors. Pollack and Herschel Walker are the only Georgia three-time All-Americans.