UGA football: 5 greatest Bulldogs who didn’t win a Heisman Trophy

The Heisman Trophy (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
The Heisman Trophy (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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These five former UGA football players were among the best in the nation when they played, but never took home the Heisman Trophy hardware.

UGA football has a long tradition of great players, great teams, and championships. Oddly enough, with such a storied past the oldest land-grant university in the country has only produced two Heisman Trophy winners.

In 1942, the legendary Frank Sinkwich was given the award for the nation’s best college football player, and then (of course) in 1982, perhaps the greatest college football player to ever lace up his cleats, Herschel Walker, won – and he probably should have won it more than once.

There was a Heisman buzz around a number of players over the years between Sinkwich and Walker, and then again since the early 1980s, but no one has grabbed enough attention from the voters when it came time to cast the ballots.

These players not only did incredible jobs of representing the University of Georgia and UGA football but were (or should have been) right up there in the thick of the Heisman Trophy conversation.

Honorable mentions in this category should go to Hines Ward and Champ Bailey, neither of whom ever really put together a “Heisman season” but their versatility and prolific performance at multiple positions shouldn’t be overlooked.

These UGA football greats could have been Heisman Trophy winners

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Quarterback Matthew Stafford (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /

. . Matthew Stafford. 5. player. 814.

Position: QB
Years Played: 2006-2008
Best Chance at Heisman: 2008

Matthew Stafford strode on to the campus at Georgia a gunslinger from Texas who was going to transform the quarterback position for the Bulldogs, and transform it he did.

His freshman and sophomore campaigns were pretty good seasons by just about any measuring stick, but his junior year, Stafford really lit it up.

In 2008, Stafford threw for 3,459 yards and 25 touchdowns, with only 10 interceptions. Losses to Alabama, Florida, and Georgia Tech spoiled what could have been a great season for the Dawgs and may have unfortunately taken eyes off Stafford among the Heisman voters.

That year, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford took home the hardware, with Texas’s Colt McCoy and Florida’s Tim Tebow rounding out an all-quarterback Heisman list. All four quarterbacks had exceptional seasons, and Stafford was the odd-man-out for the finalists.

Had Stafford returned for his senior season in 2009 rather than opting for the NFL., he very well could have been a Heisman finalist or winner. That said, he’s probably happy with his decision.