UGA Football: Garrison Hearst a forgotten hero among Georgia running backs

It’s been 27 years since former UGA football running back Garrison Hearst almost won the Heisman Trophy. Today, Hearst seems to be forgotten by the fanbase.

Garrison Hearst is undoubtedly one of the best running backs to ever play for UGA football. His contribution to the team cannot be understated.

When Hearst left Georgia in 1993, he was No. 4 on the career rushes list. While at Georgia, Hearst carried the ball 542 times. He is now No. 6 on the list as Nick Chubb and Sony Michel both passed him.

Even though Hearst isn’t in the Top Five of rushes in a career, he is No. 5 in career rushing yards. This shows that he didn’t touch the ball as much as some of the other running backs, but when he did, he made the most of it. His 5.95 yards per rush is No. 7 all-time for Georgia. In fact, if you take his 5.95 yards per carry and multiply it by 994, Herschel Walker’s total career carries, you get 5,914 yards, more yards than even Walker himself.

Hearst’s 3,232 yards is also No. 4 all-time at Georgia in a 3-year period. Only Walker, Chubb, and Todd Gurley rushed for more yards in a 3-year period. He also sits No. 4 all-time in total 100-yard games with 16. This shows that he is one of the most efficient runners to ever strap them up for Georgia. He is also just one of three Georgia running backs to run for over 1500 yards in a season. The other two being Chubb and Walker.

However, fast forward to today and he didn’t even make the Top Ten of a recent Favorite Player of All Time poll taken by The Athletic. Coming in at No. 17 with just seven votes.

Seven votes, just seven, how is that possible? How has such a great UGA football player been completely forgotten and overlooked? Five running backs were voted for more than him.

Those running backs were Walker, Gurley, Chubb, Michel, and Knowshon Moreno. All of whom played at Georgia within the last 15 years, other than Walker.

In the history of Georgia football, there are maybe four running backs who have had a better career than Hearst. Those running backs are Walker, Chubb, Michel, and Gurley. However, only one of them ever won the Heisman Trophy and Hearst was snubbed in 1992. He came in third to Gino Toretta and Marshall Faulk. Here are the stats for each that season:

Gino Toretta: 228/402 56.7% 3060 yards 19 touchdowns 7 interceptions
Marshall Faulk: 283 touches 1758 yards, 6.2 yards per touch, 15 touchdowns
Garrison Hearst: 250 touches 1871 yards, 7.5 yards per touch, 21 touchdowns

Hearst should have won the Heisman Trophy in 1992. The only reason he lost was because of biased voting, plain and simple. Georgia just wasn’t as popular as Miami and Faulk were seen as a better back, even though the stats didn’t back up that argument.

Sometimes it feels like Hearst is forgotten because he played in the Ray Goff Era. That is a time that many Georgia fans try to forget. So, for those that need a reminder of just how great Hearst was, here is a compilation of his highlights at Georgia:

You could also make the argument that had Hearst ran the ball at the same volume as Walker, he would have more yards than the Bulldog legend. So why has this UGA football hero been forgotten just 27 years after his Bulldog career ended? Had he won the Heisman Trophy in 1992 would he be remembered more fondly? Who knows. What is known is that Hearst deserves to be a lot higher on a lot of fan’s lists.

Next: Top 10 quarterbacks in UGA football history

Garrison Hearst is a UGA football legend, plain and simple. Never forget what No. 5 contributed to this team. He deserves to be in the top ten most popular players in Georgia’s history and he deserves a lot more than seven votes. He deserves a lot more love from Bulldog Nation. He will always be the favorite player of this writer.

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