UGA Football: The five most influential Bulldogs

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Champ Bailey. player. 814. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 1996-98. Cornerback/Wide receiver. 1


  • All-SEC Freshman Team (1996)
  • All-American (1998)
  • Two-time All-SEC
  • Bronko Nagurski Award Winner (1998)
  • Vince Dooley MVP Award Winner (1998)
  • Top Ten in Heisman voting (1998 – No. 7)
  • State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame inductee (2018)
  • College Football Hall of Fame Nominee (2020)

There may not be a more athletic player to ever through Georgia than Champ Bailey. Shutdown corner, go-to wide receiver, kick and punt returner, there was nothing Bailey couldn’t do. Over his career for UGA Football, Bailey touched the ball 80 times on offense. He turned that into 1,077 yards and five touchdowns. He added another 560 yards on kick and punt returns.

In his three years at Georgia, Bailey played in 33 games, starting in 24. He amassed 147 tackles, forced one fumble, made two fumble recoveries, caught eight interceptions, and defended 27 passes. Bailey was Georgia’s last dominant shutdown cornerback before the emergence of Deandre Baker. When discussing the best cornerbacks in the history of the game the argument usually comes down to Deion Sanders or Bailey.

Even as good as Baker was, Georgia really hasn’t had another defensive back since Bailey with his level of talent. His speed, ball skills, tackling ability, and athleticism hasn’t been matched by anyone in Georgia’s secondary since. Bailey was certainly one of a kind.