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Monday, December 14, 2009

Dawgs of the Decade: The Quarterbacks

Through a decade of success, there have been plenty of players who have made their mark in a Georgia uniform, and for the next two weeks, The Telegraph will be giving you the chance to vote on your picks for the Bulldogs’ All-Decade team for the 2000s. We’ll go position-by-position, and you’ll pick the winners by going to to vote.

Our sixth ballot is for Georgia’s top quarterback of the decade, and the nominees are:

(Note: Years as Georgia’s starter in parentheses.)

David Greene (2001-2004). Until Texas’ Colt McCoy broke the mark this season, Greene held the NCAA record for most victories by a starting quarterback with 42 in four seasons. His career began as a redshirt freshman the same season Mark Richt arrived in Athens, and he was as much a part of Georgia’s resurgence as anyone. From his “Hobnail Boot” pass to Verron Haynes to beat Tennessee in 2001 to his SEC record 214 pass attempts without an interception to his 2002 SEC title to three straight All-SEC nods, Greene’s career was among the most successful by any quarterback in Georgia history. He holds the school record for completions, attempts, passing yards and touchdowns and ranks third all-time in completion percentage.

D.J. Shockley (2005). Shockley’s first four seasons in Athens were spent waiting in the wings behind David Greene, but when he got his shot as the starter, he surpassed even the most optimistic of expectations. Shockley opened the 2005 season with a five-touchdown performance against Boise State in the first start of his career and things just got better from there. As a starter that season, he finished with a 10-2 record, and the two losses could hardly be blamed on him. He finished with 582 yards, five TDs and no interceptions in those two games. His high point, however, was a 34-14 win over LSU to give Richt his second SEC championship and a berth in the Sugar Bowl. Shockely’s 24 passing TDs in 2005 tied for the second most in a season by any Georgia quarterback and his career pass-efficiency rating of 142.86 is the best in school history – by a wide margin.

Matthew Stafford (2006-2008). Perhaps no quarterback has ever come to Georgia with higher expectations thrust upon him than Stafford. While his predecessors – Greene and Shockley – had time to develop, Stafford was thrown to the wolves as a true freshman. It wasn’t always pretty that season, but Stafford grew into the role, leading Georgia to three straight wins over ranked opponents to cap the year. As a sophomore in 2007, Stafford threw for more than 2,5000 yards and 19 touchdowns, helping Georgia to a No. 2 overall ranking and a Sugar Bowl victory. In his junior season, Stafford turned a corner, completing 61.4 percent of his passes, throwing a school record 25 touchdowns – including tying a school mark with five against Georgia Tech – and finishing with the second-highest pass-efficiency rating for a single season in school history while earning an All-SEC nod. He wrapped up his career third in Georgia history in touchdowns, passing yards and completions. While Greene held the school record with 42 wins, Stafford’s career winning percentage of .794 nearly matched Greene’s mark of .807. He wrapped up his career by becoming the No. 1 overall draft choice by the Detroit Lions in 2009.

So, who gets your vote? Go to to cast your ballot or vote in our previous categories, and be sure to pick up a copy of the December 27th issue of The Telegraph to find out the winners.

And don't forget to leave your comments here on the blog. Tell us about why you made your selection and your favorite memories of those players, and your comments could appear in our final results issue of The Telegraph.


Anonymous said...

Let the era of Aaron begin!

Chase said...

Honestly I dont even see this as a competition david greene takes this one in a landslide

Anonymous said...

Wait a second... why isn't Quincy Carter on this ballot? lol...

MT said...

This is one of the easiest selections out there... Greene all the way. He immediately showed the poise, moxie and courage under fire needed in a QB from day one and represented the program superbly. I think he would make an amazing coach and am surprised that Richt hasn't succeeded in pulling the QB most similar to him into the coaching arena.

superdog said...

I'd just like to say how lucky we are to have these 3 to choose from. My vote is for Greene but the runners up are a SEC champion & MVP who patiently waited his turn to shine and a #1 NFL draft pick.

Uganewt said...

Great point superdog. Even a lot of successful, major programs didn't have one guy as good as the three we're picking from.

MT, I've heard Greene say a couple times in interviews that he doesn't really have the desire to be that involved with football right now. He turned down invitations to try out with other NFL franchises when he retired. Add to that a young family and I think he's quite happy in the insurance business.