UGASports - Recruiting Flashback: Class of 2001
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Recruiting Flashback: Class of 2001

Newly hired head coach Mark Richt had
little time putting together his first class of signees in 2001. With less than
six weeks until national signing day, he and his quickly assembled coaching
staff hit the ground running to gather together what they could. In the end,
several of these players went on to be big time contributors to the three SEC
East titles and two SEC league titles that Georgia would go on to win over the
next five seasons.
Bama Adams
Charlton Co., Folkston GA
Redshirted in 2001 and then transferred to Valdosta State the following spring.
Gerald Anderson
Defensive Tackle
Ware Co., Waycross GA
Played in 49 games over the course of his career including 29 starts.
Tallied 128 tackles, 30 quarterback pressures, 18 tackles for a loss, and two
sacks. He also recovered four fumbles. Graduated from UGA this spring.
Greg Blue
Banneker, College Park GA
Like Anderson, Blue played in 49 games during his career at UGA and started
28. In all, he recorded 260 tackles, 188 of which were solo stops. He also had
13 quarterback pressures, broke up 12 passes, caused four fumbles, and had 7
tackles for a loss of yards.
Tyson Browning
Running Back
Oconee Co., Watkinsville GA
Went to Fork Union (see 2002)
Nic Clemons
Defensive End
Griffin, GA / Georgia Military College
Transferred to UGA in January 2001 and played in five games that season
before a season ending hip injury. The following spring, he was named the team's
Most Improved Defensive Lineman. He missed most of the first half of the 2002
season with turf toe. In his two years at Georgia, he played in seven games and
had four tackles. He is currently playing with the Washington Redskins.
Thomas Davis
Randolph-Clay, Cuthbert GA
Though signed as a linebacker, David played safety for the Bulldogs and is
one of the best in the team's history. After redshirting in 2001, he received
the Best Tackler Award following spring camp 2002, and went on to play in every
game of the SEC Championship season including four starts. His saved two games
on the team's way to the Georgia dome. First, he scooped up a fumble on the five
yard line to stop South Carolina from scoring what would have been the game
winning touchdown in the final seconds of the game in Columbia, and then later
intercepted a pass on Alabama's final possession to give the Bulldogs their
first ever win in Tuscaloosa. He got a sniff of linebacker in spring camp 2003,
but was moved back to safety in August, and went on to earn All-SEC First Team
honors as a sophomore. Again winning the Best Tackler Award in spring camp 204,
he had a great junior season and was named All-American. With 272 tackles, 27
quarterback pressures, 17 tackles for a loss, and 10 sacks to his credit, he
opted to hang up his black cleats and head to the NFL a year early. He was
picked in the first round by Carolina. in 2005, he played in 16 games, recording
38 tackles and a sack at linebacker for the Panthers.
Marquis Elmore
Defensive End
Charlton Co., Folkston GA
Failed to qualify and went to Hargrave Military Academy (see 2002).
Fred Gibson
Wide Receiver
Ware Co., Waycross GA
After setting the school record of five 100 yard receiving games in one
season, and leading the team in both receiving yards (772) and yards per catch
(23.4), Gibson was named to the All-SEC Freshman First Team. His biggest games
were against Tennessee, where he caught two passes for 70 yards and a touchdown,
and against Kentucky when he broke a nearly 60 year old record by catching 201
yards worth of passes. He also set a school record by having four consecutive
100 yard games. Following the season, he joined Jim Harrick's basketball team and
was a key reserve. The rest of his career he was a consistent threat for the
Bulldogs, and by the time he left in team following the 2004 season, he had
amassed 2,884 yards (UGA record) off of 161 receptions (3rd best in UGA history)
and scored 20 touchdowns (2nd best in UGA history). In all, he had 10 100 yards
games for which he is tied for first in UGA school history. Other than those
mentioned as a freshman, some other memorable moments were: a 91 yard kick
return for a touchdown against Clemson (2002), caught a 41 yard pass to keep the
drive alive in the game winning drive against Auburn (2002), and caught a 56
yard touchdown pass on the fourth play of the game at Clemson (2003).
Mike Gilliam
Running Back
Lincoln, Tallahassee, FL
After redshirting in 2001, Gilliam played a reserve role at tailback in 2002
before moving to cornerback in the spring of 2003. For the remainder of his
career he was a key reserve player who saw action in 38 games. He finished his
career with 21 tackles and a recovered fumble.
Robert Geathers
Defensive End
Carver's Bay, Georgetown, SC
The only defensive true freshman to play in every game of the 2001 season,
Geathers went on to play in 39 games, including 15 starts, racking up 81
tackles, including 10 for a loss of yards, 22 quarterback pressures, and 5
sacks. He left the team a year early following his junior season in 2003 to head
to the NFL Draft. He has been a big part of the Cincinnati Bengals' defense
Darrell Holmes
Defensive Tackle
Crim, Atlanta GA
Redshirted in 2001 before playing in 10 games over the next two seasons. He
was often injured and eventually forced to give up football in the spring of 204
Kareem Marshall
Offensive Guard
Mississippi Gulf Coast Col.
Reggie McFadden
Shaw, Columbus GA
Did not qualify
Tony Milton
Running Back
North Florida Christian, Tallahassee, FL
Milton was one of the better running backs in 1999, but academic concerns
caused the three big Florida schools and most others to withhold a scholarship
offer. He ended up signing with Syracuse. Determined to make it in college, he
hit the books and eventually was able to qualify. Mark Richt, who was familiar
with Milton from their days in Tallahassee, took a chance and offered him a
scholarship. Signing with the Bulldogs, Milton redshirted in 2001 and missed the
following spring after undergoing shoulder surgery. He went on to play in all 14
games of the 2002 season including a start against Kentucky when Musa Smith was
injured and rushed for 78 yards. Following the early departure of Smith for the
NFL, Milton won the first team job in the spring of 2003, but three games into
the season suffered a season ending leg injury. He missed spring 2004, and with
the emergence of sophomores Danny Ware and Thomas Brown, only appeared in four
games rushing for 14 yards. In 2005 he was moved to fullback. He finished his
career with 410 yards and one touchdown.
David Pollack
Shiloh, Snellville GA
Nobody quite knew what to classify Pollack as when he was coming out of high
school. Projections were anywhere from fullback, to defensive end, to defensive
tackle, or even middle linebacker. Because of this, he was rated as a three star
prospect due to the uncertainty. referred to him in the "athlete"
category since he did not fall into one position all nice and neat. That ended
up being pretty accurate since Pollack played more than one position, and, while
not nice and neat, was one of the best athletes to ever to but on the red and
black. By the time the smoke cleared, he had played in 50 games started 44, and
was Georgia first three time All-American since Herschel Walker. He piled up 283
tackles, 58 of which were for a loss of yards, pressured the quarterback 117
times and managed 36 sacks, and forced seven fumbles. He was drafted by
Cincinnati in the first round of the 2004 draft to play linebacker, and played
in 14 games including five starts last season. While his highlights are too many
to mention here, his college awards include: All-SEC Freshman Team, SEC
Defensive Player of the Week (multiple times), SEC Defensive Player of the Year
(2002, 2004), SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week, First Team All-American (2002,
2003, 2004), Hendricks Award (twice), SEC Most Valuable Player, in addition to
setting a few school records.
James Redmond
Booker T. Washington, Atlanta GA
Did not qualify and went to Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi.
After two years there, he transferred to Mississippi State where he will be a
senior in 2006.
Dennis Roland
Defensive Tackle
Bolivar, Bolivar MO
After redshirting as a freshman in 2001, Roland served as the number two
tight tackle in 2002 and was listed as the backup for both tight and split
tackle in 2003. In 2004 he started 11 games, and started every game in 2005. He
was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week in 2005 following the South Carolina
D.J. Shockley
North Clayton, College Park GA
Perhaps no other player in the history of UGA or those players that will
play in years to come will match the loyalty that Shockley gave the Bulldogs. A
five star quarterback coming out of high school, held the clipboard through most
of his career while watching David Greene become the winningest quarterback in
college football history. There was talk of him transferring along the way, but
never by him, and when his time finally came in 2005, he led Georgia to its
third SEC East Title in four years and second league title during that time. He
finished his career in Athens with 3,555 yards passing for 34 touchdowns, and
rushed for 651 yards and seven touchdowns. He was named First Team All-SEC
following his senior season. He set several UGA records: "Career Pass Efficiency
Rating (142.86, 2002-05), Most TD Passes in a Season (24 in 2005, ties Eric
Zeier), TD Responsibility in a Season (28 in 2005), TD Responsibility in a Game
(6 vs. Boise State in 2005), and Most TD Passes in a Game (5 vs. Boise State in
2005, ties mark by David Greene vs. LSU in 2004)." (from the UGA media guide)
Darius Swain
Tight End
Tucker, Tucker GA
Failed to qualify and went to Hargrave Military Academy (see 2002).
Russ Tanner
Offensive Line
Johnson Co., Wrightsville GA
Tanner redshirted as a freshman before winning the Most Improved Lineman
Award in the spring of 2002. He was back-up center that season before taking
over the job full time in 2003. That season, he started nine games at center and
five at guard. He started on and off over the next two seasons and ended his
career in 2005 with 24 career starts.
Odell Thurman
Jasper Co. Comprehensive, Monticello GA
After redshirting in 2001, Thurman was dismissed from the team in 2002 and
spent a year at Georgia Military College. Returning to Athens in 2003, he played
in 23 games with 22 starts over the next two seasons before leaving after his
junior year for the NFL. While in Athens, he recorded 186 tackles, 29 tackles
for a loss, 25 quarterback pressures, and nine sacks. He started 15 games for
Cincinnati, and led all rookies in the league with five interceptions.
Reggie Weeks
Defensive Tackle
Smith Station, Smith Station AL
Weeks redshirted as a freshman in 2001 after suffering a dislocated left
knee during fall camp and was moved to the offensive line the following spring.
He spent most of 2002 continuing to rehab the knee. He played a reserve role at
guard in 2003 before having to undergo surgery for a knee infection late in the
season. In early 2004 it was announced that his playing days were over due to
lingering knee issues.
Derrick White
Creekside, Fairburn GA
After redshirting in 2001, White played in 36 games, including 10 starts,
over the next three seasons before being kicked off the team in early 2005 for
violations of team rules.
Brandon Williams
Moss Point, MS /
Mississippi Gulf Coast Col.
After playing two seasons at MGCCC, Williams transferred to UGA in January
2001. He played in 18 games over the next year and a half before leaving the
team following a series of off-field issues mid-way through the 2002 season.
Andre Zellner
Tight End
Hargrave Military Academy, Chatham VA
After signing with the team in 2000 and failing to qualify, Zellner went to Hargrave
and signed again in 2001. However, he again failed to qualify and never saw
action with the Bulldogs.
Check back all this week as we recap the five five
signing classes of Mark Richt tenure in Athens.