The 4th annual “Ben Troupe Florida-Georgia Legend Series,” presented by Walker Jones, will be held on Friday, October 28th at the Westin Jekyll Island. Set for the night before the Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville, Troupe’s multi-faceted event will welcome a number of former Gator and Bulldog standouts to the Golden Isles to reflect on one of the great rivalries in college football history.
Troupe, who played tight end at Florida from 2000-2003, is a Swainsboro, Georgia native who was recruited to Gainesville out of Butler High School in Augusta. He was named a first-team All-American as a senior after catching 39 passes for 638 yards, an average of 16.4 yards per reception, and five touchdowns. Additionally, Troupe was recognized as one of three finalists for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end. Troupe was ultimately selected 40th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. His professional career extended five seasons, including stops with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders.
Among other career highlights, Troupe’s game-winning 10-yard touchdown catch in the 2002 Florida-Georgia game stands as one of the most heralded moments in series history. With 11:45 to play in the fourth quarter, Rex Grossman connected with Troupe for the final score of the evening, a matchup the Gators won 20-13. Florida’s upset of the 5th-ranked Bulldogs had national implications as that loss proved to be Georgia’s only defeat of the year. Troupe, for his efforts, was inducted into the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame in 2016.
The goal of the “Ben Troupe Florida-Georgia Legend Series” is to help preserve the past through the perspectives of former competitors, all for public viewing in an area that has long been a gameweek hub for fans and media alike.
“This is my history lesson for what this game was, is and will be,” Troupe explained. “The greatest level of appreciation for any athlete is to be honored and remembered for his or her accomplishments by other athletes. I’m honored to be able to share these wonderful stories with my peers and the fans.”
Scheduled participants include former Florida Gators Jeff Chandler, Jeff Demps, and Chris Rainey, along with Troupe, and former Georgia Bulldogs Tim Worley, DJ Jones, and Scott Williams.
Chandler, a former All-American and two-time first-team All-SEC kicker, ranks second in league history in scoring with 368 points. The long field goal of his career, a 54-yarder, came in Florida’s 34-23 win over Georgia in 2000. Chandler was selected in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, also playing for the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns.
Demps, a 2009 BCS National champion with Florida, rushed for 2,470 yards in his career with the Gators. 3-1 in his career against Georgia, Demps totaled 81 yards and a touchdown in Florida’s 2010 victory over the Bulldogs. Also an accomplished track athlete, Demps won multiple titles while at Florida and was a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. He spent time with the New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Indianapolis Colts.
Rainey, also a member of the 2009 BCS title team, was an electric back for the Gators. During his time in Gainesville, Rainey totaled over 3,000 yards of offensive production for Florida. He was named First-Team All-SEC in 2011. In 2010, he helped Florida take down Georgia, rushing for 84 yards and a touchdown. Alongside Jeff Demps, he helped lead Florida to a national championship in the 4×100 relays in 2010. He spent time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, and Arizona Cardinals.
A member of the Bulldogs’ 1980 national championship team, Jones played quarterback, defensive back and return specialist for Georgia, recording five interceptions in his two upperclassman seasons. Jones was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 7th round of the 1984 NFL Draft. He also spent time with the Denver Broncos. A multi-sport athlete, Jones was also drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1980.
The 7th overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tim Worley dominated in his time at Georgia. Rushing for over 2,000 yards in just 26 games for the Bulldogs, Worley was named an All-American in 1988. During that run in 1988, he led the SEC in: rushing yards, rushing yards per attempt, rushing touchdowns, plays from scrimmage, yards from scrimmage, touchdowns from scrimmage, and points. In 1985, he helped Georgia upset then No. 1 Florida, 24-3.
Another multi-sport athlete, Scott Williams chose a football scholarship to Georgia over a basketball scholarship to North Carolina. As a redshirt-senior, Williams led Georgia in receiving with 20 receptions for 204 yards. He was drafted in the 9th round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. Williams would go on to spend three seasons with the Detroit Lions, scoring 4 touchdowns.
Fans are invited to attend the “Ben Troupe Florida-Georgia Legend Series”. The roundtable will take place at 6 p.m., and fans are invited to attend and interact with the legends. Following that discussion, where outside seating will be available, there will be an autograph and photo session along with media availability.