The College Football Hall of Fame and National Football Foundation have announced the 2021 nominees, and former Georgia standout Champ Bailey was on the list. He is included amongst 78 players and seven coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and 99 players and 33 coaches from the lower divisions, who have a chance to be admitted.
The class of 2021 inductees will be announced in January prior to next season’s national championship game.
Bailey spent three seasons in Athens where he played cornerback, safety, and wide receiver. He also returned kickoffs and punts on special teams. In those three seasons, he compiled eight total interceptions. During his sophomore and junior seasons, he took part in over 100 plays per game because of his versatility. In his sophomore year, Bailey hauled in 12 passes for 234 yards and as a junior, he caught 47 passes for 744 yards and five scores.
Bailey declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season and was taken seventh overall by the Washington Redskins in 1999. He spent five years in D.C. before being traded to the Denver Broncos before the 2004 season. During his 15-year NFL career, Bailey was regarded as one of the league’s best cornerbacks and overall players.
He racked up 908 total tackles, 42 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, 203 pass deflections, and 52 interceptions, with four of them being returned for touchdowns. During the 2005 and 2006 seasons, Bailey started in 30 combined games where he intercepted 18 passes, returned three for touchdowns and deflected 44 passes.
Bailey started in 16 games eight times over the course of his NFL career, and started 14 games or more in 15 seasons. He was named to the Pro Bowl 12 times, the most ever by any cornerback that has played the game. He was a three-time First-team All Pro, two-time Second-team All-Pro, NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, and Denver Broncos 50th Anniversary Team selection. He was also named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019.
Earlier this year, former Bulldog David Pollack was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as apart of the 2020 class. He became the 18th member to earn the honor from UGA. Other players include: Frank Sinkwich, Charlie Trippi, Vernon “Catfish” Smith, Bill Hartman, Fran Tarkenton, Bill Stanfill, Herschel Walker, Terry Hoage, Kevin Butler, John Rauch, Jake Scott, and Matt Stinchcomb. Coaches include Jim Donnan, Vince Dooley, Wall Butts, Bob McWhorter, and Glenn “Pop” Warner.