Bulldawg Illustrated is counting down the days till the Dawgs kick off their college football season in Countdown to Kickoff 2016, and we are down to a true All-American Georgia legend and All-Pro at No.10, Fran Tarkenton.
Francis Asbury “Fran” Tarkenton was born in Richmond, VA and moved south with his family when he was 11 to The Classic City of Athens, GA. He attended Athens High School and was an All-State multi-sport athlete in baseball, basketball and football.
After graduating high school, he enrolled at the University of Georgia in 1957 and played QB for the Bulldawg’s freshmen team where he was named an All-SEC Freshmen after leading them to an undefeated season.
Fran Tarkenton would play in over 30 games at QB for Coach Wally Butts during his sophomore, junior and seniors seasons from 1958-1960. He would help lead Georgia to a record of 9-1 and a SEC Championship in 1959 followed by an Orange Bowl victory over Missouri on New Year’s Day on January 1st, 1960.
Coach Butts said of his All-SEC, All-American QB: “Tarkenton has no superior as a field general and ball handler.”
After graduating from the University of Georgia, Tarkenton would go on to play in the NFL being drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the third round in 1961. His professional football career would span 18 years from 1961 to 1978 with three different teams, where Tarkenton would be selected to the Pro-Bowl 9 times and earn both the MVP and Offensive Player of the Year honors in 1975.
In 1977, Tarkenton was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, and in 1986, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A year later, in 1987, Tarkenton was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
And the countdown continues. Go Dawgs!