Four! Don’t worry. You’re good. You don’t have to dodge my errant golf balls. I’m talking about only four days till Georgia takes on North Carolina in Atlanta to kick off their college football season. We are down to No.4 Champ Bailey on Bulldawg Illustrated’s Countdown to Kickoff 2016.
Champ came to the University of Georgia in 1996 from Folkston, GA where he was a three-sport standout in basketball, football, and track at Charlton County High School. During his freshman season at UGA, Champ played in all 11 games for the Dawgs, starting the final two. In the last game of the season against in-state rival Georgia Tech, he was a thorn in the side to Yellow Jacket quarterbacks Brandon Shaw and Joe Hamilton intercepting two of their passes as well as breaking up several more and adding 7 stops to the stat sheet.
Bailey would follow up his freshman season with a solid sophomore performance, but his junior season in 1998 was a show between the hedges for ages. He was an area denial weapon at cornerback for the Dawgs on defense, and then on offense at receiver, he moved the chains, confounding defenses left and right. Between defense, offense, and special teams, Champ Bailey would participate in over 957 plays.
During his three seasons at the University of Georgia, Champ Bailey played in 33 games, starting 24 of them, recording 147 tackles and 8 interceptions (including 1 for a TD) on defense and 59 receptions for 978 yards and 5 touchdowns on offense. He also rushed the ball 21 times for 99 yards, and on special teams, Bailey would return 23 kickoffs 511 yards as well as 4 punts for 49 yards.
Champ Bailey was part of a foursome of brothers who played for Georgia. His older brother Ronald Bailey started at cornerback for Georgia from 1995-1997, and younger brother Boss Bailey was an All-American linebacker for the Dawgs, playing at the SLB position from 1998-2002, redshirting in 2000 due to a knee injury. And last, but certainly not least, was brother Kenny Bailey, who came to Athens in 1999. After redshirting, Kenny started off at running back for Georgia in 2000 before moving over to defense at defensive back in 2002.
I don’t know if we will ever see the likes of “The famous Bailey boys” again in college football.
And the countdown continues. Go Dawgs!