Alpha Dawg - Champ Bailey

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1997 – 1st Team ALL-SEC

1998 – 1st Team ALL-SEC

1998 – Consensus 1st Team All-American

1998 – Bronco Nagurski Award Winner

In an era where the two-way football player had become nearly obsolete, Champ Bailey was an elite three-way player.  Champ burst onto the scene as a skinny true freshmen from Folkston, Georgia with blazing speed and a knack for being able to lock down his side of the field at cornerback.  The UGA staff new they had a once in a generation athlete and needed to get him involved in more ways than just defense.  In 1997 he added a limited offensive and special team role and then in 1998 he had one of the greatest individual seasons in UGA history.

In 1998 Champ had 52 Tackles, 4 TFL, 3 INT's and 10 PBU's on defense.  On offense he carried the ball 16 times for 84 yards and caught 47 passes for 744 yards and 5 TD's.  That doesn't even include his 12 kickoff returns and 4 punt returns in big game situations.  Even more incredible is the fact that Champ was on the field for a total of 957 plays.


UGA has had many great athletes play for the Dawgs over the history of the program but Champ is certainly in the Top 5.  He had effortless speed, unbelievable ability and the ability to elevate as high as he needed.  Champ cemented his speed reputation by running a 4.25 forty and exploded with a 42 inch vertical and was drafted 7th Overall in the 1999 NFL Draft.

All Champ did after that was be a 12x Pro-Bowl selection, 6x All-Pro and rack up 235 pass breakups and 52 interceptions while teams avoided throwing in his direction if at all possible. 

In the meantime he was always repping the “G”.  Damn Good Dawg!

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Matthews, North Carolina

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