Georgia football-2022 defense-culture
Georgia outside linebacker Nolan Smith (4) and Georgia defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) during the College Football Playoff National Championship against Alabama at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., on Monday Jan. 10, 2022. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles)
Mackenzie Miles

How Georgia football’s best all-time players compare to the 2022 roster

Georgia football is stacked with talent at almost every position coming off a national championship season.

As that talent prepares for the 2022 season, which begins on Sept. 3 against Oregon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, it’s worth some reflection.

Exactly how does that talent compare to Georgia’s top statistical leaders?

Passing

Current Player

Stetson Bennett (4,301 yards, 39 TD, 291 completions)

Georgia All-Time Passing Leaders

Aaron Murray (13,166 yards, 121 TD, 921 completions)

David Greene (11,528 yards, 72 TD, 849 completions)

Eric Zeier (11,153 yards, 67 TD, 838 completions)

Jake Fromm (8,224 yards, 78 TD, 621 completions)

Matthew Stafford (7,731 yards, 51TD, 564 completions)

Bennett sits at the eighth spot in passing yards and completions, and the sixth spot in touchdowns entering his final year of eligibility.

If Bennett replicated his 29-touchdown season from 2021, he would pass Zeier for the fourth-most touchdown passes all-time.

Rushing

Current Players

Kenny McIntosh (753 yards, 6 TD)

Kendall Milton (457 yards, 1 TD)

Georgia All-Time Rushing Leaders

Herschel Walker (5,259 yards, 49 TD)

Nick Chubb (4,769 yards, 44 TD)

Sony Michel (3,638 yards, 33 TD)

Todd Gurley (3,285 yards, 36 TD)

Garrison Hearst (3,232 yards, 33 TD)

There is no tougher position to top the Georgia record book in than running back. Walker ranks head and shoulders above all other Bulldogs in what has become one of the most impressive running back record books in college football. With Zamir White and James Cook in the NFL, Milton and McIntosh will be trusted with continuing the UGA running back legacy.

McIntosh and Milton are not catching Walker, but surpassing Tim Worley’s career mark of 27 touchdowns to be in the top 10 seems very doable, especially if 2022 is not their last year in Athens.

Receiving

Current Players

Brock Bowers (56 receptions, 882 yards, 13 TD)

Ladd McConkey (31 receptions, 447 yards, 5 TD)

Adonai Mitchell (29 receptions, 426 yards, 4 TD)

Georgia All-Time Receiving Leaders

Terrence Edwards (204 receptions, 3,093 yards, 30 TD)

Brice Hunter (184 receptions, 2,373 yards, 19 TD)

A.J. Green (166 receptions, 2,619 yards, 23 TD)

Fred Gibson (161 receptions, 2,884 yards, 20 TD)

Tavarres King (136 receptions, 2,602 yards, 21 TD)

Edwards set the bar extremely high at Georgia, but Brock Bowers just might reach it.

The young tight end is on pace to break Edwards’ career receiving yards record (3,093) in four years at Georgia, and is on pace to break his touchdown record (30) by the end of his junior season.

Sophomores McConkey and Mitchell have years left to break into the top 10 in receiving touchdowns (16).

Total Tackles

Current Players

Nolan Smith (95)

Christopher Smith (71)

Jalen Carter (51)

Georgia All-Time Tackling Leaders

Ben Zambiasi (467)

Greg Bright (453)

Tommy Thurson (448)

John Brantley (415)

Nate Taylor (390)

Only two players in this top 15 played in the 21st century, and neither played under Kirby Smart.

As offenses spread the ball more and Smart continues to recruit talented tacklers at every position, this top 10 will get harder to reach.

Sacks

Current Players

Nolan Smith (8.5)

Robert Beal Jr. (7.5)

Jalen Carter (3)

Georgia All-Time Sacks Leaders

David Pollack (36)

Richard Tardits (29)

Jarvis Jones (28)

Jimmy Payne (28)

Mitch Davis (27.5)

It is tough enough to rush a quarterback before he gets rid of the ball, but to do it before three other first-round draft picks get there only adds more challenge.

UGA does return its 2021 sack leader in Beal along with Nolan Smith as both edge rushers enter their senior season.

With several members of 2021′s ‘Wolfpack’ defense gone, Beal and Smith may be able to rack up some numbers. Smith only needs six more sacks to join the top 15. Catching Pollack seems off the table, though.

Interceptions

Current Players

Tykee Smith (4)

Christopher Smith (3)

Georgia All-Time Interception Leaders

Bacarri Rambo (16)

Dominick Sanders (16)

Jake Scott (16)

Jeff Hipp (14)

Terry Hoage (14)

It would take a record-breaking season for Tykee Smith to become the new interceptions leader at Georgia. If he fell just short, though, he could catch Smart at 13 career interceptions.

Kicking

Current Player

Jack Podlesny (214 points, 35 FG, 81.39%)

Georgia All-Time Kicking Leaders

Rodrigo Blankenship (440 points, 87 FG, 82.47%)

Blair Walsh (412 points, 80 FG, 73.79%)

Billy Bennett (409 points, 76 FG, 79.10%)

Podlesny probably will not catch his predecessor, Blankenship, in points or total field goals in his senior season.

But Podlesny could beat Blankenship’s field goal percentage, making him the statistically most accurate kicker in Georgia history.

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