7. D.J. Shockley
The way that D.J. Shockley is remembered by most is not actually the way things played out.
The story isn’t the ‘fairy tale’ as some would tell it today.
To see images of D.J. Shockley through the years click above. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)
The way Shockley is remembered now goes as follows: Big-time recruit comes to Athens. Sits behind David Greene for three years. Waits his turn and wins the SEC in his only season as a starter, riding off into the NFL sunset.
While all of that did play out, it wasn’t so easy. Shockley had thoughts of transferring after it became clear he wasn’t going to be the full-time starter with Greene still around.
An untimely interception in the 2002 Florida created fuss amongst fans that were tired of seeing a two-quarterback system.
After thinking it over, he stuck around. Shockley’s final season became one of the best in Georgia history, but it didn’t stick to a feel good script either.
He injured his knee against Arkansas, forcing him to miss the Florida game. That loss – and a later defeat versus Auburn while he was still recovering from it – kept the Bulldogs out of the national title discussion.
But Shockley returned a week later to top Kentucky, and the team went on to win the SEC title with an upset victory over LSU in the Georgia Dome.
Not many players were as polarizing for fans as Shockley was before he took over. Still, very few players are looked back on as fondly as Shockley is today.