Dawgs 3rd best in sending players to NFL

Mark Richt

ATHENS – The daily crossover audience of the Wall Street Journal and Georgia football news likely is low.

But this week any hardcore Bulldog who came across the newspaper had to be pleased. The Journal's sports department created an in-depth formula to tabulate the NFL success of every major college football program in the country.

Georgia ranked third behind Florida State and Florida.

"Stingy defense helped Bulldogs finish in the Associated Press Top 10 for four straight seasons," the newspaper wrote. "Three of its four Pro-Bowlers play defense, including Denver interception machine Champ Bailey."

The Journal listed Bailey, Pittsburgh's Hines Ward, Cincinnati's Robert Geathers and Odell Thurman and Denver's George Foster as Georgia's standout NFL players. Pro Bowlers such as Richard Seymour, Marcus Stroud and Mack Strong might have their feelings hurt to be left off that list, but Georgia coach Mark Richt is happy about the poll nonetheless because NFL success is a great recruiting tool for colleges.

"That was pretty good news," Richt said. ""We'll get the word out the best we can."

The Journal measured the average success points of each school's alumni by judging each player's value to their team and the team's success and also assigned each school a draft success score based on where its players were selected in the last five NFL drafts. A school's final score was tabulated by dividing its alumni success points by its draft success score, thereby determining which school's players live up to their advance NFL billing.

Earlier this year Ward was named the MVP of Super Bowl XL, making Georgia the only school in history to have three different former players named Super Bowl MVP. Terrell Davis (Super Bowl XXXII) and Jake Scott (Super Bowl VII) also earned the honor.

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