Georgia Football

Top 50 UGA Players of All Time - No. 50 Marcus Stroud

May 7, 2019
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Dawg Post is counting down the Top 50 UGA players of all time through the summer. Keep checking back eat weekday to see who we have next… 

No. 50 - Marcus Stroud, DL from Brooks County

Kicking off our list is big ole’ Marcus Stroud. One of Georgia’s best defensive lineman in the late 1990’s, Stroud became an instant fan favorite after he switched his long-time commitment from Florida to Georgia on Signing Day. 

That move made him the national cover boy for Sports Illustrated soon thereafter - a classic image of the high-level prospect ripping off a Gator shirt to reveal his school of choice underneath. 

The Brooks County star was heavily recruited by new head coach Jim Donnan, who was able to get the flip that the Bulldogs so desperately needed.

Dawg Post
Stroud against LSU in Athens in 1999

As a Bulldog, Stroud met all the high expectations that were set for him. The big man became a leader in Athens and helped lead the Bulldogs to a blowout win over the Gators in 1997. During his four-year career from 1997-200, Stroud started 29 games and finished with 142 career tackles, 10.5 TFLs and 5.5 sacks from his defensive tackle spot. The Bulldogs went 35-13 during Stroud’s time at Georgia with four bowl appearances - jumpstarting a program that had spent the earlier part of the decade in the dregs of the SEC. Stroud was also later inducted into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame, something Georgia fans can all agree on.

After a great senior season in 2000, Stroud was selected in the first round of the 2001 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 13th-overall pick.  Stroud played for the Jaguars from 2001-2007, and was elected to the Pro Bowl three consecutive years from 2003-2005. While Stroud also played with the Bills and Patriots during his NFL tenure, he’ll always be remembered as a Jaguar. During his NFL career, Stroud totaled 424 tackles, 29.5 sacks, forced 8 fumbles and recovered 6 fumbles.

Overall, Stroud was a player who paved the way for the Georgia teams in the early 2000’s. Perhaps he was the player who, with his shocking flip and SI cover, jumpstarted the recruiting efforts that led to the 2002 SEC Championship a two years after he left Athens. Stroud, along with defensive line teammate Richard Seymour, helped put Georgia back on the national stage in the late 1990s. He brought toughness to the Georgia defense that was lacking for years, and left his mark on Georgia football in a major way.

SI’s famous cover of Stroud shot by Jim Gund

 
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