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May 30, 2010

Player Countdown to Kickoff - No. 97

#97 Brandon Wood Position: Defensive end Class: Senior


Height/Weight: 6-1/285 High School: Haralson County High
Projected Fall Team Depth Chart Position:  Second team at left end

Spring Review: The big news for wood is that he made it through spring practice relatively healthy as he seems to be over the wrist and shoulder injuries that hampered his junior year. Like all of Georgia's defensive linemen, Wood spent the spring learning the ins and outs of Todd Grantham's new 3-4 defensive scheme and actually seemed to pick it up relatively quick. Wood cross-trained at both nose and left end, and enters fall practice second on the depth chart at left end behind Abry Jones.

Fall Preview: As long as he stays healthy Wood will play an integral role for the Bulldogs. In Georgia's old 4-3 scheme Wood bounced around between defensive end and defensive tackle, but now seems to have found a home at left end where he can expect to rotate in regularly where his quickness at the position should make him a valuable asset to the Bulldogs this fall.

Others who wore No. 97: Marcus Stroud, Kedric Golston.

Before we get to 97, let's review 98.

Walk-on punter Trent Dittmer wore 98 last season. Don't know much about him except he was a chemistry major from Cartersville, Georgia.

Even though he rarely started, Josh Mallard wore 98 for the Bulldogs and caused a lot of havoc for opposing quarterbacks. He is in the top-10 all-time for career sacks at Georgia, registering 18 total.

Back in 1998, Champ Bailey was playing offense, defense and special teams and was a consensus All-American and he played over 1,000 plays during the season including over 100 plays in a game seven times. In that same year he won the Nagurski Award presented to the nation's best defensive player.

It was 1998 when Bill Stanfill was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was an All-American, an Outland Trophy winner and a Super Bowl Champ… not bad.

1998 - Georgia Record: 9-3
Head Coach: Jim Donnan
Captains: Champ Bailey, Matt Stinchcomb, Olandis Gary, Chris Terry, Paul Snellings and Kirby Smart

1898 - Georgia record: 4-2
Head Coach: Charles McCarthy
Captain: H.S. Walden

97 is currently worn by defensive lineman Brandon Wood and walk-on placekicker Scott Eichler. Wood has fought through injuries throughout his Georgia career, but has one more season to show the Bulldog nation what the former all-state and top-10 defensive end recruit can do.

97 was the jersey worn by some other Bulldogs currently in the NFL. Marcus Stroud became a Bulldog favorite even before stepping onto the football field. His infamous 'Sports Illustrated' cover sold out of stores in the state of Georgia faster than a Justin Scott-Wesley race. Along with fellow defensive tackle Richard Seymour, Stroud put a constant attack on SEC quarterbacks and running backs during the Jim Donnan era. Stroud finished his career with the Red and Black with 142 tackles and 55 quarterback pressures. He was later the 13th player taken overall in the 2001 NFL draft and has been to the Pro Bowl three times.

Kedric Golston has had some major setbacks, but every time has made it through. In 2001, during his senior year at Sandy Creek High School, to avoid an accident, Kedric swerved and flipped his truck and was put in intensive care for two weeks. He later had a steel rod and pin put in his leg (which were removed in 2003). A year later, he started the season opener as a true freshmen for the Georgia Bulldogs as they defeated the Clemson Tigers 31-28. He had a solid career for Georgia and finished with 95 career tackles and 54 quarterback pressures. He was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 6th round as has served well in the NFL.

97-yard drive - In 1996, Georgia started 0-2 under new head coach, Jim Donnan and they faced Texas Tech and trailed 12-7 late in the 4th quarter. In the pouring rain, quarterback Mike Bobo led a 10-play 97-yard drive and hit Juan Daniels for a 22-yard score. After an incredible 2-point conversion that had Hines Ward flipping into the endzone, the Bulldogs would win 15-12 to gave Coach Donnan his first victory as the Bulldog's main man.

1997 - Georgia record: 10-2
Head Coach: Jim Donnan
Captains: Hines Ward, Brandon Tolbert, Mike Bobo and Greg Bright

1897 - Georgia record: 2-1
Head Coach: Charles McCarthy
Captain: William B. Kent


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