Originally created 08/20/04

Pollack, Greene will set the tone



Mark Richt said a few weeks back that he'd trust David Pollack and David Greene with his children's lives.

"I'd have no problem with one of them babysitting my kids," Richt said, "or marrying my daughter."

Anya, apparently, is a Pollack fan.

"My daughter wants to marry David Pollack, but she's 7 years old so we're going to wait on that," Richt said.

It's no wonder Richt doesn't mind entrusting his football team to "the Davids."

"They're just great men of integrity," Richt said. "So intelligent on and off the field."

Page 211 of the 2004 Georgia media guide is dedicated to student-athletes striving for "BALANCE," which stands for Bulldog Athletes for Lifeskill Awareness and the Necessary Choices for Excellence.

Greene is pictured at the top of the page, posing with a youngster sporting a replica No. 14 jersey.

Pollack is at the bottom, signing a card on a hospital visit.

"They behave the way you want them to," Richt said. "They're true role models."

That's not just the case off the field.

Pollack was thinking so hard about leaving for the NFL in the off-season that not even Greene knew if his roommate was coming back to school.

"I could tell he was really struggling with it," Greene said.

Pollack was left frustrated by the number of double teams opposing offenses were throwing his way.

Richt said the best cure for teams ganging up on Pollack is to bring along the rest of the defensive line, specifically opposite end Will Thompson, as well as tackles Kedric Golston and Gerald Anderson.

The return of Thompson, who missed last season with a broken leg, will certainly help.

In the same vein, Fred Gibson's health will aid Greene in his senior year.

After 43 catches his sophomore year, nagging injuries held Gibson down last season. He had only 36 catches and missed three games.

Gibson had five catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns in the Bulldogs' spring game.

Greene has other targets, too. Tyson Browning has proven dangerous as a flanker/tailback, and Reggie Brown should peform well in his senior season. Additionally, Bryan McLendon has been the buzz at receiver since a solid spring showing.

After four years under center, Greene can create some magic all on his own.

Richt said he thinks he's the only quarterback to start four consecutive years under him. That includes Heisman Trophy winners Charlie Ward (1993) and Chris Weinke (1999).

"That first year is usually a traumatic time for all of them," Richt said. "Somehow Greene played so well as a freshman. He had defining moments where everybody believed him."

Consider defining moment No. 1 the miraculous rally he led at Tennessee in 2001 as a redshirt freshman.

The Bulldogs went nearly the length of the field in 44 seconds to suck the air out of 100,000-plus in Neyland Stadium and beat the Volunteers 26-24.

"He never let go of that aura," Richt said.

Greene is 32-8 as a starter and 12-1 on opponents' home fields.

He trails only Eric Zeier for career records in yards (by 2,133), touchdowns (15), attempts (261), completions (164), total offensive plays (238) and total offensive yards (2,012).

Oh, and he was named to the Southeastern Conference and AFCA's good works teams last season.

Now if they could just figure out how to beat Florida.

"I want to win that game badly," said Greene, 0-3 in the Cocktail Party. "I would be lying if I were to say any different. It has kept us from going on to bigger and better things."

Reach Travis Haney at (706) 823-3219 or travis.haney@augustachronicle.com.

AT A GLANCE

2003 Record: 11-3 (7-1 SEC)Coach: Mark Richt, 32-8 in three years at Georgia.Starters returning: 16 (9 offense, 6 defense, 1 special teams)Key returneeS: QB David Greene, DL David PollackKey to success: If WR Fred Gibson (36 receptions last year) can find his groove, he'll be very tough to stop.Trouble area: The fact that RB Kregg Lumpkin's loss for the year (knee) sets a bad tone for the season.Circle the calendar: Oct. 2, Louisiana State. Home game versus defending national champ uproots the Cocktail Party. Sort of.Projected finish: First in SEC East.2003 postseason: Beat Purdue 34-27, in the Capital One Bowl.Stadium: Sanford Stadium

Web site: www.georgiadogs.com