Former Bulldog David Pollack Inducted Into CFB Hall of Fame

David Pollack
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Former Georgia Bulldog David Pollack has officially been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Originally a member of the 2020 HOF class, his induction ceremony was cancelled last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, he and others were added to the hall alongside the 2021 class.

Both classes met with the media Tuesday in Las Vegas, prior to the black tie dinner that night. Pollack talked about the inconsistent start to his time at Georgia. Initially a fullback, he was moved to defensive tackle (a decision that he was not crazy about) for a year before finding his true rhythm at defensive end.

“Everyone got hurt my freshman year, so they threw me at defensive tackle,” Pollack said. “I didn’t think I had a future at defensive tackle. But then everyone left for the NFL my sophomore year. So they threw me at defensive end. I stayed there for the next three years. I had never played defensive end in my life. Coach was just putting me in a position, and it worked out.”

Just How Great Was David Pollack At Georgia?

In the defensive end position, Pollack became a superstar for the Bulldogs seemingly overnight. Over that span of three years (2002-2004), he was a First-team All-American three times, First-team All-SEC three times, and the SEC Player of the Year twice.

He became one of only two Georgia football players to receive First-team All-American honors three times, the other being legendary Bulldogs running back Herschel Walker. Even Pollack himself was aware of how elite of company that put him amongst. When asked about it Tuesday, he made it a point to voice his appreciation for being held in such high regard.

“It’s pretty cool. That other guy, he was alright,” he joked. “Any time you are mentioned with greats like these guys up here, and Herschel Walker, it’s a pretty good day.”

Some other notable accolades that Pollack received during his time at Georgia include the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Lombardi Award, the Lott Trophy, and two Ted Hendricks Awards, making him one of the most decorated players not just in UGA’s history, but in the history of college football altogether.

2020 college football Hall of Fame inductee David Pollack with former Georgia Bulldogs coach Vince Dooley. Photo courtesy National Football Foundation/Melissa Macatee.

Career after UGA Football

The abundance of awards and accomplishments obviously got David Pollack his fair share of NFL hype. In the 2005 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals scooped him up with the 17th overall pick. There, he was given a starting job at linebacker in the middle of his rookie season.

Pollack proved to be a valuable asset to the Bengals defense right away, carrying his starting gig into his second season. The success would not last long, however.

Early in the 2006-07 NFL season, Pollack broke his sixth cervical vertebrae on a tackle attempt. The injury threw his professional career into jeopardy, requiring serious surgery. After missing almost two seasons in total due to both the injury and its recovery process, Pollack decided to retire from the NFL.

Staying connected to the game

Walking away from the game itself did not mean walking away from sports as a whole. While Pollack was not padding up on the weekends anymore, he still kept himself involved with the game by joining ESPN as an analyst.

Since then, he has been on multiple football-related shows. His biggest currently is College Gameday, where he is a staple figure. His colleague Rece Davis–the host of College Gameday–was the one who announced his selection for the College Football Hall of Fame on live television last year.

Very few have amounted to as much in their college football careers as David Pollack did in his. It is players of his caliber that the Hall of Fame was made for. Upon his induction, his accomplishments at the University of Georgia have been forever immortalized.