Terry Hoage Biography
Don't you just loathe guys who are successful in everything they do? Take former Georgia defensive back Terry Hoage. He was a two-time All-American selection and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1983. He was also the 1984 SEC player of the year, a member of the SEC 25-year team, Walter Camp All Century team and a 2000 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Big deal, what did he do in the classroom where it really counted? Not much, except he finished with a 3.85 GPA in Genetics. Not underwater basket weaving, but a real major like Genetics. That's pretty serious.
So what, he probably flamed out before he got to the NFL, right? Nah, he was around for 13 years and played for six different teams.
Whatever, he probably hung around too long and has nothing to show for all that time and money he earned played professional football, correct?
Nah, you would be incorrect. In 2002, he purchased a 26-acre vineyard in California, and six years later Wine Spectator Magazine named the vineyard Top New California Wine Producers.
Yep, everything Hoage touches turns into success.
He got his start in Athens and by the time he had left campus, legendary Bulldog head coach Vince Dooley called him the best defensive player he'd ever coached and maybe the best one he'd ever seen. Coming from a man who had coached the best talent ever at Georgia, that's a pretty nice endorsement.
Don't be envious of Hoage's accomplishments. As with all great people who succeed in everything they do, nobody sees the struggle and hard work it takes to get to where they are. He was not offered at scholarship initially, and when he did come to campus from his home in Texas, he was a special teams player. He got his big chance to make a name for himself when Georgia played Notre Dame in the 1981 Sugar Bowl. With the National Championship hanging in the balance, and the Irish holding a 3-0 lead, Hoage burst through an opening in the line and blocked a field goal, and from that point on, the Bulldogs seized the momentum and eventually, the game and the 1980 National Championship.
Hoage wasn't what you would call a speed demon in the backfield, especially lined up against some of the biggest and fasted receivers in the SEC and nation. He was more of a throwback player who was more effective as a rover type, than a shut down defender. He was most compared to former Georgia All-America and four-time All-Pro player for the Miami Dolphins, Jake Scott, who also played at Georgia.
One of Hoage's greatest games was the 1982 Vanderbilt game. He intercepted three passes to set up 17 Bulldog points in a 27-13 victory. The performance did not go unnoticed by his teammates. He received a standing ovation in the locker room, and when Coach Dooley walked over and shook his hand someone shouted, "Hoage for Heisman!" Dooley joined in the celebration and announced that Georgia now had two players up for the prestigious award. (The other being Herschel Walker).
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