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with all that remarkable talent. They couldn’t keep him off the field.

When he got to the NFL, first with the Redskins, and lastly with the Broncos, he concentrated on defense and was so accomplished some pundits say he was the best corner to ever play the position.

On Tuesday night at the posh Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Champ became the 16th Bulldog player inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. With four coaches inducted, Georgia now has twenty individuals elected to this august body.

One of those in the audience was his Bulldog coach, Jim Donnan, who took advantage of Champ’s older brother Ronald being on the team to gain an edge in recruiting Champ. It didn’t hurt that the Bailey boys’ mother, Elaine, became sold on the academic support provided by the academic counselors on the UGA staff.

As an aside, Donnan experienced an exalted high with Champ and Oklahoma’s Keith Jackson both being inducted into the Hall in the current class. The former Bulldog head coach was Jackson’s offensive coordinator when they were together at Oklahoma. Jackson was a tight end in the wishbone formation and was such a home run threat that the position during his time in Norman became known as the “breakaway tight end.”

“Those two guys,” Donnan said, “are two of the best college football players I ever coached.

A memorable game for Champ at Georgia was the Auburn game in 1998 when he played 127 snaps, seeing action as a defensive back, wide receiver and special teams’ player. “He got upset with us when we took him out of the game,” Donnan smiled as he recalled his halcyon days with Champ.

Champ makes his home in Atlanta and was happy to be among the numerous NFL greats who were inducted into the college Hall. “I am happy about this, naturally,” Champ said before the dinner got underway. “I feel that this award is for my teammates as well. I owe them a lot.

“When you win awards like this, there is a nice advantage that comes with such honor. It connects you with some interesting and accomplished people.” That, he grinned, is good for business.

Continuing, he noted that he has really come to appreciate living in Atlanta and being connected to the network of UGA graduates and aficionados. “It is such a wonderful thing to see Georgia people everywhere you go in Atlanta. They are so proud to be Bulldogs. Makes me proud, too.”

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