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SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012

The 70s The

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A look at Middle Georgia’s all-time greats

Wayne Johnson, Willingham, football Bio: Johnson was named the best player in Macon as Go to macon.com a high school senior in 1964 for more during the Rams’ photos of the players best season in school history. who were “Buffalo” played chosen, in the 1965 as well as GHSA All-Star Jonathan Game in Atlanta. Heeter’s He signed with podcast. Florida State, where he would letter three years beginning in 1967. Why we picked him: Johnson earned all-state honors in 1964, making him one of just six players in school history to make an all-state team. Others to consider Nic Riley, Houston County, football: Riley is the only player in Houston County history to make two all-state teams when he made it in 2003-2004. He played college ball at Troy.

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George Collins, Warner Robins, football Bio: Collins was just the fifth all-state player in Warner Robins history when he made the team in 1973. He then went to Georgia, where he started at guard for two seasons. Collins was a starter on the Bulldogs’ 1976 SEC championship team, but it was a year later when he received most of his accolades. He was voted to the All-SEC team in 1977, and he was named the top SEC lineman by the Birmingham News. The Sporting News named Collins to its All-America team in 1977. Collins was drafted by St. Louis, where he played for five seasons. He also played for the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL. Collins is currently the head football coach at Rutland, and he also coached Houston County and Perry. Why we picked him: Collins was one of the early building blocks of the Warner Robins football program. Bill Spivey, back, played for Warner Robins before going on to a standout career with Kentucky in the early 1950s that included the Most Outstanding Player award from the 1951 NCAA tournament.

County, football: An allstate pick in 1991, McCall played college ball at East Carolina.

Collins was a senior during Robert Davis’ first year as a head coach, and Collins played a pivotal role in the Demons’ first-ever 10-win season in 1973. Others to consider Tim Walker, Northside, football: Walker went from all-state honors at Northside to making four straight allconference teams at Savannah State. He then became Northside’s first ever pro football player when he played for the Seattle Seahawks in 1980. Alonzo Jackson, Americus, football: An all-state pick at Americus from 1996-98, Jackson started for two years at Florida State before playing 18 games in the NFL for Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the New York Giants.

Julius Adams, BallardHudson, football Bio: Adams followed a high school career at Ballard-Hudson with a two-time all-conference run at Texas Southern in 1968 and 1970. The New England Patriots picked Adams in the second round of the 1971 NFL draft. Adams went on to play his entire 15-season career for the Patriots. Adams started as a rookie in 1971 and earned UPI All-Rookie honors. He earned a Pro Bowl appearance in 1980 after leading the Patriots with nine sacks. Adams played in the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss to the Chicago Bears at the

Maurice Hurt, Baldwin, football

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Al Lucas, who died from injuries suffered in a 2005 Arena Football League game, was named the top defensive player in Division I-AA in 1999 while playing for Troy. end of the 1985 season. Why we picked him: Few Middle Georgians have as illustrious pro career as Adams. He combined quality with longevity. Adams made both the Patriots’ All-1970s team and the All-1980s team. He also was selected to the Patriots’ 35th anniversary team in 1994, and he remained on the team when the 50th anniversary team was picked in 2009. Others to consider Jiggy Smaha, Lanier, football: Smaha was named the state lineman of the year as a high school senior in 1963 before lettering at Georgia and eventually being drafted by the Cleveland Browns. J.W. McKinnie, Mark Smith, football: McKinnie earned three letters as a lineman and receiver at Florida State in the late 1960s.

Craig Hertwig, Mark Smith, football Bio: Hertwig grew into a standout football player at Georgia, where he played tackle from 1972-74. The 6-foot-8 giant earned the full-time starting role his final two seasons. Hertwig was named to the AP All-SEC and AP All-America team in 1974. He was the Bulldogs’ offensive captain as a senior. The Detroit Lions drafted Hertwig in the fourth round in 1975. He started 14 games for the Lions in 1977. Hertwig died in May. Why we picked him: Hertwig gained the edge over George Foster because of quality of his University of Kentucky

college career. Foster was better in high school, and the two are pretty even as pro players. Only two Georgia offensive tackles — Mike Wilson and Matt Stinchcomb — have earned AP All-America honors in the 38 years following Hertwig’s designation, and only four Georgia offensive tackles have ever made the AP All-America team. Others to consider George Foster, Southeast, football: Arguably the best player in Southeast history, Foster started for a season at Georgia before being drafted in the first round of the 2003 NFL draft by Denver. He played for Detroit, Cleveland and Seattle. Pete Jenkins, Hawkinsville, football: Jenkins earned allstate honors in 1958 and later served as an assistant coach at Auburn and LSU and with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Mike Washington, Baldwin, football Bio: Washington became the first Baldwin player to earn back-to-back selections to allstate teams when he earned recognition from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1989 and 1990. He played in the GHSA’s all-star game following his senior season. Washington earned four letters at South Carolina following his standout career at Baldwin. Why we picked him: Only four Baldwin players — Washington, Dante Beckham, Corico Hawkins and Darius Marshall — have made two all-state teams in their high school careers. Others to consider Marc McCall, Wilcox

Bio: Hurt was an all-state selection as a senior at Baldwin in 2005, and he was one of the top prospects in Georgia coming out of high school. Hurt went to Florida, where he played in 41 games, including 17 starts. His versatility was evident during the 2010 season where he started at three different positions on the offensive line. The Washington Redskins selected Hurt in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL draft. Hurt started eight games during his rookie season for the Redskins. Why we picked him: Hurt dominated as a high school offensive lineman before lettering for four seasons at Florida. He was a part of several memorable teams at Florida, including the 2008 SEC championship squad. He protected Tim Tebow while playing for the Gators in their 2009 BCS championship game win over Oklahoma. Others to consider Cedric Cornish, Northside, football: Cornish made the all-state team in 1981 before signing with Georgia. Jimmy Harper, Dodge County, football: Harper started for two seasons at Georgia earning second-team All-SEC honors (AP) in 1981 and first-team AllSEC honors (UPI) in 1982. James Holland, Willingham, football: Holland was an allaround good athlete, holding school records in baseball, basketball and track and field before signing with Georgia Tech. Terry Jones, Washington County, football: Jones didn’t receive much recognition in high school, but he played at Alabama and later for seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers.

Al Lucas, Northeast, football Bio: Lucas earned honorable mention all-state honors from the AP and Atlanta JournalConstitution as a senior in 1995. He went on to a standout career at Troy, where he earned All-Southland Conference honors in 1998 and 1999. Lucas dominated during the 1999 season, earning the Buck Buchanan Award as Division I-AA’s top defensive player. He helped lead the Trojans to the SEE

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