Oct. 24, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- Former University of Georgia football players John Brantley and Bill Saye will be inducted into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame Friday, Oct. 28. The induction ceremony will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the Pepsi Plaza outside Everbank Field's south endzone.
A four year letterwinner for Georgia, Brantley was a standout linebacker during the mid-1980s. He recorded two of the top four single-season tackle totals in Georgia history with 160 in 1986 and 154 in 1987. His 415 career tackles stills stands as the fourth-best total for any Bulldog.
A native of Wildwood, Fla., Brantley was named All-SEC and Georgia's Most Outstanding Defensive Player following both the 1986 and 1987 campaigns. He also was elected by his teammates as the Bulldogs' defensive captain in 1987, the same season he was named the Defensive MVP of the Liberty Bowl after leading Georgia in a 20-17 victory over Arkansas.
Brantley played some of his best football when the Bulldogs returned to his home state. Most notably, he recorded a team-high seven tackles and notched both a tackle-for-loss and a sack when the Bulldogs upset the top-ranked Gators 24-3 in 1985. He also helped Georgia to a 23-10 win in Jacksonville as a senior in 1987.
Brantley was selected by the Houston Oilers in the 1988 NFL Draft and also played with the Washington Redskins and the Cincinnati Bengals during a four-year NFL career. After retiring from football, Brantley returned to the Athens area. He remains an active supporter of the program and helped spearhead the Bulldogs' initial involvement to build a home through Habitat for Humanity in 2002.
Saye was born in Athens, played in the culvert which runs underneath Sanford Stadium and later played on the field for eight years - four as a Trojan at Athens High School and four as a Georgia Bulldog. At Athens High, he made All-State and played in the 1952 Georgia High School All-Star Game.
Saye's lifelong goal was to play between the hedges for Georgia. However, he reserved his greatest performance in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville in 1954 against favored Florida. Saye intercepted two passes from his linebacker position, recovered a fumble and broke up an extra-point attempt, which was the difference in the game as Georgia won 14-13.
Herman Hickman, columnist for Sports Illustrated, covered the game and wrote: "The Gators' hopes of gaining a conference title and bowl bid turned dark. A Georgia center named Bill Saye turned out the lights." Saye was the difference in the game, playing every snap on defense and serving as the long snapper.
After lettering three years for the Bulldogs, Saye coached high school football and enjoyed a successful business career with General Wholesale in Atlanta. He retired to his hometown of Athens in 2006.
In recognition of the nation's premier collegiate rivalry, the Jacksonville Sports and Entertainment Board created the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame to acknowledge the many great records, performances, career highlights and outstanding memories that have made the Georgia-Florida game one of college football's great traditions.
The inductees from Florida are Kevin Carter and Nat Moore.
General admission is free. For information on tickets, call the Jacksonville Sports and Entertainment Board (904) 630-3600.