55: Nate Taylor, LB #47 (1979-1982)
Before David Pollack and before Robert Edwards, Nate Taylor wore #47. However, the Tift County product wasn't even wanted as a walk-on at Vanderbilt.
"He was the kind of guy who I don't think you would go back and see him play in high school twice," said the late Erk Russell. "Yet when you turned him loose, he seemed to know where the ball was. He had a Tasmanian, devil-type disposition."*
Taylor entered the 1979 game vs. South Carolina as a scout team player. He filled in at linebacker due to injuries and made 18 tackles. He received a scholarship the next week and never left the starting lineup the rest of his career.
In the 1980 opener in Knoxville, Terrible Nate Taylor from Ty Ty might've forced the most important fumble in Georgia's history. He met Tennessee's Glenn Ford inside Georgia's 5-yard line with the Dawgs protecting a lead for the first time all night, 16-15. The Dawgs' Pat McShea recovered and Georgia's national championship season was on.
Weighing 193 pounds, Taylor led the team in tackles in 1979 with 120, and again in 1980 with 112. He is 5th all time on UGA's career tackles list with 390.
Linebacker coach Chip Wisdom remembers Taylor wasn't the fastest player either. "He ran a 5.3 forty. I don't think Nate ever broke five-flat. I'm exaggerating obviously, but he was slow."*
Following in his father's footsteps, Tony Taylor was involved in one of the biggest fumbles in the Tech series, returning it for a touchdown and upsetting the Jackets in 2006.
*From "Tales from the 1980 Georgia Bulldogs"