15: Scott Woerner, Cornerback/ Kick Returner #19 (1977 – 1980)
In recent years, Georgia has seen a number of players who have excelled in both the defensive backfield and as a kick returner. Scott Woerner may be the best of that group. The Texas native made his first mark at Georgia during his freshman season in 1977. While playing sparingly on defense, Woerner became the starter at both kickoff and punt returner. He returned 22 kickoffs for 546 yards (24.8 average) and 12 punts for 112 yards. He set the Georgia single game record for kickoff returns yards with 190 against Kentucky.
During his sophomore season, Woerner would continue in his role as kick returner and cracked the starting lineup at corner. While Lindsay Scot took over as the team’s leading kickoff returner, Woerner still led the team in punt returns (23 for 277 yards and a touchdown). He added 66 tackles and 4 interceptions on defense. 1979 saw much of the same success he had during 1978, leading the Bulldogs in punt returns (22 for 200 yards) and interceptions (4). He returned in 1980 for what would be a magical senior season.
Scott Woerner played a pivot role in Georgia’s 1980 SEC and National Championships. In Georgia’s early season game against Clemson, Worner returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown:
His solid play at corner and returner continued throughout the 1980 season and he once again came up big in the Sugar Bowl against Notre Dame. He had two interceptions during the game, including one late in the 4th that sealed the contest for the Bulldogs:
Woerner was named first team All-SEC and a first team All-American. He regained his role as the leading kickoff returner (9 for 232 yards). Scott Woerner also led the NCAA in punt return yardage, 31 for 488 yards and a touchdown. It was also another great season on defense, as he totaled 47 tackles and a career high 5 interception.
Scott Woerner sits near the top of a number of categories in the Georgia record book. He is fourth all-time in interceptions with 13 (for 303 return yards, 2nd most all-time). He is fifth all-time in kickoff return yardage with 839 yards on 35 returns. He is the second leading punt returner in school history behind Damien Gary with a total 1077 yards on 88 carries (12.2 average) and 2 touchdowns. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons and played 1 season in the NFL before moving onto a career in the short-lived USFL.