The tweet sent out Sunday night from Georgia coach Mark Richt’s twitter account celebrated one of his former players who has come a long way.
“How bout That Georgia Bulldog (Dannell) Ellerbe!!!! Great interception to ice the game!! Super Bowl !!”
The Baltimore inside linebacker picked off a Tom Brady pass to help the Ravens knock off New England 28-13 in the AFC Championship.
Ellerbe has gone from nearly getting booted off the Georgia team to an undrafted free agent to the Super Bowl.
There were 256 players selected in the 2009 NFL draft. Ellerbe wasn’t one of them. He hooked on to the Ravens as an undrafted free agent.
He began his final college season stating his goal was “to be the first linebacker off the board,” but battled a sprained MCL during his senior season. He nearly didn’t get to that season due to a DUI in January 2006 that brought a three-game suspension and nearly got him booted from the team.
Richt brought up Ellerbe’s name last spring in a speaking engagement in Augusta as an example of a player who had off-field trouble but turned it around. Richt had just run across Ellerbe and another former Bulldog defensive player, Ray Gant.
“Now Dannell Ellerbe was this close from being off,” Richt said. “He had a DUI, he wrecked his car, he did whatever he did. He was that close to being gone. We had a conversation. I said, `One more thing and you are gone. What you did is not going to define your career, what you do to this point is going to define your career.’ I said, `If you take care of business, you have a chance to still have a great career and still play in the NFL. Sure enough this guy, he got serious about school, he got his degree before he left. …He’s a starting linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, and he’s doing awesome.”
Ellerbe was second on the Ravens in the regular season with 92 tackles.
Another former Georgia player, rookie defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson, is on the Ravens.
San Francisco has one ex-Bulldog: tight end/defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs, who is on injured reserve.
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