There are only three former University of Georgia football players who own both a collegiate national championship ring and a Super Bowl ring.
You have to go back to Georgia’s 1980 national title to find the first two, Thomasville’s Guy McIntyre and Texas native Terry Hoage.
McIntyre, a Georgia Sports Hall of Fame member, actually didn’t see any action that season since he was redshirting because of an injury. He had played in 1979 as a freshman and then again from 1981-83. He went on to an outstanding career with the San Francisco 49ers, where he helped them win three Super Bowls. He was an All Pro selection three times and played in five Pro Bowls in his 13-year career which included 10 seasons with the 49ers, one with Green Bay and two with Philadelphia.
Hoage, who played at Georgia from 1980-83, was a two-time consensus All-American for the Bulldogs and spent 13 years in the NFL, including a season with the 1992 Super Bowl-winning Washington Redskins. He also played professionally for New Orleans, Philadelphia, Houston Oilers and Arizona. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, as well as the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
The other player to own both rings might be a little more difficult to name. He is Wilkinson County native Travis Jones, who was a defensive lineman for the Bulldogs from 1990-94 and served as team defensive captain during his senior season. His national championship didn’t come as a player, but later on as a coach.
Jones claimed both rings in the state of Louisiana. The college ring came as a member of Nick Saban’s staff at LSU, when the Tigers won the national crown in 2003, and the Super Bowl ring as a member of Sean Payton’s Saints staff in 2009 when that team captured Super Bowl XLIV. Jones is still a member of the Saints staff today, serving as assistant defensive line coach.
Jones, whose team was eliminated from the postseason Saturday by San Francisco, said he learned a lot under Saban.
“He is a good coach because he is a great teacher and motivator,” Jones said. “He has a lot of passion and enthusiasm and believes in fundamental discipline, hard work and commitment. He expects everyone to be accountable and responsible for doing the best job at whatever they do. I learned some valuable lessons working for him, and I constantly reflect on his organizational style and his formula for winning.”
In addition to LSU, Jones also coached in the college ranks at Georgia as a graduate assistant, at Appalachian State as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator, and at Kansas as defensive line coach. After his stint at LSU, he moved with Saban to the Miami Dolphins for three seasons before joining the Saints in 2008.
Going from the college game to the NFL was a challenge.
“It is not an easy adjustment,” Jones said. “You have to gain the players’ respect and confidence through knowledge and being able to help them improve as a player.”
Jones still follows his alma mater and is a Mark Richt fan.
“The body of work over the last 10 years by Coach Richt and his staff is truly amazing,” Jones said. “The pro football schedule allows me to watch UGA on nationally televised games every Saturday. I even display UGA flags in my yard here in LSU Tiger country.”
Jones said he would like to be a head coach in the NFL
“If it is in God’s plan for me, I would love to be a head coach in the NFL,” Jones said. “I work each day trying to prepare myself for the opportunity to do so.”
Contact Bobby Pope at firstname.lastname@example.org