Martinez at Georgia five years, too

ATHENS – Of all the milestones Georgia's secondary has established this week, the least known is the one that brings the most pride to defensive coordinator Willie Martinez.

"This is the first time I've been with a recruiting class through it all," said Martinez, who also serves as the Bulldogs' secondary coach. "I'm very close with them. I saw them grow and mature and become men. I'm glad to be a part of their lives for four or five years. I've never had that in my career."

The longest Willie Martinez had been in a collegiate coaching job until he came to Georgia was three years. He picked a great group to stick it out with. Safety Greg Blue has been named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press, the American Football Coaches Association and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He is the third Georgia safety in three years to be named All-America, joining Sean Jones and Thomas Davis.

"I just wonder if there have been three different safeties become All-Americans in three different years at any other school," Coach Mark Richt said.

Blue, who is the Bulldogs' leading tackler with 88 stops, was referred to as Greg Battle by ESPN's Lee Corso during a televised awards banquet last week.

"Of course Tra Battle is now Tra Blue," Richt said. "They had a little fun with that at our banquet."

Blue was joined on the Associated Press' All-SEC first team by starting cornerbacks Tim Jennings and DeMario Minter.

"For it to happen, that shows how hard we've worked," Minter said. "We're just happy for one another."

Reserve cornerback Mike Gilliam, a senior, also was just voted the team's 2005 special teams captain.

"And that's the highest honor you can have in my opinion," Martinez said.

Blue was named the team's defensive captain for 2005.


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