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Post Into the SI Vault: The Marcus Stroud Cover

Tuesday March 25, 2008

There’s a lifetime of good stuff to wander through in Sports Illustrated’s Vault, and we’ll highlight some of the best Georgia items from time to time here.

We’ll start with one of the classics: SI’s cover from February 19, 1996 showing Marcus Stroud casting off a Florida jacket as he selects Georgia on signing day. At the time the cover was considered nearly as much of a coup for the new Jim Donnan staff as Stroud’s signing itself. It was a great shot of national exposure for a program that had been drifting for three seasons.

The accompanying article is worth a read, if only for the description of Gerry DiNardo as "the man who is going to lead (LSU) to the promised land!" Some good quotes from Georgia’s Travis Stroud in there as well.

SI also takes us to the end of Stroud’s career at Georgia as he waits for his name to be announced in the 2001 NFL draft and shows us how Stroud developed into one of the top defensive line prospects.

Criticized for his work ethic, Stroud earned a reputation for taking plays off. Pushed by his coaches – who at one point urged him to move to the offensive line – and by his parents, Thelma and Kenneth, Stroud shaped up. When he got low grades as a freshman, it was Thelma who told him, "Get it together." Marcus hit the books, and in May 2000 he graduated with a B.A. in sports business. After his sophomore season he started spending time in the weight room and doing extra drills in practice. He became an All-SEC player, a powerful, quick pass rusher who led the Bulldogs with 24 quarterback hurries in 2000. "People don’t realize how hard I work now," he says. "I want to be the best."

Marcus Stroud SI Cover

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