IT'S GEORGIA vs ALABAMA, WHICH MEANS WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT MY FRIEND
ANDREA "PULPWOOD" SMITH
As many of you will recall, Pulpwood Smith was an amazing high school athlete (football, basketball, baseball.) I was a teammate and friend of Pulpwood from the age of about 10. He was every bit as great an athlete as you ever heard he was. He was a true phenom in high school. After high school, his star shined brightest on October 6, 1984 in Birmingham against the Alabama crimson Tide when he ripped off two touchdown runs of just over 50 yards each. Both plays were quick hitters right up the middle and Pulpwood simply sprinted through the hole, into space and slipped past all defenders on both dashes to the end zone. He ended the season as Georgia's leading rusher even though he only tallied 665 yards on 110 carries with 4 touchdowns. That is a 6 yards per carry average, which, to put it in perspective, is a greater ypc average than Herschel Walker ever had at Georgia. Indeed, in the 21 seasons since 1984, only three of the Dawgs annual rushing leaders had a higher ypc: Keith Henderson in 1985, Rodney Hampton in 1989 and Garrison Hearst in 1991 and 1992. Of that trio, one deserved a Heisman and the other two started for Super Bowl winners.
That Pulpwood became an academic casualty after his sophomore season is no longer news. However, since his departure from Athens in 1985, he has been the subject of many legends, myths and rumors. I have heard some unbelievable claims about him that I know to be untrue and others that I cannot dispel or confirm. Nevertheless, at this moment (9-20-07), Andrea (this is how he spelled his name in high school, so I still use it) is living in Coffee County and going to work every day. He has a son playing high school football at Lovejoy High School in Clayton County. He still looks like he could run over you and if you met him today, within 5 minutes, you would think that he has known you forever and he will talk to you as long as you will listen. He is an eternally gregarious, fun-loving, child at heart. So, if you ever meet him, ask "Pulpwood" about "Pulpwood" and then pull up a comfortable chair and prepare to be dazzled and amused.
One of the primary reasons I have written this post in my blog is because many folks discover my blog by searching for "Pulpwood Smith" in Google. For whatever reason, this blog comes up in the #1 position on that Google search. Believe it or not, at least 4 or 5 people perform that Google search every day. More this week and I am assuming that is because the Dawgs are playing Bama this week. Since so many people are evidently curious about Pulpwood, I decided to add more Pulpwood information to my blog on an ongoing basis. As a friend of Pulpwood, I would hope that people learn more of the good things about the man as opposed to the many exaggerated (or not) myths and rumors about him. If you have any questions about Pulpwood Smith, please contact me or post in the comments section and I will try to get you an answer as soon as possible. The next three posts to this blog are a series of articles written in November 2005 by Douglas, GA journalist Robert Preston. He gave me permission to post his work here. As a side note, in 2006, Robert drove his car to Atlanta to pick up Pulpwood the day he was released from jail and drove him back to Coffee County and into the community of friends that would hopefully have enough influence over him to help him get his life on track and keep him out of trouble. As of this writing, Pulpwood is gainfully employed and even hosted his son from Lovejoy for a visit over the summer.