In the final minute of the 1992 Georgia-Georgia Tech game, Garrison Hearst delivered more than just a game-clinching touchdown.
As the Bulldogs defeated the Yellow Jackets, 31-17, the Georgia junior running back struck a Heisman Trophy pose in the end zone, making a statement that he was the best player in the nation. And he had another reason.
“It was Georgia-Georgia Tech. You know how big that is,” Hearst said. “It’s one of those games you always want to show out and do your best, because the whole state is watching you.”
Hearst, 44, posted a pair of standout performances in the Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry in 1991 and ‘92. Few people were surprised. After all, he was considered the top running back in the state when he played at Lincoln County High School.
Hearst, also a standout baseball player, developed his winning ways on the gridiron in Lincolnton, Ga., helping the Red Devils win three state championships during his tenure. After the Red Devils posted a 10-3 record in Hearst’s junior season, Lincoln County bounced back for a 15-0 campaign his senior year when Hearst posted eye-popping numbers, rushing for 2,096 yards and 36 touchdowns. He also added a 44.8 punting average. Hearst gave the credit to his high school coach, the legendary Larry Campbell.
“He only accepts the best,” Hearst said. “It’s not just the big things, it was the little stuff. In football, it’s the little things that make the big things happen.”