Gridiron Achiever

Tommy Nobis may be the only football player nearly recruited from outer space. In 1965, when he was drafted No. 1 in the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons and No. 1 in the old AFL draft by the Houston Oilers, Astronaut Frank Borman, command pilot of the Gemini 7 spacecraft, radioed word from space encouraging Nobis to sign with the Oilers. The message was relayed to Nobis, who opted to sign with the Falcons and became the finest football player in the franchise's history.

A One-Man Wrecking Crew

The first time I saw George Hamilton Brodnax III play a football game, he was a 175-pound end for the old Atlanta Boys' High School. He was running across the pitcher's mound at Atlanta's Ponce de Leon Park, site of all the Tech High and Boys' High home games. With outstretched hands, his body leaning forward at a 45-degree angle, he raced over the mound, pulled in the ball with his fingertips and carried it across the goal line to bring his team back from almost certain defeat to a 13-13-tie with arch-rival Tech High.

How She Played The Game

Ninety-one-year-old Natalie Cohen is one of a kind. She played competitive tennis for 73 years, winning 13 Georgia State Women's Open Doubles Championships. At age 42, she won both the Atlanta City and Georgia State women's singles and doubles championships, equivalent to the state's Grand Slam.

Brothers In Arms

Of all the structures on the University of Georgia campus, none is more touching than the War Memorial monument in front of the Student Athlete Academic Center. The handsome red and black monument, made of Georgia granite, honors 21 student athletes who died in wars.

Putting It On The Line

In the 60 years I have been watching prep football, I never have seen a lineman as good as Gene Chandler. He was fast, quick, agile and a devastating tackler. He was so fast that when he snapped the ball on punts, he would beat the ball down field and patiently wait for the safety man to catch it. And then he would crash into him with such force that he would often cause a fumble.

Georgia's Top Public Servants

Meet the winners of the first Excellence In Public Service Awards, presented by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia in partnership with Georgia Trend. The awards honor five outstanding government professionals at the state and local levels: Dr. Kenneth Breeden, head of Georgia's Department of Technical and Adult Education; Peggy Merriss, Decatur City Manager; Jim Burgess, Social Circle Mayor; Charlotte Nash, Gwinnett County Administrator; and Stephen Gooch, Lumpkin County Commissioner.