Thursday, May 31, 2012

All American Craig Hertwig Dies


hertwig_hsCraig "Sky" Hertwig, a three-year letter winner and 1974 first-team All-American offensive tackle for the Dawgs, died on Wednesday night at St. Mary's Hospital in Athens. Hertwig was 60.

"Certainly we're all saddened by the sudden loss of Craig, who was a great football player, a great fan and a great supporter of all the athletic programs at Georgia," said former Georgia coach and AD Vince Dooley. "Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends."

Hertwig was a 6-8, 260-pound native of Macon, Ga., who played at Mark Smith
High School.

hertwig_action"Obviously, Craig was nicknamed 'Sky' because of his height," Dooley said. "During his playing days, he was really tall for a lineman. I actually had gone to see another player on another high school team when I saw this big ole guy jumping around. He was kind of under the radar but that eventually led to us signing Craig."

Hertwig played for the Dawgs during the 1972, '73 and '74 seasons and was named offensive team captain as a senior. He also was tabbed first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI) in 1974.

Hertwig started on Georgia teams that won the 1973 Peach Bowl and played in the 1974 Tangerine Bowl.

"Because of his size, he was not ready to play as a freshman and we redshirted him," Dooley said. "One of the things I remember most about Craig is how big a fan he was during that season he redshirted. He loved to get in the stands with the students and cheer for the team. I don't know if I ever had a player who was as big of a fan as Craig. He matured and became a great player, ­an All-American,  ­played professionally and came back to Athens. He always continued his support of Georgia football and all Georgia sports in that social way. He was so well known all over Athens and will be missed."

Hertwig was selected in the third round of the 1975 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions and played for the Lions from 1975-77 and for the Buffalo Bills in 1978.

Following his playing career, Hertwig returned to Athens and owned several area nightclubs. "Sky" also was well-known for his daily jogs in Athens' Five Points area and was dubbed the "Giant Jogger" by UGA legend Dan Magill.

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