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Georgia outside linebacker Davin Bellamy (17), donning golden spike pads, and Georgia linebacker Jaden Hunter (88) sit on an end zone wall with elated UGA fans after Georgia's 20-19 victory over Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. (Photo/Casey Sykes, www.caseysykes.com)

It was hard to miss Davin Bellamy after he forced a fumble late in Georgia’s game against Notre Dame this past weekend.  

Not long after, Georgia’s senior outside linebacker was wearing quite the outfit. Bellamy had an extra pair of shoulder pads on top of his jersey.

The pads were colored gold to about the shade of Notre Dame’s helmets. On the back of the pads was a Georgia "G" with the word "savage" underneath. The front side has two phrases: "attack the day" and "attack the ball". But the spikes on the shoulder pad stuck out more than anything.

“It’s a little thing we have for turnovers,” Lorenzo Carter said. “We get the ball off someone, we get the spikes.”

Georgia has compiled two turnovers via fumble recoveries through two games so far this year. In fact, Carter and Bellamy have each worn the spikes once.

Even though Lorenzo Carter has been credited with recovering both turnovers this year, Bellamy got to wear the spikes for one particular reason on his play.

“I mean Bellamy got the turnover last week with the spikes on so I guess the forced fumble gets the spikes,” inside linebacker Reggie Carter said.

While the idea behind the spikes was inspired by the group of student fans referred to as the “Spike Squad," defensive coordinator Mel Tucker was the one to put the plan into motion.

When he came from Alabama last year, Tucker brought with him the idea of getting to carry around a lacrosse stick after a turnover was forced. But the reward for forcing a turnover has changed this year dating back to preseason camp.

“Next thing you know, they brought out the gold spikes around preseason or something,” Reggie Carter said. “That time, they said this is what we’re going to wear when we get a turnover during the game.”

But Tucker was not the only coach to come from Alabama. Head coach Kirby Smart started the championship belt at his time with the Crimson Tide.

While Smart assured he did not have to give the OK for the spikes, he did have a few thoughts on his former getup.

“I had not gotten involved in [the spikes], I was more involved in the belt that we started at Alabama,” Smart said. “I thought it was a good idea, it generated a lot of popularity. It’s kind of caught fire from there, everyone is getting their own toy. It’s cool because of our fan base, it honors them. 

Once the defense is set to go back on the field after Georgia’s possession on offense, the spikes come off and are given back in anticipation for another player’s turnover.

Getting to wear the spikes is a competition that keeps the Georgia defense going. And so far that competition has only helped the Bulldogs on defense as they have given up just 14.5 points per game to their opponents.

Despite the strong performance by the defense so far, Smart wishes he would have seen the spikes come out for the first game of the year. 

"I’m just glad we finally got to bring it out," Smart said. "We had the first game and never got to show it. Coach Tucker was killing the defense after the first game because everyone in the country is talking about their deal and we don’t get to show ours." 

So when the Bulldogs step onto the field for the upcoming game against Samford, keep your eyes on the Georgia sideline as to who could potentially be wearing the spikes on Sept. 16.

“It gets each of us going, having us have more shots at the ball,” Reggie Carter said. “Everyone like I said wants to wear the spikes. It’s just one of those things and I’m sure the fans loves it. When you get a turnover and see those gold spikes put on, you just love it.”


Correction: In a previous version of this article Samford was misspelled. This has since been corrected. The Red & Black regrets this error.

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(1) comment

John in Atlanta

Please don't rely on spell check to make things right. In the next to last paragraph; we're playing SAMFORD on September 16th...not Sanford. Sanford has a son and works in the junk business. Samford is a college.

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