11/12/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/12/2020 09:45
Jeff Saturday grew up a Georgia Bulldogs fan with hopes of one day wearing the team's silver britches. He proved his worth at Shamrock High School in Tucker earning All-State honors for Coach Ron Gartrell's Vikings but was told by then UGA head coach Ray Goff he was too short to play in the SEC. Georgia Tech, at the time coached by Bill Lewis, showed him no love either and didn't offer a scholarship.
Saturday did however have interest from Auburn, The Service Academies, Clemson, where he thought he would wind up, and the University of North Carolina. After long discussions with his family, he chose North Carolina because of both the athletic and academic opportunities.
Wearing the sky blue and white for the Tar Heels of Coach Mack Brown he was a two-time team captain and two-time All-ACC selection at Center and was an all Academic All-Conference choice. During his four years in Chapel Hill, Carolina posted a 36-12 record and played in the Gator Bowl twice, as well as the Carquest and Sun Bowls.
After graduating from North Carolina he signed on with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent but was cut before playing in a game. After being waived by the Ravens he took a job as a manager in an electrical supply company in Raleigh but got another opportunity in the NFL when a former Carolina teammate recommended him to Indianapolis General Manager Bill Polian. He got a tryout with the Colts and as they say the rest is history. Saturday got his first start at left guard in November of 1999 against the Eagles. He took over as the Colts starting center in 2000 and started 85 consecutive games before missing two games because of injury in 2004. During his tenure with Indianapolis, he started 188 of 197 games and was the anchor of the offensive line that gave up the fewest quarterback sacks in the NFL in 2004, 2005, and 2006.
Saturday was a Pro Bowler six times and was the Colts starting center when they won Super Bowl XLI. He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.