After years and years of playing football, former Charlton County standout, Roland “Champ” Bailey received the ultimate honor Saturday night when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Bailey was a two-time All State player while at Charlton County before becoming an All American at the University of Georgia. He would become the seventh overall pick of the NFL Draft in 1999 by the Washington Redskins and played five seasons with them before being traded to the Denver Broncos.
Bailey would spend ten seasons in Denver and of his 15 seasons in the league would become a Pro Bowler in 12 of those years, a record for a defensive back. He finished his career with 908 tackles, 203 passes defended, 52 interceptions, and was a member of the NFL 2000’s All Decade Team.
In his induction speech he thanked his mom, Elaine, for giving him the competitiveness he has and his father Roland, Sr. for his athletic ability and his late grandmother Joanne Bailey for her charity work. He also mentioned his brothers, Ronald and Boss, who were also both standout players, and his sister, Danielle. He thanked his wife Jessica for dealing with him full time since he retired and recognized his children.
He would go on to mention multiple relatives and friends in the Folkston community, as well as his high school coaches – especially Head Coach Rich McWhorter.
He also thanked his coaches and teammates from his years at the University of Georgia, as well as from the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos.