Russ patiently waits for the name above to read Uga IX

Georgia finally elevated eight-year-old Russ, a spotted brother in Sonny and Cecilia Seiler’s line of all-white English bulldogs, to Uga IX after serving as an interim mascot — yes, an interim mascot — for nearly three years. Named by Sports Illustrated as the nation’s best college mascot, many earlier bulldogs in the Uga lineage have been recognized off the football field.

A ceremony will take place before Georgia’s Sept. 15 game against Florida Atlantic officially naming Russ as Uga IX.

Other fill-ins for Uga over the years have included Bugga Lou in 1971, Argos/Knute in 1972, Otto in 1986 and Magillicuddy I in 1989. No fill-in bulldog has served as long as Russ or eventually been named to the Uga lineage.

The Uga mascot line started in 1956 when Sonny Seiler brought a bulldog that was given to him as a wedding gift to Georgia’s first home game that season.