UGA Football

Georgia football team honored at annual Gala

ATHENS, Ga. — A pair of seniors, a junior and a sophomore were named team captains and brought home a total of five individual awards at the recent University of Georgia football team’s annual gala.

Center Lamont Gaillard (Fayetteville, N.C.) and defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter (Tucker, Ga.), both seniors, joined junior tailback Elijah Holyfield (College Park, Ga.) and sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm (Warner Robins, Ga.) as the team’s captains.

Fromm and sophomore tailback D’Andre Swift, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., were the Vince Dooley Offensive Most Valuable Players.  Ledbetter and senior defensive back Deandre Baker, a native of Miami, Fla., who won the Jim Thorpe Award last week, garnered Vince Dooley Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Ledbetter also shared the Defensive Up-Front Award with senior outside linebacker D’Andre Walker of Fairburn, Ga., while Gaillard earned the Offensive Up-Front Award with sophomore left tackle Andrew Thomas of Lithonia, Ga.  In addition, Holyfield won the Leon Farmer Strength & Conditioning Award.

The Community Service Award went to junior place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship of Marietta, Ga., and the Senior Scholar Award went to senior tight end Jackson Harris of Columbia, Tenn., who has a 3.74 in Mechanical Engineering.

Blankenship and junior receiver/returner Mecole Hardman received the Kevin Butler Special Teams Most Valuable Player awards and senior receiver Jayson Stanley (Fairburn, Ga.), sophomore outside linebacker Walter Grant (Cairo, Ga.) and junior receiver Tyler Simmons (Powder Springs, Ga.) were included as Charley Trippi Award winners as the team’s most versatile players.

The Frank Sinkwich Award winners for being the team’s toughest players were senior inside linebacker Juwan Taylor (Hollywood, Fla.), redshirt sophomore tailback Prather Hudson (Columbus, Ga.) and sophomore receiver Jeremiah Holloman (Covington, Ga.).

Junior defensive back Tyrique McGhee of Byron, Ga., senior receiver Terry Godwin of Hogansville, Ga., and junior defensive back J.R. Reed of Frisco, Texas, received the David Jacobs Award, which is given to a player who portrays courage, spirit, character and determination.

Headlined by junior receiver Riley Ridley of Coconut Creek, Fla., on offense and junior inside linebacker Tae Crowder of Hamilton, Ga., on defense, eight Bulldogs were named the team’s Most Improved Players: Offense – redshirt freshman offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson (Brooklyn, N.Y.), redshirt sophomore offensive guard Solomon Kindley (Jacksonville, Fla.), Ridley; Defense – Crowder, redshirt freshman defensive back Eric Stokes (Covington, Ga.); Special Teams – senior outside linebacker Keyon Richardson, senior snapper Nick Moore (Snellville, Ga.), junior tight end Charlie Woerner (Tiger, Ga.).

There were nine Newcomer of the Year awards given out to various Bulldog true freshmen.  Offensive lineman Cade Mays (Knoxville, Tenn.), tailback James Cook (Miami, Fla.), quarterback Justin Fields (Kennesaw, Ga.) and offensive lineman Trey Hill (Warner Robins, Ga.) were the winners on offense.  On defense, Tyson Campbell, a defensive back from Plantation, Fla., and Jordan Davis, a defensive lineman from Charlotte, N.C., earned the honor while punter Jake Camarda of Norcross, Ga., inside linebacker Channing Tindall of Columbia, S.C., and inside linebacker Quay Walker of Cordele, Ga., were the special teams’ recipients.

Twelve Bulldogs garnered Scout Team Player of the Year honors: Offense – redshirt sophomore receiver Willie Erdman (Merritt Island, Fla.), freshman tight end John Fitzpatrick (Atlanta, Ga.), senior receiver Steven Van Tiflin (Saginaw, Mich.), freshman receiver Tommy Bush (Schertz, Texas); Defense – redshirt sophomore defensive back Jordon McKinney (Dalton, Ga.), redshirt freshman defensive back Jake Skole (Roswell, Ga.), freshman defensive back Hugh Nelson (Powder Springs, Ga.), redshirt freshman defensive lineman Kolby Wyatt (Snellville, Ga.); Special Teams – redshirt freshman defensive back Latavious Brini (Miami Gardens, Fla.), Van Tiflin, Erdman, freshman tight end Peyton Mercer (Twin City, Ga.).

Senior Scholar Award
Jackson Harris

Community Service Award
Rodrigo Blankenship

Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year
Willie Erdman, John Fitzpatrick, Steven Van Tiflin, Tommy Bush

Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year
Jordon McKinney, Jake Skole, Hugh Nelson, Kolby Wyatt

Special Teams Scout Team Player of the Year
Latavious Brini, Steven Van Tiflin, Willie Erdman, Peyton Mercer

Offensive Most Improved Player
Isaiah Wilson, Solomon Kindley, Riley Ridley

Defensive Most Improved Player
Tae Crowder, Eric Stokes

Special Teams Most Improved Player
Keyon Richardson, Nick Moore, Charlie Woerner

Offensive Newcomer of the Year
Cade Mays, James Cook, Justin Fields, Trey Hill

Defensive Newcomer of the Year
Tyson Campbell, Jordan Davis

Special Teams Newcomer of the Year
Jake Camarda, Channing Tindall, Quay Walker

Offensive Up-Front Award
Lamont Gaillard, Andrew Thomas

Defensive Up-Front Award
Jonathan Ledbetter, D’Andre Walker

Leon Farmer Strength & Conditioning Award
Elijah Holyfield

David Jacobs Award
Tyrique McGhee, Terry Godwin, JR Reed

Frank Sinkwich Award (toughest player on the team)
Juwan Taylor, Prather Hudson, Jeremiah Holloman

Charley Trippi Award (most versatile player)
Jayson Stanley, Walter Grant, Tyler Simmons

Kevin Butler Special Teams Most Valuable Player
Rodrigo Blankenship, Mecole Hardman

Vince Dooley Offensive Most Valuable Player
D’Andre Swift, Jake Fromm

Vince Dooley Defensive Most Valuable Player
Jonathan Ledbetter, Deandre Baker

Captains
Jake Fromm, Lamont Gaillard, Elijah Holyfield, Jonathan Ledbetter

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Georgia’s Baker named to Sporting News All-America Team

ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia senior defensive back Deandre Baker has been named to the 2018 Sporting News All-America First Team.

Baker, a Miami, Fla., native, became the first Bulldog to win the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award last week for being nation’s best defensive back in college football. He has also garnered Walter Camp, Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and ESPN.com First Team All-America honors and was named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Second Team.

Baker becomes the first Georgia All-American from the defensive backfield named to the Sporting News’ First Team since safety Greg Blue in 2005.

A Miami, Fla., native, Baker has started all 13 games for Georgia and has 40 tackles and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions. He also has a team-best 10 pass break-ups. In addition, Baker has a forced fumble and has collected a fumble recovery for a defense that ranks 15th nationally allowing just 18.5 points per game.

The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America teams are scheduled to be released on Wednesday.

The No. 5 Bulldogs (11-2) will take on No. 15 Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La., on Jan. 1 at 8:45 p.m. ET. ESPN will televise the fifth all-time matchup between the programs and the first matchup between the teams since 1984.

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Georgia’s Baker, Thomas named To AP All-America teams

ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia senior defensive back Deandre Baker has been named to the 2018 Associated Press All-America First Team while sophomore left tackle Andrew Thomas has been included on the AP All-America’s Second Team.

Baker, a Miami, Fla., native, became the first Bulldog to win the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award last week for being nation’s best defensive back in college football. He was also a Walter Camp First Team All-American. Thomas, a native of Lilburn, Ga., was named to the Walter Camp All-America Second Team as well.

Baker becomes the first Georgia All-American from the defensive backfield named to the AP’s First Team since Bacarri Rambo in 2011.

A Miami, Fla., native, Baker has started all 13 games for Georgia and has 40 tackles and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions. He also has a team-best 10 pass break-ups. In addition, Baker has a forced fumble and has collected a fumble recovery for a defense that ranks 15th nationally allowing just 18.5 points per game.

Thomas, a native of Lithonia, Ga., has gotten the starting nod at left tackle for 12 of the Bulldogs’ 13 games, only missing the Middle Tennessee State game with an ankle injury. He has anchored an offensive line that leads the SEC in Rushing Offense at 251.6 yards per game and that currently features one senior, two sophomores and two freshmen as starters.

The Bulldogs are averaged 39.2 points per game during their second straight run to the SEC Championship Game and a their first invitation to the Sugar Bowl since 2008. Thomas and his offensive line unit were named a Joe Moore Award finalist for being one of the top offensive lines in the nation.

The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America teams are expected to be released later on Monday. The Sporting News All-America teams are scheduled to be released on Tuesday and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) teams on Wednesday.

The No. 5 Bulldogs (11-2) will take on No. 15 Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La., on Jan. 1 at 8:45 p.m. ET. ESPN will televise the fifth all-time matchup between the programs and the first matchup between the teams since 1984.

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Clay Webb commits to the Georgia Bulldogs for 2019

Clay Webb, a five-star offensive lineman from Oxford, Alabama, has committed to the Georgia Bulldogs for the class of 2019.

Webb announced his commitment to the Bulldogs on Monday at a ceremony at his high school (Oxford).

Webb (6-3, 295) committed to the Georgia Bulldogs over Alabama, Auburn, and Clemson. He also had offers from most of the top schools, including Florida, Michigan, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Texas A&M.

Rivals.com rates Webb as a five-star recruit, the No. 1 offensive center, and the No. 23 overall recruit for the 2019 class.

In the 247Sports Composite, Clay Webb is listed as a five-star recruit, the No. 1 offensive center, and the No. 22 recruit in the country for 2019.

Webb is the 19th verbal commitment for the Georgia Bulldogs for the class of 2019. Georgia’s class is now ranked 2nd by 247Sports after Webb’s commitment.

The Bulldogs have five less commitments than the top-ranked team, Alabama.

UGA Football Commitments

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Georgia’s Baker wins Thorpe Award, named Walter Camp All-American with Thomas

ATLANTA, Ga. — Georgia senior Deandre Baker became the first Bulldog to win the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back at the ESPN College Football Awards show at the College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday.

The Thorpe Award has been presented for the past 33 seasons. Baker, a native of Miami, Fla., was joined by LSU’s Greedy Williams and Notre Dame’s Julian Love as finalists for the award. The only other finalist in Georgia history was Champ Bailey in 1998.

In addition, Baker was included on the 2018 Walter Camp All-America Team, giving the Bulldogs two players on the First Team in as many years (Roquan Smith, 2017). Baker becomes the first Georgia All-American from the defensive backfield since Bacarri Rambo in 2011 and the first Georgia defensive back to receive the Walter Camp designation since Greg Blue and Thomas Davis garnered the honor back to back in 2004-05.

In addition, sophomore left tackle Andrew Thomas earned Walter Camp Second-Team All-America honors after being named a Freshman All-American by several outlets in 2017.

Baker will be honored at a Thorpe Award banquet in Oklahoma City on Feb. 5, 2019.

A Miami, Fla., native, Baker has started all 13 games for Georgia. He has 40 tackles and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions. He also has a team-best 10 pass break-ups. In addition, Baker has a forced fumble and has collected a fumble recovery for a defense that ranks 15th nationally allowing just 18.5 points per game.

Thomas, a native of Lithonia, Ga., has gotten the starting nod at left tackle for 12 of the Bulldogs’ 13 games, missing only the Middle Tennessee State game due to an ankle injury. He has anchored an offensive line that leads the SEC in Rushing Offense at 251.6 yards per game and that currently features one senior, two sophomores and two freshmen as starters.

The Bulldogs averaged 39.2 points per game during their second straight run to the SEC Championship Game and their first invitation to the Sugar Bowl since 2008. Thomas and his teammates in the trenches were named a Joe Moore Award finalist earlier this week for being one of the top offensive lines in the nation.

Baker and Thomas are 15 of the SEC players included on the 50-man Walter Camp All-America teams. Players were selected by the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) head coaches and sports information directors. This marks the 129th edition of the Walter Camp All-America teams.

The Bulldogs have earned 37 Walter Camp All-America First Team honors dating back to 1922. The 2018 Walter Camp All-America teams will be honored at the organization’s 52nd annual national awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

The No. 5 Bulldogs (11-2) will take on No. 15 Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La., on Jan. 1 at 8:45 p.m. ET. ESPN will televise the fifth all-time matchup between the programs and the first game between the teams since 1984.

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Five Bulldogs named to 2018 SEC All-Freshman Team

The 2018 SEC All-Freshman Football Team was announced on Thursday, and five Georgia Bulldogs were selected.

Georgia offensive linemen Isaiah Wilson and Cade Mays were both named on offense, as was quarterback Justin Fields.

Backing up Jake Fromm this season, Justin Fields completed 27-of-39 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns. Fields also rushed 42 times for 266 yards and four more TD’s.

UGA defensive lineman Jordan Davis and punter Jake Camarda were also named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.

Georgia led the way with five players named to the 2018 SEC All-Freshman Team. Alabama and Texas A&M followed the Bulldogs with four players each.

Below is the full 2018 SEC All Freshman Football Team.

FRESHMAN ALL-SEC 

OFFENSE

TE
Daniel Parker, Missouri

OL
Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
Cade Mays, Georgia
Dylan Wonnum, South Carolina
Ben Brown, Ole Miss

WR
Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
Seth Williams, Auburn

QB
Justin Fields, Georgia

RB
JaTarvious Whitlow, Auburn
*Tyler Badie, Missouri
*JaShaun Corbin, Texas A&M

AP
JaShaun Corbin, Texas A&M

DEFENSE 

DL
Jordan Davis, Georgia
Phidarian Mathis, Alabama
Bobby Brown, Texas A&M
Tyree Johnson, Texas A&M

LB
Dimitri Moore, Vanderbilt
*Jacquez Jones, Ole Miss
*Eyabi Anoma, Alabama
*DeAndre Square, Kentucky

DB
Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Bryce Thompson, Tennessee
Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
Trey Dean III, Florida

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK
Seth Small, Texas A&M

P
Jake Camarda, Georgia

RS
JaShaun Corbin, Texas A&M

(* – Ties )

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Kirby Smart named 2018 Dodd Trophy finalist

UGA football head coach Kirby Smart has been named a 2018 Dodd Trophy finalist, according to an announcement by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Finalists for the Dodd Trophy “…include seven of the nation’s top coaches in college football who embody the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, both on and off the field.”

In this third season in Athens, Kirby Smart guided the Bulldogs to an 11-2 record, SEC Championship berth, and an appearance in the 2019 Allstate Sugar Bowl against the No. 15 Texas Longhorns.

Overall, Kirby Smart is now 32-9 and 18-6 in conference play as the head coach of the Bulldogs. He also led UGA to the 2017 SEC Championship, Rose Bowl win, and National Championship Game appearance.

“All of these finalists truly exemplify the type of leadership that Bobby Dodd valued and are noteworthy candidates to join the esteemed group of former Dodd Trophy recipients,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “We’re honored to have such a renowned list of finalists who truly embody Coach Dodd’s spirit, both on and off the field.”

“This college football season was highlighted by outstanding coaching performances that greatly impacted the course of the season,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO & president. “These seven coaches have distinguished themselves as finalists for this prestigious award, not only for having successful football seasons, but also for their efforts within their communities and commitment to empower their student athletes to succeed in the classroom as well.”

Coach School CFP Ranking APR Score
Dino Babers Syracuse No. 20 967
Pat Fitzgerald Northwestern No. 22 997
Brian Kelly Notre Dame No. 3 966
Lincoln Riley Oklahoma No. 4 956
Nick Saban Alabama No. 1 984
Kirby Smart Georgia No. 5 963
Dabo Swinney Clemson No. 2 987

Finalists were selected by a panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member.

The winner of the 2018 Dodd Trophy will be selected from the list of finalists by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation, and will be announced in Atlanta during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Week.

2018 UGA Football Schedule

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Seven Georgia Bulldogs named to 2018 All-SEC Team

The 2018 All-SEC Coaches’ Football Team was announced on Tuesday, and seven Georgia Bulldogs were selected to the First or Second Team.

Alabama led the way with 12 players on the 2018 All-SEC Coaches’ Team. Missouri and South Carolina had five selections each.

Arkansas and Tennessee are the only two schools that don’t have a player represented. Coaches are not permitted to vote for their own player.

Andrew Thomas (OL), Lamont Gaillard (C), and Deandre Baker (DB) were named to the First Team. Bulldogs named to the Second Team include D’Andre Swift (RB), Jonathan Ledbetter (DL), Rodrigo Blankenship (K), and Mecole Hardman (RS).

Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama (First Team) and Drew Lock of Alabama (Second Team) were the quarterbacks that placed ahead of Georgia’s Jake Fromm.

Below is the full 2018 All-SEC Football Coaches Team. Individual award winners will be announced on Wednesday followed by the All-Freshman Team on Thursday.

2018 All-SEC Football Team

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

TE
Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M

OL
Jonah Williams, Alabama
Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Greg Little, Ole Miss
Bunchy Stallings, Kentucky

C
Lamont Gaillard, Georgia

WR
A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

QB
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

RB
Benny Snell, Kentucky
Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M

AP
Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

DEFENSE

DL
Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
Jachai Polite, Florida
Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

LB
Josh Allen, Kentucky
Devin White, LSU
Deshaun Davis, Auburn

DB
Deandre Baker, Georgia
Grant Delpit, LSU
Greedy Williams, LSU
Deionte Thompson, Alabama

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK
Cole Tracy, LSU

P
Braden Mann, Texas A&M

RS
Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

TE
Irv Smith Jr., Alabama

OL
Martez Ivey, Florida
Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
Deion Calhoun, Mississippi State
Zack Bailey, South Carolina

C
Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama

WR
Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
Emanuel Hall, Missouri

QB
Drew Lock, Missouri

RB
D’Andre Swift, Georgia
Damien Harris, Alabama

AP
Lynn Bowden, Kentucky

DEFENSE

DL
Isaiah Buggs, Alabama
Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia
Terry Beckner, Missouri
Derrick Brown, Auburn

LB
Dylan Moses, Alabama
Cale Garrett, Missouri
Mack Wilson, Alabama

DB
CJ Henderson, Florida
Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State
Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt
DeMarkus Acy, Missouri

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK
Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia

P
Joseph Charlton, South Carolina

RS
Mecole Hardman, Georgia

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