ATHENS – Georgia football coach Kirby Smart likes to say that if the team wins, the individual awards take care of themselves.
This No. 1 Bulldogs team certainly has its share of wins and will therefore have its share of All-American and All-SEC players.
Georgia likely has more defensive players than offensive players, which is credited due to Kirby Smart’s preference for efficiency over style points.
For example, with defense dominating two key games and weather being a factor, the Bulldogs have let the ball run in 17 of their last 18 games against Kentucky and 21 of their last 25 games against Tennessee.
NFL teams that rate Georgia players are quick to recognize the lack of flashy numbers in such competitions, but many who vote for awards don’t have the ability to see every game individually and rely on statistics.
Stetson Bennett’s impeccable record as the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback keeps him on the verge of Heisman Trophy consideration, but his recent flurry of interceptions (five in his last four games) likely ensures that Bryce Young and Hendon Hooker rank ahead of him league-wide honors will land.
RELATED: Stetson Bennett is among 10 key players to thank for in 2022
Jam Kenny McIntosh is in the same bucket, grabbing when needed (9 catches, 117 yards vs. Oregon; 19 carries 143 yards in Kentucky), but only 17th in the SEC due to UGA’s jam rotation.
Bennett and McIntosh would probably prefer to win offensive MVP trophies postseason anyway, like the UGA quarterback did in the CFP Orange Bowl semifinals and CFP Championship game.
Here’s a look at different Georgian soccer players and the kind of recognition they should deserve:
Security Christopher Smith
Linebacker Jamon Dumas Johnson
Defensive Tackle Jalen Carter*
Tight End Brock Bowers*
Center Sedrick Van Pran
* Preseason All-Americans, ESPN, CBS, PFF, AP
Security Malaki Stark
Cornerback Kelee Ringo
Offensive tackle Broderick Jones
Kicker Jack Podlesny
Note: Missed games likely cost preseason All-American Nolan Smith and well-deserved sophomore Smael Mondon Jr., All-American honors.
First-year starter Kamari Lassiter will be selected for an all-American campaign next season, as will defender Javon Bullard.
Georgia has several other players earning All-SEC honors:
REVIEW: Several Georgia Bulldogs feature on the coaches’ preseason All-SEC teams