Georgia’s Roquan Smith Earns Unanimous All-America Honors

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia junior linebacker Roquan Smith has now been included on the All-America First Team by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FBS Coaches’, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Sporting News, Walter Camp and the Associated Press.

Smith, a native of Montezuma, Ga., becomes the fourth Bulldog over the last 20 years to earn unanimous NCAA First Team All-America honors joining Champ Bailey (1998), Drew Butler (2009) and Jarvis Jones (2011-12).

In addition, senior offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn and senior tailback Nick Chubb were named to the AFCA All-America Second Team and Wynn was also an AP and College Football Madness Second Team All-American.

Also of note, quarterback Jake Fromm and right tackle Andrew Thomas garnered ESPN Freshman All-America honors this week.

Smith has also been named a First Team All-American by ESPN, SI.com, Bleacher Report, College Football Madness and The All-American while Wynn was also on the Bleacher Report’s First Team.

Smith became the first Bulldog to win the Butkus Award this season, which is given to the nation’s most outstanding linebacker.  He was also a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award, which are given to the country’s most dominant defensive player.

Wynn, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla., Chubb, a native of Cedartown, Ga., Fromm, a native of Warner Robins, Ga., and Thomas, a native of Lithonia, Ga., directed an offense that has averaged the Southeastern Conference’s third-best scoring offense (34.9 ppg) this season while posting the nation’s seventh-best rate for third down conversions (47 percent).

The Bulldogs captured their first SEC title since 2005 and went an undefeated 6-0 versus teams from the league’s Eastern Division for the first time since the SEC split into divisions in 1992.

The third-seeded Bulldogs (12-1) travel to Pasadena, Calif., to face second-seeded Oklahoma (12-1) in the College Football Playoff’s semifinal round in the Rose Bowl Game on Monday, January 1.  Kickoff is at 5:10 p.m. ET.

Georgia’s Kirby Smart Is Sporting News Coach Of The Year

Georgia coach Kirby Smart had an unexpected visitor before the SEC championship game against Auburn on Dec. 2.

“I thought it was hilarious Bo Jackson came up to me before the game,” Smart said after the Bulldogs beat the Tigers 28-7. “He’s my childhood idol. I worshipped Bo Jackson. I had Bo Jackson posters, baseball cards. I had over 300 baseball cards of Bo Jackson. He comes up to me before the game and said, ‘A lot of pressure in this job, isn’t it?'”

Smart’s reply?

“Hell yeah, it is.”

Smart handled that pressure. He guided the Bulldogs to a 12-1 record, their first SEC championship since 2005 and their first College Football Playoff berth. For those efforts, Smart is Sporting News’ 2017 Coach of the Year.

Georgia became the first SEC East school to win the conference championship since 2008. It was a turnaround from the former Alabama defensive coordinator’s first season, when the Bulldogs finished 8-5. This year, Georgia swept rivals Florida, Tennessee and Georgia Tech, won a marquee nonconference game at Notre Dame and avenged its only loss of the season in the SEC championship rematch against the Tigers.

“All those ones I won at Alabama and here, they felt awesome too because it’s hard to do,” Smart said of his latest conference title. “This one feels the same way.

“You know, it’s just the psychological stamina it takes to win an SEC Championship. I don’t think people really realize what you go through the entire year — going on the road, playing these intense games.”

Smart repeatedly praised a senior class that featured players such as Nick Chubb and Roquan Smith, who opted to stay in school for one more season. What was the first day like when Smart took over for Mark Richt?

“Yeah, I remember,” Chubb said. “Happy the first day he came and spoke to us. He was busy with Alabama winning the championship, and he came in, and he just looked exhausted. We’re like, ‘Man, what’s this man been up to?’

“Just the things he says, and he actually backs it up with his actions,” Smith added. “It is what it is. He’s an awesome guy, as you guys can see, and he knows what he’s doing.”

Georgia hasn’t won a national championship since 1980. That’s the next challenge for Smart, who will get to take it at the Rose Bowl Game.  Smart faces that pressure every day, but he clearly enjoys it. So do the players.

“That’s why we do it for moments like this,” Smart said. “All that work for moments like this for these guys to enjoy.”

Georgia’s Roquan Smith Named Walter Camp First Team All-American

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia junior Roquan Smith is one of three players from the Southeastern Conference named to the 2017 Walter Camp First Team All-America Team.

This marks the 128th edition of the Walter Camp All-America team.  Twenty-six players have been selected to the First Team by the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) head coaches and sports information directors.  In addition, 26 players were selected to the Second Team.

The 2017 Walter Camp All-America teams will be honored at the organization’s 51st annual national awards banquet on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven, Conn.

The Bulldogs have earned 36 Walter Camp All-America honors dating back to 1922.  Smith is the first Georgia player to earn the honor since outside linebacker Jarvis Jones earned back-to-back honors in 2011-12.

Smith has also been named a First Team All-American by SI.com, Bleacher Report, College Football Madness and The All-American.

Smith, a native of Montezuma, Ga., became the first Bulldog to win the Butkus Award this season, which is given to the nation’s most outstanding linebacker.  He was also a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award.

The Associated Press and Coaches SEC Defensive Player of the Year will finish as his team’s tackling leader for the second year in a row with 113 stops (8.7 tackles/game).  Georgia has compiled a 12-1 record this season, highlighted by its 13th league title and first since 2005 this past weekend.

Smith has added 10.5 tackles for loss, a team-leading 5.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble to lead the Bulldogs.  Georgia ranks second nationally in Passing Yards Allowed (158.3 yards/game), third in Scoring Defense (13.8 points/game) and fourth in Total Defense (270.9 yards/game).

Georgia has held its last three opponents to a combined seven points in the second half, including the Bulldogs’ 28-7 rout of second-ranked Auburn in the SEC Championship Game.  In addition, Georgia blanked Tennessee 41-0 during the regular season, snapping the nation’s fourth-longest active scoring streak and the sixth-longest streak in college football history.

The third-seeded Bulldogs (12-1) travel to Pasadena, Calif., to face second-seeded Oklahoma (12-1) in the College Football Playoff’s semifinal round in the Rose Bowl on Monday, January 1.  Kickoff is at 5:10 p.m. ET.

Georgia Football Has Four On Coaches Freshman All-SEC Team

ATHENS, Ga. — Four members of the Bulldogs’ offense have been included on the Southeastern Conference Freshman All-SEC Team, according to a league announcement.
 
This is the most Georgia players on the league’s Freshman All-SEC Team since 2008.  That season, Georgia had five on the squad, including NFL All-Pro receiver A.J. Green who was the Freshman of the Year.
 
Quarterback Jake Fromm, offensive linemen Andrew Thomas and Solomon Kindley and tailback D’Andre Swift from Georgia were all named to the team.  This tied with LSU with the second-most players selected as Missouri led the way with five.
 
Fromm was also the SEC Coaches Freshman of the Year and the Associated Press Co-Newcomer of the Year.  
 
The third-seeded Bulldogs (12-1) travel to Pasadena, Calif., to face second-seeded Oklahoma (12-1) in the College Football Playoff’s semifinal round in the Rose Bowl on Monday, January 1.  Kickoff is at 5:10 p.m. ET.

Bulldog Football Has Three Individual SEC Coaches Award Winners

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, junior inside linebacker Roquan Smith and true freshman quarterback Jake Fromm have all earned Southeastern Conference Coaches individual awards, according to a league announcement.

Smart, who was named the Associated Press SEC Coach of the Year earlier this week, was also voted by the coaches as the conference’s Coach of the Year.  This is the first honor of this kind for the Bulldogs since Mark Richt earned the accolade in 2005.  Georgia’s head coaches have earned this honor 12 times, including five times by College Football Hall of Famer Vince Dooley.

Smith, a native of Montezuma, Ga., gave Georgia its first SEC Defensive Player of the Year since David Pollack garnered the only other award of its kind for Georgia in 2004.  Smith, who became Georgia’s first Butkus Award winner over the weekend as the nation’s top linebacker, is also a finalist for the Bednarik Award and that winner will be announced at the ESPN College Football Awards ceremony on Thursday night.

Fromm, a native of Warner Robins, Ga., becomes UGA’s first Freshman of the Year since Nick Chubb accomplished the feat in 2014.  Fromm becomes the ninth Bulldog in history to be voted the league’s top freshman (Garrison Hearst, 1990; Eric Zeier, 1991; Randall Godfrey, 1992; Quincy Carter, 1998; David Greene, 2001; Knowshon Moreno, 2007; A.J. Greene, 2008; Chubb, 2014).

Smith was also the AP SEC Defensive Player of the Year while Fromm was the group’s Newcomer of the Year.

The third-seeded Bulldogs (12-1) travel to Pasadena, Calif., to face second-seeded Oklahoma (12-1) in the College Football Playoff’s semifinal round in the Rose Bowl on Monday, January 1.  Kickoff is at 5:10 p.m. ET.

Bulldogs Have Five On SEC Coaches All-SEC Teams

ATHENS, Ga. — Highlighted by three First Team selections, Georgia football had five players named to the Coaches All-Southeastern Conference teams, according to a league announcement on Tuesday.

Senior offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, of St. Petersburg, Fla., and senior tailback Nick Chubb, of Cedartown, Ga., were named to the First Team Offense while junior inside linebacker Roquan Smith was included on the First Team Defense.

Senior outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter, of Norcross, Ga., and junior defensive back Deandre Baker, of Miami, Fla., were named to the Second Team on defense.

Smith and Wynn were also Associated Press All-SEC First Team selections while Chubb, sophomore returner/receiver Mecole Hardman, Carter and redshirt sophomore defensive back J.R. Reed were named to group’s Second Team.  Smith was also the AP SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

The SEC Coaches individual awards will be announced on Wednesday and the Freshman All-SEC Team will be announced on Thursday.

The third-seeded Bulldogs (12-1) travel to Pasadena, Calif., to face second-seeded Oklahoma (12-1) in the College Football Playoff’s semifinal round in the Rose Bowl on Monday, January 1.  Kickoff is at 5:10 p.m. ET.

Georgia’s Kirby Smart Named Finalist For Eddie Robinson Coach Of The Year Award

ATHENS, Ga. — Bulldog head coach Kirby Smart has been named one of eight finalists for the 2017 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, according to an announcement from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) in conjunction with the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Smart joins UAB’s Bill Clark, UCF’s Scott Frost, Florida Atlantic’s Lane Kiffin, Army’s Jeff Monken, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Fresno State’s Jeff Tedford as finalists for the honor.  Georgia’s second-year head coach has already been named the Associated Press Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year.

The winner will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 14.  The official presentation reception will be on Jan. 6, 2018, in Atlanta where the winning coach will be handed the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year bust during a reception in conjunction with the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship.

Smart, who is already a semifinalist for the George Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year Award, led the Bulldogs to a 12-1 record and their first SEC title since 2005 after routing second-ranked Auburn 28-7 in the SEC Championship Game.

The third-seeded Bulldogs travel to Pasadena, Calif., to face second-seeded Oklahoma (12-1) in the CFP’s semifinal round in the Rose Bowl on Monday, January 1.  Kickoff is at 5:10 p.m. ET.

Georgia’s Smith, Fromm, Smart Headline AP All-SEC Awards

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia junior linebacker Roquan Smith was named the Associated Press Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year while quarterback Jake Fromm shared the league’s Newcomer of the Year award.

In addition, second-year Bulldog head coach Kirby Smart was named the SEC Coach of the Year by the AP voters.  He is the first to garner this AP accolade for Georgia since Mark Richt in 2002.

Smith, a native of Montezuma, Ga. who won Georgia’s first Butkus Award earlier this week, was also one of two UGA players named to the All-SEC First Team and the first AP SEC Defensive Player of the Year for the Bulldogs since Jarvis Jones in 2012.  Fromm, a true freshman from Warner Robins, Ga., shared his Newcomer honor with Auburn sophomore Jarrett Stidham, giving Georgia its first of this kind since Nick Chubb won it in 2014.

Offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla., was Georgia’s other First Team selection.

The Bulldogs also had four All-SEC Second Team members.  Chubb (Cedartown, Ga.), sophomore all-purpose performer Mecole Hardman (Bowman, Ga.), senior outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga.) and redshirt sophomore defensive back J.R. Reed (Frisco, Texas) were included on the Second Team.

The third-seeded Bulldogs (12-1) travel to Pasadena, Calif., to face second-seeded Oklahoma (12-1) in the College Football Playoff’s semifinal round in the Rose Bowl on Monday, January 1.  Kickoff is at 5:10 p.m. ET.

Kirby Smart named AFCA Regional Coach of the Year

WACO, TX — Georgia’s Kirby Smart and Saint Francis’ (Ind.) Kevin Donley highlight today’s announcement of the American Football Coaches Association’s 2017 Regional Coach of the Year winners. These winners will be honored at the American Football Coaches Awards, presented by Amway, broadcast live on the USA TODAY Sports Facebook page on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, at 8 p.m. EST. The awards show will air from the Crown Ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center during the 2018AFCA Convention.

The AFCA recognizes five regional Coach of the Year winners in each of the Association’s five divisions: Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA. The winners are selected by Active members of the Association who vote for coaches in their respective regions and divisions.

Smart earned his first AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honor by guiding Georgia to a 12-1 record, the Southeastern Conference title and an appearance in the College Football Playoff. In his two seasons as a head coach, Smart has an overall record of 20-6 and has led the Bulldogs to bowl games each season. Donley earned his fourth AFCA Regional honor and third straight after guiding Saint Francis to a 13-0 record, the Mid-States Football Association Mideast title and a second straight trip to the NAIA National Championship game. He has an overall record of 315-129-1 in 39 years as a head coach, and a record of 201-44 in 20 seasons leading the Cougars. Donley is the winningest head coach in NAIA history.

Brian Bohannon of Kennesaw State University for tied AFCA Regional Coach of the Year in the Football Championship Subdivision Region 2. Bohannon was a receiver for Georgia from 1990-93.

2017 AFCA Regional Coach of the Year Winners
Football Bowl Subdivision
Region 1: Scott Frost, University of Central Florida
Region 2: Kirby Smart, University of Georgia
Region 3: Paul Chryst, University of Wisconsin
Region 4: Matt Campbell, Iowa State University
Region 5: Jeff Tedford, California State University, Fresno

Football Championship Subdivision
Region 1: Al Bagnoli, Columbia University
Region 2: Brian Bohannon, Kennesaw State University & Mike London, Howard University (tie)
Region 3: John Grass, Jacksonville State University*
Region 4: Dave Cecchini, Valparaiso University
Region 5: Demario Warren, Southern Utah University

Division II 
Region 1: Mark Maciejewski, Shippensburg University
Region 2: Pete Shinnick, University of West Florida
Region 3: Lee Owens, Ashland University
Region 4: Bill Maskill, Midwestern State University
Region 5: Tom Sawyer, Winona State University

Division III
Region 1: Jason Mangone, The College at Brockport
Region 2: Mike Sirianni, Washington & Jefferson College
Region 3: Tony Kunczewski, Berry College
Region 4: Troy Abbs, Trine University
Region 5: Rick Willis, Wartburg College

NAIA
Region 1: Chris Oliver, Lindsey Wilson College*
Region 2: Kevin Donley, University of Saint Francis (Ind.)*
Region 3: Larry Wilcox, Benedictine College (Kan.)
Region 4: Steve Ryan, Morningside College* & Matt McCarty, Northwestern College (Iowa) (tie)
Region 5: Charlie Hall, Southern Oregon University

*-2016 winner

AFCA National Coach of the Year: The AFCA will announce the 2017 National Coaches of the Year winners in FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA at the American Football Coaches Awards, presented by Amway, broadcast live on the USA TODAY Sports Facebook page on Tuesday, January 9, at 8 p.m. EST. The Regional winners in each division are finalists for the National Coach of the Year.

Award History: The AFCA began recognizing district coaches of the year following the 1960 season. The awards were established the same year Eastman Kodak agreed to sponsor the AFCA Coach of the Year award. Prior to 1960, the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain had sponsored the program, which recognized one national Coach of the Year.
The AFCA first recognized eight district winners in each of two divisions: university and college. In 1972, a ninth district was added in each division. In 1983, the award was changed to recognize regional winners instead of district winners. The number of divisions was also increased from two to four and five regional winners were selected in each division. This resulted in a more equitable selection process and better represented the make-up of the membership. At the same time, the new system increased the number of honorees from 18 to 20. In 2006, the AFCA Division II Award was split into separate Division II and NAIA divisions, giving us the 25 winners we now recognize.

Repeat Winners: Jacksonville State’s John Grass, Lindsey Wilson’s Chris Oliver, Saint Francis’ Kevin Donley and Morningside’s Steve Ryan are the repeat winners from 2016. Grass has won four Regional honors in a row, from 2014-17, as has Ryan, who now has seven honors (2005, 2011, 2012, 2014-17). With his repeat selection this year, Donley now has four Regional honors to his name (2008, 2015-17) while Oliver has recorded five honors (2011, 2013-14, 2016-17).

Multiple Winners: Other multiple winners in the 2017 class are Al Bagnoli (fourth; 1983, 1989, 1991, 2017), Mark Maciejewski (second: 2012, 2017), Lee Owens (third: 2012, 2015, 2017), Bill Maskill (second: 2011, 2017), Rick Willis (second: 1999, 2017) and Larry Wilcox (third: 1985, 2013, 2017).

First Time Winners: Seventeen coaches earned their first AFCA Regional Coach of the Year Award in 2017: Central Florida’s Scott Frost, Georgia’s Kirby Smart, Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst, Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, Fresno State’s Jeff Tedford, Kennesaw State’s Brian Bohannon, Howard’s Mike London, Valparaiso’s Dave Cecchini, Southern Utah’s Demario Warren, West Florida’s Pete Shinnick, Winona State’s Tom Sawyer, Brockport’s Jason Mangone, Washington & Jefferson’s Mike Sirianni, Berry’s Tony Kunczewski, Trine’s Troy Abbs, Northwestern’s (Iowa) Matt McCarty and Southern Oregon’s Charlie Hall.

Most Awards: Mount Union’s Larry Kehres (1986, 1990, 1992-93, 1996-97, 1999-02, 2006-12) has the most district/regional honors in AFCA history, with 17. Penn State’s Joe Paterno (District 2: 1967-68, 1971-73, 1977-78, 1982; Region 1: 1985; Region 3: 1994, 2005) is second with 11 District/Regional Coach of the Year honors. Following Kehres and Paterno is Bloomsburg’s Danny Hale with 10 awards (College Division I, Region 1 1986-88, 1994-95; Division II, Region 1, 2000-01, 2005-06, 2008). Hale won his first three awards while at West Chester. Pete Fredenburg is in the fourth spot with nine Regional honors (2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012-14, 2016). Eight coaches have won the award seven times: Tubby Ray­mond, Delaware; Jim Butterfield, Ithaca; Bo Schem­bechler, Miami (Ohio), Michigan; Bob Devaney, Nebraska; Tom Osborne, Nebraska; Mel Tjeerdsma, Northwest Missouri State; Carmen Cozza, Yale; and Steve Ryan, Morningside. Six coaches have won Regional honors six times: Vince Dooley, Georgia; Roy Kidd, Eastern Kentucky; John McKay, USC; Jerry Moore, Appalachian State; Darrell Royal, Texas; and Mike Van Diest, Carroll (Mont.).

Most Winners by School: Mount Union-18 (Ken Wable-1, Larry Kehres-17); Nebraska-15 (Bob Devaney-7, Tom Osborne-7, Frank Solich-1); North Dakota State-12 (Darrell Mudra-1, Ron Erhardt-4, Jim Wacker-1, Don Morton-3, Earle Solo­monson-1, Craig Bohl-2); Penn State-12 (Rip Engle-1, Joe Paterno-11); Texas-11 (Darrell Royal-6, Fred Akers-2, David McWil­liams-1, Mack Brown-2); Alabama-10 (Bear Bryant-4, Bill Curry-1, Gene Stallings-2, Mike Shula-1, Nick Saban-2); USC-10 (John McKay-6, John Robinson-2, Pete Carroll-2); Wittenberg-10 (Bill Edwards-3, Dave Maurer-4, Ron Murphy-1, Joe Fincham-2); Bloomsburg-9 (George Landis-1, Danny Hale-7, Paul Darragh-1); Ithaca-9 (Jim Butterfield-7, Mike Welch-2); Mary Hardin-Baylor-9 (PeteFredenburg-9); Michi­gan-9 (Bump Elliott-2, Bo Schem­bechler-6, Lloyd Carr-1); New Hampshire-9 (Clarence Boston-1, Jim Root-1, Bill Bowes-3, Sean McDonnell-4); Arkansas-8 (Frank Broyles-4, Lou Holtz-1, Ken Hatfield-1, Houston Nutt-2); Georgia-8 (Vince Dooley-6, Mark Richt-1, Kirby Smart-1); Northwest Missouri State-8 (Mel Tjeerdsma-7, Adam Dorrel-1); Ohio State-8 (Woody Hayes-4, Earle Bruce-1, John Cooper-3); Oklahoma-8 (Chuck Fairbanks-3, Barry Switzer-2, Bob Stoops-3); Texas A&M-Kingsville-8 (Gil Steinke-2, Ron Harms-5, Bo Atterberry-1); Yale-8 (Jordan Olivar-1, Carmen Cozza-7).

Two Consecutive Years, Two Schools: Mike Houston (The Citadel, 2015 & James Madison, 2016) joined seven other coaches who have earned AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors at two schools in consecutive years: Fred Akers (Wyoming, 1976 & Texas 1977), Dennis Franchione (Pittsburg State, 1989 & Texas State, 1990), Jim McElwain (Colorado State, 2014 & Florida, 2015), Hal Mumme (Valdosta State, 1996 & Ken­tucky, 1997), Dick Sheridan (Furman, 1985 & North Carolina State, 1986), Kevin Sumlin (Houston, 2011 & Texas A&M, 2012) and Joe Tiller (Wyoming, 1996 & Purdue, 1997).

Most Schools: South Carolina’s Lou Holtz is the only coach to earn AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors at four different schools. Holtz earned the honor at North Carolina State (1972), Arkansas (1979), Notre Dame (1988) and South Carolina (2000). Brian Kelly (Grand Valley State, Cincinnati, Notre Dame) became the seventh coach to win district or regional honors at three different schools in 2012. He joins Jerry Claiborne (Virginia Tech, Maryland, Kentucky), Darrell Mudra (North Dakota State, Western Illinois, Northern Iowa), Houston Nutt (Mississippi, Arkansas, Murray State), Mike Price (UTEP, Washington State, Weber State), Jim Sweeney (Montana State, Washington State, Fresno State) and Jim Wacker (North Dakota State, Texas State, TCU) on that list.

Consecutive Years: Mount Union’s Larry Kehres is the only coach to win district/regional honors in seven consecutive years, winning in Division III from 2006-12. Northwest Missouri State’s Mel Tjeerdsma and Nebraska’s Bob Devaney are the only coaches to win district/regional honors in five consecutive years. Tjeerdsma earned the honor in Division II from 1996-2000. Devaney earned the honor in the AFCA’s old University Division (1962-66). Jacksonville State’s John Grass and Morningside’s Steve Ryan join Carroll’s Mike Van Diest, Trinity’s (Texas) Steve Mohr, North Dakota State’s Ron Erhardt and Kehres as the only men to win the award four years in a row. Grass earned his four straight in FCS from 2014-17, while Ryan got his in NAIA, also from 2014-17. Van Diest earned the honor in NAIA from 2007-10, while Kehres won his four in a row from 1999-2002 in Division III. Erhardt earned district honors in the AFCA’s old College Division (1967-68-69-70) while Mohr earned the honor in Division III (1996-97-98-99). Fifteen coaches have earned district or regional honors three years in a row. Ithaca’s Jim Butterfield (1978-79-80 and 1984-85-86) earned the award in three consecutive years on two different occasions.

Georgia Football Team Honored at Annual Gala

ATHENS, Ga. — A day after the Bulldogs celebrated the 13th SEC title in program history, seniors Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Isaiah Wynn along with junior Roquan Smith took home the top awards at the University of Georgia football team’s annual gala on Sunday night at the Classic Center.

The four upperclassmen were named team captains, with Smith, a native of Montezuma, Ga., representing the defensive unit and Chubb, a native of Cedartown, Ga., Michel, a native of Plantation, Fla., and Wynn, a native of St. Petersburg, Ga., representing the offense.  The gala came on the heels of the Bulldogs’ whipping second-ranked Auburn 28-7 in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday and the team being put in the College Football Playoff’s semifinal round in the Rose Bowl versus second-ranked Oklahoma on Sunday.

Chubb and Michel garnered the Vince Dooley Offensive Most Valuable Player honors while Smith was named the Vince Dooley Defensive Most Valuable Player.  Chubb also received the Leon Farmer Strength and Conditioning Award.  From special teams, sophomore receiver Mecole Hardman, native of Bowman, Ga., was named the Vince Dooley Most Valuable Player.

The Charley Trippi Award for most versatile player also went to Michel and senior linebacker Lorenzo Carter of Norcross, Ga.  The Frank Sinkwich Award, given to the players who demonstrated the most toughness, went to Wynn and senior defensive back Malkom Parrish of Quitman, Ga.

The David Jacobs Award, given to a player who portrays courage, spirit, character and determination, went to senior linebacker Reggie Carter of Snellville, Ga., and senior tight end Jeb Blazevich of Charlotte, N.C.

The Up Front Awards for play along the line of scrimmage also went to Wynn, junior center Lamont Gaillard of Fayetteville, N.C., graduate nose guard John Atkins of Thomson, Ga., junior defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter of Tucker, Ga., and senior linebacker Davin Bellamy.

Newcomer of the Year Awards went to freshman quarterback Jake Fromm of Warner Robins, Ga., freshman tailback D’Andre Swift of Philadelphia, Pa., freshman tackle Andrew Thomas of Lithonia, Ga., redshirt sophomore defensive back J.R. Reed of Frisco, Texas, graduate punter Cameron Nizialek of Chantilly, Va., redshirt freshman tailback Prather Hudson of Columbus, Ga., and senior fullback Christian Payne of Athens, Ga.

Most Improved Player Award winners included sophomore tight end Charlie Woerner of Tiger, Ga., junior guard Kendall Baker of Atlanta, Ga., sophomore defensive end David Marshall of Thomaston, Ga., senior safety Dominick Sanders of Tucker, Ga., junior linebacker D’Andre Walker of Fairburn, Ga., sophomore defensive lineman Tyler Clark of Americus, Ga., redshirt sophomore place kicker Rodrigo Blankenship of Marietta, Ga., sophomore receiver Tyler Simmons of Powder Springs, Ga., and junior receiver Jayson Stanley of Fairburn, Ga.

Scout Team Player Award winners were senior offensive lineman Thomas Swilley, redshirt sophomore fullback Turner Fortin, freshman quarterback Stetson Bennett from Blackshear, Ga., redshirt freshman receiver Willie Erdman, freshman defensive back Jake Skole from Roswell, Ga., senior linebacker Daniel Harper from Atlanta, Ga., redshirt sophomore defensive back KJ Smith from Perry, Ga., redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Michael Barnett of Dorchester, S.C., sophomore linebacker Jaleel Laguins of Watkinsville, Ga., senior tight end Jordan Davis of Thomson, Ga., senior fullback Jacob Gross and redshirt freshman defensive back Jordon McKinney of Dalton, Ga.

The Community Service Award went to graduate defensive back Aaron Davis of Locust Grove, Ga., and the Senior Scholar Award went to senior snapper John Courson of Athens, Ga., who has a 4.0 in Biology and Psychology with a Neuroscience Emphasis.

Team Captains

Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Isaiah Wynn, Roquan Smith

Vince Dooley Offensive MVP

Nick Chubb, Sony Michel

Vince Dooley Defensive MVP

Roquan Smith

Vince Dooley Special Teams MVP

Mecole Hardman

Charley Trippi Award

Sony Michel, Lorenzo Carter

Frank Sinkwich Award

Isaiah Wynn, Malkom Parrish

David Jacobs Award

Reggie Carter, Jeb Blazevich

Leon Farmer Strength and Conditioning Award

Nick Chubb

Up Front Award – Offense

Isaiah Wynn, Lamont Gaillard

Up Front Award – Defense

John Atkins, Jonathan Ledbetter, Davin Bellamy

Offensive Newcomer of the Year Award

Jake Fromm, D’Andre Swift, Andrew Thomas

Defensive Newcomer of the Year Award

J.R. Reed

Special Teams Newcomer of the Year Award

Cameron Nizialek, Prather Hudson, Christian Payne

Offensive Most Improved Player Award

Charlie Woerner, Kendall Baker

Defensive Most Improved Player Award

David Marshall, Dominick Sanders, D’Andre Walker, Tyler Clark

Special Teams Most Improved Player Award

Rodrigo Blankenship, Tyler Simmons, Jayson Stanley

Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year

Thomas Swilley, Turner Fortin, Stetson Bennett, Willie Erdman

Defensive Scout Team Player Award

Jake Skole, Daniel Harper, Kirkland Smith, Michael Barnett

Special Teams Scout Team Player Award

Jaleel Laguins, Jordan Davis, Jacob Gross, Jordon McKinney

Community Service Award

Aaron Davis

Senior Scholar Award

John Courson (4.0, Biology and Psychology with a Neuroscience emphasis)