ATHENS, Ga. — Junior punter Jake Camarda has become the first Bulldog to be named the Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Year, according to an announcement following a vote from the league’s coaches on Tuesday.
In addition, nine Bulldogs earned a spot on one of the conference’s All-SEC teams. Senior OG Ben Cleveland, senior S Richard LeCounte and Camarda were named to the First Team. Junior N Jordan Davis, redshirt sophomore OLB Azeez Ojulari and junior DB Eric Stokes garnered Second Team honors. Georgia also had a trio named to the Freshman All-SEC squad including redshirt freshman OT Warren McClendon and true freshmen RB Kendall Milton and DL Jalen Carter.
Camarda, a native of Norcross, Ga., becomes the first Georgia player to garner the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year award since its inception in 2004. In fact, Camarda is the first special teams player to earn the honor from the league’s Eastern Division since 2015.
Camarda’s punting average of 47.9 would rank second nationally if he had the NCAA minimum of 3.6 punts per game (Camarda is at 3.4 per game). The Bulldogs’ 42.7 average in Net Punting is ranked seventh nationally. He has punted 31 times and placed 17 inside the 20 and has 15 that have traveled 50 yards or more.
During opponents’ two punt returns this season, they have only gained a combined two yards. The two-time 2020 SEC Special Teams Player of the Week is averaging 45.7 for his career. Butler owns the Bulldog school record at 45.4 for his career.
Camarda is also handling kickoff duties for the Bulldogs. Georgia is ranked eighth nationally and leads the SEC in Kickoff Return Defense allowing only 16.8 yards per return. The Bulldogs are also ranked third in the league in Kickoff Coverage (41.3 net average) and fourth in total kickoff yardage (63.5 average).
The No. 9 Bulldogs (7-2 SEC) take on No. 8 Cincinnati (9-0, 6-0 American Athletic Conference) in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Jan. 1. ESPN will televise the game at 12 p.m.