Georgia football is having a great week so far, and it’s only Tuesday.
On Saturday, the Dawgs beat Florida, remaining unanimously No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll, multiple players named as award semifinalists. For the 11th time, this season earned an SEC player of the week honor.
However, it’s past time these kinds of things happened to Georgia and their players.
Since head coach Kirby Smart took over, these things continue happening, but they deserve it all and more with this team. This team has more playmakers, and yet they are selfless.
So seeing these young men recognized for their hard work should tell you what kind of culture shift has happened in Athens.
Nolan Smith’s on a tangent right now. He won SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week with Auburn’s Zakoby McClain.
Smith earns his second of the season and gives the Dawgs their 11th weekly honor in eight weeks of play.
He won this award after his Week 3 performance against South Carolina, where he had eight tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, one forced fumble and two quarterback hurries.
Smith rightfully deserved it after being the biggest bully on the field against Florida, recording four tackles, 0.5 tackles, two quarterback hurries, one interception and a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
He was the reason Georgia scored back-to-back touchdowns late in the second quarter because of the turnovers he forced. Smith is growing into being one of the leaders on defense, and to see him get this honor again means good things are coming his way.
Georgia also saw guys named as award semifinalists for the Mackey Award, Bednarik Award and Butkus Award.
Nakobe Dean made both the Bednarik and Butkus lists, and there isn’t another linebacker remotely close to this general. He leads the Dawgs with a sense of urgency yet looks calm all game long.
His intelligence is unmatched, and it’s his award to lose. If Dean continues to play like he is, regardless of statistics, he will at least win the Butkus Award. The last to do so for Georgia was, of course, Roquan Smith. Dean is so similar to Smith as they play the game on the same level.
Last year he was a semifinalist, but this year it’s all about Dean. Through eight games, he has 37 total tackles, five tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, an interception, a pick-six, 14 quarterback hurries, and one pass breakup.
There isn’t anything Dean cannot do, and even though he is a junior, no other linebacker in the country manages a defense quite like this. He is definitely one the Dawgs would love to see come back, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he left too.
Jordan Davis was the other Bulldog named as a Bednarik semifinalist. He deserves to be on the Heisman Trophy list, but Bednarik is also very deserving. Davis is the plug on that defensive front and another leader. He is the heart and soul of that defense.
Davis chose to come back, and it’s paid off so far as he continues to put on a show week after week. Nope, there aren’t a ton of statistics for him, but watch the film back, and you’ll see he is all over that field helping his teammates make things happen.
If he cannot go to New York for the Heisman Trophy, he deserves to win this award — especially since the Lombardi Trophy left him off their list. Davis deserves something because, without him, this Georgia defense wouldn’t look the same.
This week, Brock Bowers also got in on the fun as the true freshman earned a spot on the Mackey Award semifinalist list.
It’s exciting to see the youngster on the list because he is a first-year player and the only one to make the cut.
However, Bowers leads the Dawgs with 26 catches for 454 yards and six touchdowns. Not to mention he has two SEC Freshman of the Week honors under his belt.
Is it possible that he wins the Mackey as a freshman, maybe but not likely? Bowers has at least two more seasons with the Dawgs, and if this continues, he will eventually win it. Perhaps he becomes the first tight end to win it three seasons in a row — wishful thinking and probably never going to happen.
Georgia has a team full of talented playmakers competing to win and help the team achieve their goals. It’s about time others started seeing the talent in Georgia players because it’s been a long time coming.