Georgia Places Six On Athlon’s Preseason All-SEC First Team Georgia Places Six On Athlon’s Preseason All-SEC First Team

Georgia Places Six On Athlon’s Preseason All-SEC First Team

Uga smiles after a game

Georgia Places Six On Athlon’s Preseason All-SEC First Team

Football

Georgia Places Six On Athlon’s Preseason All-SEC First Team

Athlon Sports, in its annual preseason college football publication, selected six Georgia Bulldogs for its first-team all-SEC list and an additional seven players making the cut on the second through fourth teams.

Georgia’s 13 players selected lead the conference followed by Alabama and Missouri tied for second with 11 each. Florida, Mississippi State and Texas A&M are fourth with each program having nine players selected.

Sophomore left tackle Andrew Thomas, who started all 15 games last season as a true freshman, and sophomore running back D’Andre Swift (618 rushing yards and three touchdowns) lead the way for Georgia on offense. 

Senior cornerback Deandre Baker and junior safety J.R. Reed highlight Georgia’s defensive selections. Baker had 44 tackles, nine pass breakups and three interceptions in 2017. Reed was Georgia’s second-leading tackler with 79 and had two interceptions. 

The Dawgs were represented on the first-team special teams by junior place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship (20 of 23 field goals and 63 of 63 PATs) and the versatile junior Mecole Hardman Jr., selected as punt returner. Hardman averaged 11.78 yards per return last season, tops in the conference. He also caught 25 passes for 418 yards and four scores. Don’t be surprised to see Hardman on several post season all-conference lists as a wideout.

Fifth-year senior lineman Lamont Gaillard was selected as the second-team center. Gaillard started all 15 games last season.

Senior wide receiver Terry Godwin (38 receptions, 639 yards and 7 touchdowns) and junior tight end Isaac Nauta made the third-team on offense. 

Senior linebacker Natrez Patrick and junior defensive tackle Tyler Clark were selected for the third-team defense. 

Hardman makes an encore special team appearance with the third team as the kickoff returner.

Senior defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter made the fourth team.

Surprisingly, SEC champion quarterback Jake Fromm was not selected. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagvailoa made the first team and Missouri’s Drew Lock was selected to the second team. 

Georgia opens the defense of its SEC title on September 1 with a home game against Austin Peay.

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