Last week, the Georgia Bulldogs lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship game, found out they slid to third in the College Football Playoff rankings and will face the Michigan Wolverines in the Orange Bowl, took their final exams and their stars received their awards. This is a recap of an eventful week for Georgia Football. First, here are the players that took home top honors:
Linebacker Nakobe Dean was named to the First-Team Walter Camp All-America team and won the 2021 Butkus award.
Dean was also named to the AP & Coaches’ All-SEC 1st Team, was declared the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by Pro Football Focus (PFF), and was a semifinalist for the 2021 Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the outstanding defensive player of the year. Additionally, Dean was named captain of the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, chosen for their outstanding commitment to community service.
Davis won the Outland Trophy as college football’s best interior lineman. He also won the Bednarik trophy as the defensive player of the year. The only other players to win both the Outland Trophy and the Bednarik award in the same season are Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh (2009) and Pitt’s Aaron Donald (2013). Davis is in elite company.
Tight end Brock Bowers, offensive lineman Broderick Jones, wide receiver Ladd McConkey and defensive back Kelee Ringo were named to the Freshman All-SEC team this week.
Defensive Coordinator Dan Lanning takes Oregon job
Dan Lanning was hired Saturday, Dec. 11 to become the next head coach at the University of Oregon. Lanning, 35, served on Kirby Smart’s staff as his linebackers coach in 2018 and as defensive coordinator in 2019.
“Dan is an outstanding, high-energy football coach who will provide a world-class experience for our football student-athletes,” Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said in a press release. “He is a tremendous recruiter and developer of talent, and we will continue to compete for championships while providing an environment where our football student-athletes can develop to their fullest potential in the classroom, on the football field, and as people.”
Lanning will continue to serve as Coach Smart’s staff as Georgia prepares for the College Football Playoff semifinal matchup against Michigan at the Orange Bowl. Smart issued the following statement:
“We are so happy for Dan and his family. He and Sauphia have been an important part of our Bulldog family for the last four years, and we thank them for all they did for Georgia Football and the Athens community,” Smart said. “Opportunities like this are a testament to a successful program.
“While he will coach with us for the upcoming College Football Playoff, we will move forward with Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp as co-defensive coordinators. Dan and I are both looking forward to preparing for the CFP.”
In a bit of irony, Oregon and Georgia will kickoff the 2022 season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Recruiting and the Early Signing Period
Whenever head coach Kirby Smart tweets ‘Go Dawgs!’good news usually flows out of the program. According to 24/7 Sports, Georgia has the second-ranked class heading into the end of the early signing period. The class is headlined by three five-star recruits: Malaki Starks, cornerback Jaheim Singletary and defensive lineman Mykel Williams.
Starks is the number one athlete in the ESPN 300. Singletary is the number three overall cornerback in the ESPN 300. Williams is the number five overall defensive tackle in the ESPN 300.
This week, Smart made in-home visits with tight end and Georgia commit Oscar Delp (the Forsyth County offensive player of the year), linebacker Shemar James, and the aforementioned Malaki Starks.
For what it’s worth, Alabama has the top-ranked recruiting class. Texas A&M, Ohio State and Notre Dame round out the top five.