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Post Eight Dawgs named to All-SEC teams

Tuesday December 9, 2008

Congratulations to the eight Georgia players who earned all-SEC honors from the AP.

With a quarterback, tailback, and two receivers earning all-SEC status, you’d expect a strong offense, and Georgia was definitely as strong as they’ve been on that side of the ball in some time. I was glad to see Clint Boling recognized for his work in 2008. Injuries to other linemen forced him to play out of position for much of the season, but he proved to be versatile and effective. I’m really hoping that Clint can get a season or two where he can stay in his element and see just how far he can go.

The AP wasn’t as kind to the Georgia defense, and that should be no surprise. The Dawgs had no defenders on the first team, and Rennie Curran and Rashad Jones earned a spot on the second team.

People found it a little strange that A.J. Green could be named a first team receiver yet lose out on Freshman of the Year honors to Julio Jones. It’s unusual, but it’s not unprecedented. Over in the Big 12, Sam Bradford was the first team QB by the AP, but Colt McCoy was Player of the Year. McCoy might win the Heisman, and he’d do it as the second team QB in his own conference.

We saw something similar in 2005 when Jay Cutler and D.J. Shockley shared first team honors, but Cutler was named SEC Player of the Year on offense. It comes down to voting and how certain votes are weighted. In the case of Green vs. Jones, the question might have come down to a decision between just those two for Freshman of the Year. But for the all-SEC receivers, you have other worthy candidates like Harvin and LaFell affecting the vote.

The one thing that stands out to me? For the first time I can remember, Georgia doesn’t have a defensive lineman on an all-SEC team. Geno Atkins was a first-team selection in 2007. Charles Johnson made the cut in 2006, and Quentin Moses was there in 2005. Then of course you get back into the days of Pollack, Grant, and Seymour. It had to be difficult for Atkins this year with the absence of Jeff Owens and spotty defensive end play, but I was surprised to see that he didn’t even rate honorable mention this year. Perhaps that won’t be the case when the coaches release their own list.

At any rate, the rare lack of a standout defensive tackle or end kind of tells the tale for this year’s Georgia defense. Improvement in that area might be one of the big things to watch in 2009. Atkins has pledged that he’ll be back, and we hope that Owens will join him. Defensive end is the bigger need, and Georgia is again looking for help at that position ($) from the junior college ranks.

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