ATHENS — Georgia will begin the season as the No. 1 team in the country. The talent on the team is a good reason, as the Bulldogs have four plays on the Preaseason AP First Team All-American Team.
Junior tight end Brock Bowers, senior center Sedrick Van Pran, junior inside linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson and sophomore safety Malaki Starks landed on the First Team. All four started on Georgia’s championship team last season, while Bowers and Van Pran also did on the 2021 championship team.
Georgia also saw safety junior safety Javon Bullard land on the Second Team. He will enter this season as a starter at safety after playing at the star position last season for the Bulldogs.
In total, the SEC had seven players land on the First Team. The other representatives from the league were Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins, LSU linebacker Harold Perkins and cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry. Georgia will face Judkins and the Rebels on Nov. 11 in what will be Georgia’s final home SEC home game.
Bowers is Georgia’s only returning All-American from last season, as Jalen Carter is now a Philadelphia Eagle and Chris Smith is an Oakland Raider. Bowers led Georgia in receiving in each of the past two seasons and won the Mackey Award last season.
“Yeah he’s talented. He’s extremely talented,” Georgia tight ends coach Todd Hartley said of Bowers. “He can run, he can jump, he can catch, he’s tough. What makes him special to me is his competitiveness. He is the ultimate competitor. The kid doesn’t want to lose at anything.”
Van Pran was a team captain last season, in addition to being one of the top offensive linemen in the country. He and Dumas-Johnson will be two of Georgia’s vocal leaders this season.
The Big Ten actually had the most AP All-Americans, with 12. Ohio State had three First Teamers, with wide receivers Marvin Harrison and Emeka Egbuka and inside linebacker Tommy Eichenberg making the team.
Georgia received 60 of the 63 first-place votes in the preseason AP Poll. The Bulldogs are also the No. 1 team in the Coaches Poll. Still, head coach Kirby Smart wants to see his team improve if the Bulldogs are going to end the season as the No. 1 team in the polls.
“I thought this scrimmage two was probably behind where we’ve been the last two years on scrimmage two, but a lot further than we were on scrimmage one,” Smart said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “So the progress we’ve made was good, but we’re not where we need to be.”
The Bulldogs open the season on Sept. 2 when they face UT-Martin.
Preseason First Team All-Americans
Quarterback — Caleb Williams, third-year, Southern California.
Running backs — Blake Corum, fourth-year, Michigan; Quinshon Judkins, second-year, Mississippi.
Tackles — Joe Alt, third-year, Notre Dame; Olu Fashanu, fourth-year, Penn State.
Guards — Cooper Beebe, fifth-year, Kansas State; Zak Zinter, fourth-year, Michigan.
Center — Sedrick Van Pran, fourth-year, Georgia.
Tight end — Brock Bowers, third-year, Georgia.
Wide receivers — Marvin Harrison Jr., third-year, Ohio State; Rome Odunze, fourth-year. Washington; Emeka Egbuka, third-year, Ohio State.
Edge rushers — Jared Verse, fourth-year, Florida State; Bralen Trice, fifth-year, Washington.
Interior linemen — Jer’Zhan Newton, fifth-year, Illinois; Dontay Corleone, third-year, Cincinnati.
Linebackers — Harold Perkins, second-year, LSU; Jamon Dumas-Johnson, third-year, Georgia; Tommy Eichenberg, fourth-year, Ohio State.
Cornerbacks — Kool-aid McKinstry, third-year, Alabama; Kalen King, third-year, Penn State.
Safeties — Kam Kinchens, third-year, Miami; Malaki Starks, second-year, Georgia.
Defensive back — Cooper DeJean, third-year, Iowa.
Punter — Tory Taylor, fourth-year, Iowa.
All-purpose player — Travis Hunter, second-year, Colorado.
Kicker — Joshua Karty, fourth-year, Stanford.
Preseason Second Team All-Americans
Quarterback — Drake Maye, third-year, North Carolina.
Running backs — Raheim Sanders, third-year, Arkansas; Braelon Allen, third-year, Wisconsin.
Tackles — JC Latham, third-year, Alabama; Kelvin Banks Jr., second-year, Texas.
Guards — Donovan Jackson, third-year, Ohio State; Christian Mahogany, fifth-year, Boston College.
Center — Zach Frazier, fourth-year, West Virginia.
Tight end — Oronde Gadsden, third-year, Syracuse.
Wide receivers — Xavier Worthy, third-year, Texas; Malik Nabers, third-year, LSU; Jacob Cowing, fifth-year, Arizona.
All-purpose player — Will Shipley, third-year, Clemson.
Kicker — John Hoyland, third-year, Wyoming.
Edge rushers — J.T. Tuimoloau, third-year, Ohio State; Dallas Turner, third-year, Alabama.
Interior linemen — Tyler Davis, fifth-year, Clemson; Mekhi Wingo, third-year, LSU.
Linebackers — Jeremiah Trotter Jr., third-year, Clemson; Barrett Carter, third-year, Clemson; Cedric Gray, fourth-year, North Carolina.
Cornerbacks — Josh Newton, sixth-year, TCU; Ben Morrison, second-year, Notre Dame.
Safeties — Calen Bullock, third-year, Southern California; Javon Bullard, third-year, Georgia.
Defensive back — Will Johnson, second-year, Michigan.
Punter — Kai Kroeger, fourth-year, South Carolina.