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Determining Georgia’s 2018 Most Valuable offensive player
This week, we’re going to use Good Day, UGA to hand out some awards for the 2018 season. Today, we’re going to hand out pick Georgia’s most valuable freshman. On Monday, we named outside linebacker D’Andre Walker the team’s most valuable defensive player. On Tuesday we explained why Sam Pittman is Georgia’s most valuable assistant coach.
3rd place: Andrew Thomas, offensive lineman
From a talent standpoint, sophomore tackle Andrew Thomas may have been Georgia’s best player this season. A year from now, Thomas is likely going to have to make have .a decision between returning to Georgia or leaving early for the NFL draft.
Thomas started 12 games for Georgia this year and was a big reason that Georgia was able to lead the SEC in rushing. For his efforts this season, Thomas was named a Second Team All-American for his efforts, and was Georgia’s only offensive player to make the team. It says a lot about the two guys ahead of Thomas on this list for perhaps the nation’s best offensive tackle to not be the team’s MVP.
2nd place: Jake Fromm, quarterback
The margin between Fromm and Georgia’s offensive MVP really is that close. After his disastrous LSU game, Fromm was one of the best quarterbacks in the country this year. Over the final six games of the season, Fromm threw for 14 touchdowns compared to just 1 interception. In the SEC championship game, Fromm out-dueled Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who finished in second the Heisman Trophy race.
Fromm somehow didn’t land on any of the All-SEC teams at the end of the season, but he was also clearly one of the nation’s best quarterbacks. He’s already been tabbed as a possible Heisman Trophy front-runner for 2019 after he threw for 27 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Many Georgia fans wanted to see Fromm take a step forward after last season. And the sophomore quarterback certainly elevated his play this year. If he improves again next year, the Bulldogs could be the best team in the country, and Fromm could be inline to make a lot of money as first round draft pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
1st place: D’Andre Swift, running back
This might be a controversial choice, given how well Fromm played down the stretch. But Swift was even better. The sophomore running back was battling injuries early in the season. After the LSU game, Swift broke off three straight 100-yard games, after not having a single 100-yard game before that. He added another 100-yard game against Georgia Tech and had a multi-touchdown game in the SEC championship game against No. 1 Alabama.
Swift’s game against Auburn, where he rushed for a career-best 186 yards was perhaps the best game by any Georgia player this year. Swift went on to finish third in the SEC in rushing and that comes while sharing the backfield with Elijah Holyfield — who rushed for 956 yards this year. Swift also caught 27 passes for 267 yards on the season.
You can make the case that Fromm’s improved performance opened things up for Swift, but Georgia was at its best this season when Swift had the ball in his hands. He more than lived up to the massive expectations many had for him, even if it took a while for him to get going. So for his dominant second half of the season and all-around excellence, Swift is our offensive MVP.
Jadon Haselwood is that good
Much has been written and made about 5-star wide receiver Jadon Haselwood. He’s the No. 1 wide receiver in the country and the No. 1 player in the state of Georgia. He’s a one-time Georgia commit and he is the still the Bulldogs No. 1 recruiting target, even after his de-commitment. A lot of Georgia fans may have grown tired about all the talk of Haselwood, and some have wonder if he’s worth having in the class, given the way his recruitment has played out.
But it was very clear on Tuesday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium that Haselwood is that good. He’s set to announce his decision on Jan. 5 and he’s worth the wait. With his team trailing 13-7 with just 10 seconds remaining, Haselwood hauled in a 22-yard touchdown pass. After Haselwood’s touchdown, Cedar Grove added the extra point to pull out a thrilling 14-13 win over Peach County.