ATHENS — Coaches like to say it’s a good sign when their team’s top achievers in the classroom and hardest workers are also their best players.
The academic portion appears to be in order for the Bulldogs where Georgia football 2021 breakout players Kendall Milton and Nakobe Dean are involved.
Milton and Dean were among 27 Bulldogs to earn a place on the Fall SEC Honor Roll announced earlier this week, along with All-American punter Jake Camarda and Peach Bowl Offensive MVP Jack Podlesny.
Milton flashed brilliance at times last season, establishing himself as the most powerful of the Georgia runners in a crowded backfield.
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It will be an important spring for the rising sophomore from California, who didn’t have the benefit of spring drills last season on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, and then was limited in fall drills by a pulled hamstring.
Dean, meanwhile, will be limited in spring drills after undergoing labrum surgery after playing hurt the final three games of the season..
Dean showed the signs of what made him a 5-star prospect and likely team captain last season with a three-game stretch of double-digit tackles. The former Horn Lake (Miss.) High School standout posted 14 tackles against Kentucky, 15 tackles against Florida and 12 tackles in the win over Mississippi State.
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Camarda, of course, was the SEC Player of the year last season as voted on my the coaches, and the first-team All-SEC punter per the AP vote. He was also one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award, which goes to the best punter in the nation.
Podlesny, a rising junior from St. Simons Island who came through with the game-winning kick from 53 yards out in the 24-21 win over Cincinnati, finished the season 13 of 16 on field goals and 38 of 38 on his extra-point attempts.
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If anyone can appreciate the players’ achievements in the classroom, it’s Georgia head coach Kirby Smart.
Smart, who played at Georgia from 1995-98, was an All-SEC selection as a senior on the field and a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, graduating with his degree in finance.
Georgia football players on the 2020 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll