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FWAA Freshman of the Year Brock Bowers questioned by South Carolina’s Shane Beamer during awards show

Brock Bowers-Georgia football-UGA football
Brock Bowers gets loose against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation)

ATHENS — South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer shared a lighter moment with Georgia tight end Brock Bowers on an awards show on Monday night.

RELATED: Brock Bowers wins FWAA National Award, Nick Saban comments on UGA TE

Beamer, honored as the co-Spurrier Coaching Award-winner with Tennessee coach Josh Heupel, which goes to the coach who does the best job in his first year at a school, said he wanted to confirm that Bowers is indeed just a freshman.

“My 8-year-old son was in here listening to Brock and he said, ‘Wait a minute he’s just a freshman?” said Beamer, who stayed on the awards Zoom call after winning his honor to hear Bowers speak. “He was like ‘Man, I thought he was a senior and gone,’ and then he walked out of the room disappointed.

“Can we confirm that he is just a freshman and we have two more years to compete against him?” Beamer said to the Zoom audience and UGA media representative Leland Barrows.

“In all seriousness, love watching you play Brock, you’re a helluva football player.”

Beamer, of course, coached the Georgia tight ends under Kirby Smart in 2017 before coaching under Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma and then taking over as the Gamecocks head coach this year.

Beamer also had a hilarious viral moment earlier this season, when he said Georgia had “100 5-star players on their defense” after the Bulldogs beat the Gamecocks 40-13.

Bowers, who set a UGA record with 13 touchdowns receptions this season, in addition to leading the Bulldogs with 56 catches for 882 yards, made his first public comments upon receiving the FWAA Freshman of the Year Award.

“it’s back to work here until here the season, just try to get the team better,” Bowers said, asked what he plans to do for an encore. “Just keep the team winning, and just run it back again.”

Bowers’ freshman campaign was all the more incredible when one considers he didn’t play his final year of high school at Napa, Calif.

Bowers, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound tight end, admits it was challenging getting reacclimated.

“It was kind of hard at first putting those pads back on,” said Bowers, a 2021 early enrollee. “Coming in early definitely helped. I had no clue what to expect coming in.

“Coming in spring ball and getting my butt beat around a bit by some of the dudes out there, it kinda got me going again in a football mindset.”

Bowers said he stayed so focused from week to week, he didn’t really take note of the record-breaking season he was having, as he surpassed all of UGA’s previous tight end marks.

“The first couple games in, I was catching a few balls and just kind of doing my thing,” Bowers said. “As the season went on, I was like, shoot, I’m doing pretty well.”

Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud and Oklahoma State defensive end Collin Oliver were the FWAA’s other two finalists for the Freshman of the Year Award.

Stroud was a Heisman Trophy finalist and the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year, while Oliver was the Big 12′s Defensive Freshman of the Year.

Stroud won the FWAA Breakout Freshman Performance Award, and Oliver was named the FWAA Most Inspirational Freshman.

TE Orson Charles, 2009

RB Todd Gurley, 2012

RB Nick Chubb, 2014

TE Isaac Nautta, 2016

PK Rodrigo Blankenship, 2016

QB Jake Fromm, 2017

OL Andrew Thomas, 2017

OL Isaiah Wilson, 2018

OL Cade Mays, 2018

DL Jordan Davis, 2018

OLB Azeez Ojulari, 2019

OL Warren McClendon, 2020

TE Brock Bowers, 2021

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