6 biggest Georgia football snubs on preseason All-SEC team
ATHENS — The bulletin board material has been posted, and now it’s up to the Georgia football players to change the narrative.
The Bulldogs are big men on campus and around the Peach State, but the SEC Media Days preseason first team served as a reality check.
The outside world doesn’t believe Kirby Smart will get Georgia over the hump this season. Only 49 of the 260 voters picked the Bulldogs to win the SEC — that’s less than one in five.
Or, to put it another way, more than four out of five college experts predict Georgia will fail to finish adequately once again, which would make them the Buffalo Bills of the SEC.
Also, would you believe that for all if Smart’s defensive wizardy, Georgia has had only three defensive players selected as first-team All-SEC by the league’s coaches at the end of the last six years combined?
Only four Georgia football players were picked by media for first-team preseason honors: Andrew Thomas, J.R. Reed, Rodrigo Blankenship and D’Andre Swift.
Alabama, meanwhile, had 11 players selected for first-team honors.
It’s more evidence that the teams may not be that far apart on the field, but they certainly are in the world of perception.
There are several Bulldogs who didn’t put up numbers last season that figure to have breakout years.
But today’s list focuses on UGA players that did enough last season to have deserved more or better recognition on the SEC preseason teams released on Friday.
Here are 6 Bulldogs who were overlooked or not given enough credit:
1. OG Solomon Kindley
Yes, Kindley was a second-team preseason All-SEC pick, but he should have easily been a first-team selection. Don’t be surprised if Kindley earns All-American honors this season and finds himself in the running for the Outland Trophy.
2. LB Monty Rice
So maybe Rice couldn’t come close to filling Roquan Smith’s shoes last season, as a former UGA staffer had predicted. But part of the reason was that Rice suffered knee and ankle injuries severe enough to put him on the sideline. Rice has great character and ability, and Kirby Smart is all in on him. Plan on seeing Rice on All-SEC postseason teams.
3. DT Jordan Davis
It’s hard to miss a 6-foot-6, 330-pounder like Davis, especially after he earned Freshman All-American honors and dominated the snaps he played the second half of the season. But the big man was dealt a big snub.
4. WR Lawrence Cager
OK, so he’s a transfer and hasn’t played a snap in the SEC. But the 6-foot-5 Cager led Miami in TD catches and average yards per catch last season, and he’s now working with one of the top quarterbacks in the nation in Jake Fromm. Cager is flying under the college football radar, even as NFL scouts are tuned in to him.
5. S Richard LeCounte
A third-team pick, really? That’s what the world has come to, when the leading tackler on Georgia’s defense from the season before can’t even make first or second-team all-league? LeCounte will be the first to admit he got run over by Texas, but his strong offseason appears to have gone unnoticed. For now.
6. Tae Crowder
He’s not a household name, and he was still adjusting to his move from running back last season. But if anyone looked deep enough they’d see No. 30 tied for the team lead in interceptions and was second in QB pressures last season. Crowder will do a lot more this season.