Georgia team captain Christopher Smith returned a blocked field goal 96 yards to open the scoring in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday. Smith was one of three FWAA first-team All-Americans off the Bulldogs' 2022 team, joining Jalen Carter and Brock Bowers.
Jeff Sentell / Dawg

Georgia lands nation-high 3 players on FWAA first-team All-American list

ATHENS — Georgia football led the nation with three first-team FWAA All-American selections released on Friday.

Defensive tackle Jalen Carter, tight end Brock Bowers and safety Chris Smith were all voted on as first-team choices.

RELATED: Brock Bowers makes more Georgia history in award upset

There were 54 players recognized in all, but Georgia had no players selected for second-team honors.

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USC quarterback Caleb Williams and TCU quarterback Max Duggan were the two Heisman Trophy finalist quarterbacks selected as first- and second-team picks.

The selections of Carter, Bowers and Smith were not a surprise, as they were also first-team All-SEC picks and in the mix for national awards.

Bowers won the Mackey Award, presented to the top tight end on Thursday night. He is one of only four sophomores on the first team — there were no freshmen.

Carter was a semifinalist for the Outland Award and was ranked as the No. 1 NFL draft prospect on Mel Kiper’s “Big Board” on Thursday.

RELATED: NFL expert compares Jalen Carter to sure-fire Pro Hall of Famer

Smith has been arguably the most pivotal player the past two seasons with his game-changing plays, from his Pick-6 against Clemson in 2021, to his 96-yard blocked FG return to flip early momentum in the SEC Championship Game last week.

WATCH: Chris Smith opens SEC title game scoring in sensational fashion

Smith was one of four finalists for the Nagurski Award in Charlotte, N.C. That award is known as the “Defensive Heisman.”

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett is in New York as one of the four Heisman Trophy finalists.

RELATED: Georgia QB Stetson Bennett finishes fifth in SEC POY vote

It was revealed on Thursday that Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker was the No. 5 vote-getter, followed by Alabama QB Bryce Young, Michigan running back Blake Corum, Washington QB Michael Penix Jr., Texas RB Bijan Robinson and North Carolina QB Drake Maye.

It’s the first time eight of the top 10 Heisman vote-getters played quarterback.

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE                   QB Caleb Williams, USC (6-1, 215, So., Washington, D.C.)RB Blake Corum, Michigan (5-8, 210, Jr., Marshall, Va.)RB Bijan Robinson, Texas (6-0, 222, Jr., Tucson, Ariz.WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State (6-4, 205, Jr., Philadelphia, Pa.)WR Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee (6-0, 185, Jr., Irmo, S.C.)TE Brock Bowers, Georgia (6-4, 230, So., Napa, Calif.)OL Steve Avila, TCU (6-4, 330, Sr., Arlington, Texas)OL Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State (6-6, 310, Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio)OL John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota (6-4, 320, Sr., Flossmoor, Ill.)OL Peter Skoronski, Northwestern (6-4, 315, Jr., Park Ridge, Ill.)C Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan (6-3, 307, Gr., Upper Marlboro, Md.)

FIRST TEAM DEFENSEDL Jalen Carter, Georgia (6-3, 300, Jr., Apopka, Fla.)DL Calijah Kancey, Pitt (6-0, 280, Jr., Miami, Fla.)DL Tuli Tuipulotu, USC (6-4, 290, Jr., Hawthorne, Calif.)DL Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech (6-6, 275, Sr., Henderson, Texas)LB Will Anderson Jr., Alabama (6-4, 243, So., Hampton, Ga.)LB Jack Campbell, Iowa (6-5, 246, Sr., Cedar Falls, Iowa)LB Ivan Pace Jr., Cincinnati (6-0, 235, Sr., Cincinnati, Ohio)DB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State (6-0, 180, Jr., Grenada, Miss.)DB Clark Phillips III, Utah (5-10, 183, So., Lakewood, Calif.)DB Chris Smith, Georgia (5-11, 195, Sr., Atlanta, Ga.)DB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois (6-0, 180, Jr., Pensacola, Fla.)

FIRST TEAM SPECIALISTSK Christopher Dunn, N.C. State (5-8, 170, Gr., Lexington, N.C.)P Tory Taylor, Iowa (6-4, 230, Jr., Melbourne, Australia)KR Lideatrick Griffin, Mississippi State (5-10, 185, Jr., Philadelphia, Miss.)PR Derius Davis, TCU (5-10, 175, Sr., Saint Francisville, La.)AP Zach Charbonnet, UCLA (6-1, 220, Sr., Camarillo, Calif.)

SECOND TEAM OFFENSE: QB Max Duggan, TCU; RB Israel Abanikanda, Pitt; RB Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota; WR Josh Downs, North Carolina; WR Rashee Rice, SMU; TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame; OL Joe Alt, Notre Dame; OL Nick Broeker, Ole Miss; OL O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida; OL Andrew Vorhees, USC; C Alex Forsyth, Oregon. SECOND TEAM DEFENSE: DL Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State; DL Tyler Davis, Clemson; DL Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame; DL Mike Morris, Michigan; LB Tommy Eichenberg, Ohio State; LB Jason Henderson, Old Dominion; LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas; DB Erick Hallett II, Pitt; DB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU; DB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State; DB John Torchio, Wisconsin. SECOND TEAM SPECIALISTS: K Joshua Karty, Stanford; P Bryce Baringer, Michigan State; KR Milan Tucker, App State; PR Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama; AP Chase Brown, Illinois.

2022 FWAA All-America Committee:

Andrea Adelson,;

Evan Barnes, Memphis Commercial Appeal;

Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman;

Travis L. Brown, Bryan-College Station Eagle;

Ken Capps, Freelance;

Brett Ciancia, Pick Six Previews;

Angelique Chengelis, Detroit News;

Scott Dochterman, The Athletic;

Bryan Fischer, Athlon Sports;

John Hoover,;

Shehan Jeyarajah, CBS Sports;

Nate Mink, Syracuse Post-Standard;

Ben Portnoy, The State (Columbia, S.C.);

Tony Siracusa, Last Word on College Football;

Phil Steele, Phil Steele Publications;

Ryan Thorburn, Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune;

John Wagner, Toledo Blade;

Jon Wilner, Bay Area News Group.

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