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Georgia sophomore TE Brock Bowers was the FWAA Freshman of the Year and he has backed that up with an All-American season. He scored three highlight-reel touchdowns against South Carolina in the SEC opener in Columbia. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

User’s guide to Georgia football All-American and All-SEC candidates

ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart likes to say the individual awards take care of themselves when the team is winning.

This No. 1-ranked Bulldogs team certainly has its share of victories and will thus have its share of All-American and All-SEC players.

Georgia is likely to have more defensive players than offensive players recognized because of Kirby Smart’s preference for efficiency over style points.

For example, with the defense dominating two key games and weather playing a role, the Bulldogs ran the ball on 17 of the final 18 plays against Kentucky, and 21 of the final 25 plays against Tennessee.

NFL teams evaluating Georgia players quickly see through the lack of eye-popping numbers in such contests, but many who vote for awards don’t have the option of watching each game individually and rely on statistics.

Stetson Bennett’s unblemished mark as the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback keeps him on the fringe of Heisman Trophy consideration, but his recent spate of interceptions (five in the past four games) likely ensures Bryce Young and Hendon Hooker will finish ahead of him for all-league honors.

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Tailback Kenny McIntosh is in the same bucket, clutch when needed (9 catches, 117 yards vs. Oregon; 19 carries 143 yards at Kentucky), but just 17th in the SEC in rushing on account of UGA’s tailback rotation.

Bennett and McIntosh would probably prefer winning postseason Offensive MVP trophies, anyway, as the UGA quarterback did in the CFP Orange Bowl Semifinal and CFP Championship Game.

That said, here’s a look at different Georgia football players and the types of recognition they should earn:

First-team All-American

Safety Christopher Smith

Linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson

Defensive tackle Jalen Carter*

Tight end Brock Bowers*

Center Sedrick Van Pran

* Preseason All-Americans, ESPN, CBS, PFF, AP

Second-team All-American

Safety Malaki Starks

Cornerback Kelee Ringo

Offensive Tackle Broderick Jones

Kicker Jack Podlesny

Note: Missed games likely cost preseason All-American Nolan Smith and deserving sophomore Smael Mondon Jr., All-American honors.

First-year starter Kamari Lassiter will be teed up for an All-American campaign next season, as will defensive back Javon Bullard.

Georgia has several more players worthy of All-SEC accolades:

FLASHBACK: Coaches’ preseason All-SEC teams feature several Georgia Bulldogs

First-Team All-SEC

Safety Christopher Smith

Linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson

Defensive tackle Jalen Carter

Safety Malaki Starks

Cornerback Kelee Ringo

Tight end Brock Bowers

Center Sedrick Van Pran

Offensive Tackle Broderick Jones

Kicker Jack Podlesny

Second-Team All-SEC

Linebacker Smael Mondon Jr.

Cornerback Kamari Lassiter

Tight end Darnell Washington

Right tackle Warren McClendon

Tailback Kenny McIntosh

Return specialist Ladd McConkey

Georgia tackles leaders

1. Malaki Starks, 56

2. Jamon Dumas-Johnson, 54

3. Smael Mondon Jr., 52

4. Christopher Smith, 44

5. Javon Bullard, 33

Georgia All-Purpose Yardage leaders

1. Kenny McIntosh, 909 yards

2. Ladd McConkey, 856 yards

3. Brock Bowers, 714 yards

4. Daijun Edwards, 644

5. Kearis Jackson, 557

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