ATHENS — Jordan Davis, ironically, is on the verge of forcing the “No-Name Defense” nickname he likes so much into intinction.
Davis was named one of three finalists for the Nagurski Award on Wednesday, which recognizes the best defensive player in collegiate football.
Then, on Wednesday night, Davis was named one of six semifinalists for the Outland Trophy Award, which goes to the best lineman in college football.
Davis holds the distinction of being the only player on both lists, and he’s the sole defensive player among the Outland’s semifinalists.
Those are big honors for Georgia’s biggest football player, but they are also well-earned.
“It’s something I never expected in a million years,” Davis said of his stardom. “It’s an honor, I’m blessed, it’s one of those things you think about.”
The 6-foot-6, 340-pound Davis has only 23 tackles and 2 sacks on the season, but the Nagurski and the Outland are not as stats driven as other awards such as the Heisman Trophy.
The Nagurski Award, which is sponsored and hosted by the Charlotte Touchdown Club, named Alabama linebacker Will Anderson and Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux as the other finalists.
NFL Hall of Famer and former Kirby Smart teammate Champ Bailey is the only Georgia player to win the Nagurski Award (1998), but the Bulldogs have had a finalist six times since 2000
• J.R. Reed, 2019
• Roquan Smith, 2017
• Justin Houston, 2010
• David Pollack, 2002, 2004
Georgia has produced only one Outland Trophy winner, Bill Stanfill in 1968.
Davis has plenty of competition just to make the list of three finalists, which will be announced next Tuesday:
• OT Ikem Ekwonu, North Carolina
• OT Darian Kinnard, Kentucky
• OC Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
• OT Evan Neal, Alabama
• OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State
Georgia’s place atop collegiate football defenses aids Davis’ cause, as the Bulldogs are allowing just 7.6 points per game, which leads the nation.
Georgia plays host to Charleston Southern at noon on Saturday, where Davis will be one of the 28 to 30 seniors recognized.