Georgia’s Podlesny, Smart Earn SEC Individual Honors
ATHENS, Ga. --- University of Georgia senior place-kicker Jack Podlesny has been named the Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Year while head coach Kirby Smart has been named the SEC Coach of the Year, according to a league announcement Wednesday.
Podlesny’s honor is the second of its kind for Georgia after punter Jake Camarda earned the honor in 2020. This marks Smart’s third accolade of this kind (2017, ’21) and the 14th overall for Bulldog coaches since 1942.
Podlesny leads the SEC and ranks sixth nationally in scoring this year with 130 points (10.0 ppg). He is 23-for-26 in field goal attempts and 61-for-61 in PATs. Also, he has 60 touchbacks among his 91 kickoffs this season.
Smart has the top-ranked Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff (CFP) for the third time in his career including second consecutive year. After the Bulldogs captured the national championship last year and had a record 15 players drafted in the NFL, Georgia enters the 2022 CFP as the top seed and SEC Champions with a 13-0 record.
On Tuesday, sophomore tight end Brock Bowers, junior offensive tackle Warren McClendon, junior defensive lineman Jalen Carter, senior safety Chris Smith and Podlesny (PK, kickoff specialist) were all named to the All-SEC First Team.
The Second Team selections included senior quarterback Stetson Bennett, redshirt sophomore receiver Ladd McConkey, junior tight end Darnell Washington, redshirt sophomore center Sedrick Van Pran, junior defensive lineman Nazir Stackhouse, redshirt sophomore defensive back Kelee Ringo and junior long snapper William Mote.
The Freshman All-SEC Team will be released on Thursday.
The top-seeded Bulldogs (13-0) take on No. 4 Ohio State (11-1) in a College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 31. ESPN will televise the matchup at 8 p.m. ET.