2013 UGA Senior Gala, Awards And Photos

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Photo: Logan Booker/BI

Every season at the University of Georgia, there is a night where players who have chosen to play into their senior years get recognized. We are not talking about the last game in Sanford Stadium when pads are donned, but rather a night at the Classic Center in downtown Athens, earned only by those who stayed around to accept such a prestigious, formal recognition.


On a night where fans, family, and friends had the opportunity to interact with those who graciously and willingly donned the Red and Black for as long as possible, awards of strength, loyalty, and valor were handed out to the most worthy of the damnedest of damn good Dawgs.

Highlighting, and perhaps dominating the extraordinary night, was the most usual of suspects: Aaron Murray. The senior quarterback,  and apparent female heartthrob, seemed to own the night with his multiple trips up and down the short stage, despite a recently repaired ACL in his left knee. But nothing was going to keep Murray from accepting the many accolades he brought home on a night where the seniors were the center of attention.

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Photo: Logan Booker/BI

Murray was named recipient of the Vince Dooley Most Valuable Player Award, and was also voted the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player.

Junior inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera claimed Most Valuable Defensive Player honors, while senior special teams phenom Connor Norman and senior Kosta Vavlas split Most Valuable Players for Special Teams.

During a more than welcomed ominous moment, the future of the UGA running back position was honored when the Newcomer Award was handed out to co-recipients, true freshman running backs J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas. Green, not even recruited at the running back position, and Douglas, a once Georgia Tech commit, proved to be invaluable assets in the running game during an unprecedented stint of injuries the Dawgs faced in the backfield around mid-season.
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Photo: Logan Booker/BI
Always a special recognition, the Most Improved Award was spread out between senior split end Rhett McGowan of Calhoun, senior tight end Hugh Williams of Atlanta, junior linebacker Ramik Wilson of Tampa, senior fullback Corey Campbell of Hephzibah, and sophomore placekicker Marshall Morgan of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

One recognition of the night that many may argue as the “most deserved,” went to junior offensive tackle Kolton Houston, as he finally was able to play for the team he grew up loving – as a legacy – and finally winning a long battle with the NCAA over an eligibility dispute regarding anabolic steroids in his blood beyond his control. Houston was was named winner of the David Jacobs Award as the player who, by example, portrayed courage, spirit, character, and determination.
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Photo: Logan Booker/BI


Also presented to the UGA football team on Saturday night, was the official presentation of the Governor’s Cup, given to the winner of the UGA vs. Georgia Tech football game played every Saturday following the Thanksgiving holiday. This year marked the 12th time in the last 13 years that the University of Georgia won the rivalry game, and each senior on the UGA team got to take home with them a small replica of the trophy to commemorate their win during their senior season.

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The Governor’s Cup is awarded to Coach Mark Richt as a result of his win over Georgia Tech, his 12th in 13 years as UGA head coach.

 

Many other awards were given out Saturday night in the Classic Center of downtown Athens, mostly recognizing seniors who have fought through thick and thin for the sake of making those who support the University of Georgia proud.


Please enjoy some further photographs of the special event, brought to you by Logan Booker, Bulldawg Illustrated’s student intern, and Grady College extraordinaire.
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2 comments
GirdersRBending
GirdersRBending

I'm sure other teams have their end-of-season awards programs but I'm not sure they honor their seniors like we do.  They certainly deserve it (especially those that complete their degree requirements).  As they look for ways to "improve" college football, they should build in incentives for players to earn a degree and do everything they can to reinforce the concept of "student" athlete.