D’Andre Swift and J.R. Reed were honored by the SEC and the Thorpe Award respectively. The press release for each player follows:
A year after Deandre Baker brought Georgia’s first Paycom Jim Thorpe Award back to Athens, Bulldog graduate safety J.R. Reed has been named a semifinalist to the honor given to the best defensive back in college football, according to an announcement from the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
Reed, a native of Frisco, Texas, is one of 14 semifinalists for the award, including one of four from the Southeastern Conference. Georgia has now had a semifinalist for three straight years with Baker winning the 2018 award and Dominick Sanders earning a spot with the semifinalists in 2017.
The Thorpe Award is based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The semifinalists are selected by a screening committee.
Reed leads the Bulldog defensive backfield and is third on the team with 34 stops this season, including two tackles for loss. He forced a fumble over the weekend that Georgia turned into their second touchdown versus Kentucky. Reed also collected a loose ball and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown earlier this season against Murray State.
Thanks in part to the contributions listed above as well as one interception, Reed has led the Bulldogs to rank first in the SEC in Scoring Defense at 10.6 points/game (No. 4 nationally), Rushing Defense at 85.7 yards/game (No. 5 nationally) and Total Defense at 266.7 yards/game (No. 6 nationally).
Three finalists for the Thorpe Award are expected to be announced on Nov. 25. The winner is selected from the three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards Presented by Gildan and broadcasted live on ESPN on Dec. 12. The Thorpe Award commemorative banquet will be held in Oklahoma City on Feb. 4, 2020.
In 2018, Baker finished with 40 tackles in 13 games and had two picks that he returned for a combined 82 yards to win the Thorpe Award. He also added a forced fumble and a fumble return for the Bulldogs.
Georgia junior tailback D’Andre Swift has been named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the third time in his career after his performance during the 21-0 win over Kentucky, according to a league announcement.
Swift also received SEC weekly honors after the Bulldog victories over the No. 9 Wildcats and No. 24 Auburn last year. So far this year, Georgia has five weekly league awards with senior place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship earning three and junior left tackle Andrew Thomas securing another.
Swift, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., carried the ball 21 times on a rainy night for 179 yards (8.5 average) and scored twice during the Bulldogs’ victory over the Wildcats. His seventh career 100-yard rushing game was highlighted by a 39-yard scoring run in the third quarter that broke a 0-0 tie. Swift muscled his way into the end zone from three yards out late in the fourth quarter to clinch the 21-0 victory. He leads the SEC through seven games for the Bulldogs with 107.7 yards/game average.