Kevin Butler, former University of Georgia legendary kicker and a member of the Georgia radio broadcast team, will each week during the 2016 football season select his offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week for Bulldawg Illustrated. Here are Butler’s selections and reasons why for the Bulldogs’ 28-27 loss to Georgia Tech on Nov. 26.
Compiled by Murray Poole
Junior tailback Sony Michel, who rushed for a career-high 170 yards on 19 carries including runs from scrimmage of 42 and 29 yards. Michel tallied the Bulldogs’ first touchdown of the day on a 10-yard run.
“In what I think will be his last home game at UGA, Sony Michel had a game that captured the energy that Sony has brought to every game in his career,” said Butler. “His toughness and leadership have been key to the transitional year under Kirby. Against Tech Sony accounted for 43 percent of the total yards on offense and averaged 8.9 yards per carry. He led Georgia’s ground attack and will be a great player at the next level. I hope I am wrong (about early NFL entry) but this young man is special.”
Junior outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter, who recorded eight total tackles including a tackle-for-loss to help the Bulldogs’ defense hold Georgia Tech’s rushing attack to 226 yards, well below its nationally 9th-ranked average.
“The junior defensive end/outside linebacker played his best game of the year at the best time against Tech,” said Butler. “Lorenzo’s 8 tackles — 4 solos, 4 assists and a tackle-for- loss — showed that Lorenzo can play at a high level. Tech came into Sanford Stadium knowing they can run the ball and Lo was up for the challenge. Lorenzo needs to be a leader by example and make a difference every time he is on the field. A big bowl game could mark the beginning of a great senior year for Lo.”
Senior inside linebacker Ryne Rankin, who again had a big day for the Bulldogs’ special teams as the Bulldogs rendered an outstanding performance on kick coverage against the Tech returners.
“Ryne is a true leader on the special teams at UGA and all you have to do is watch him play,” said Butler. “His attitude is what every player’s attitude should be … 100 percent focused! From covering kickoffs, being the QB on the punt team and blocking on returns, Ryne is a star. We will miss Ryne’s intensity as he gave 100 percent on every play he played for the University of Georgia — he is a true Bulldog … forever!”