Kevin Butler, former University of Georgia legendary kicker and a member of the Georgia radio broadcast team, will each week during the 2017 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’ 24-10 win over South Carolina.
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Freshman right tackle Andrew Thomas, whose outstanding blocking enabled the Bulldogs to click for 438 yards of total offense … 242 on the ground and 196 through the air.
“The freshman offensive lineman has had an incredible first year in the toughest position for a freshman to excel,” said Butler. “And excel he has. Andrew is at the start of a great career and he carries himself like a seasoned veteran, but his excitement is being out on the field contributing in a way most freshman linemen only dream of. He will grow and become one of the best we’ve ever had and he will make every lineman better when they line up next to A.T”
Senior linebacker Reggie Carter, just returning from injury two games ago, played what head coach Kirby Smart termed his best game of the season with seven total tackles, a half sack and one tackle-for-loss as the Georgia defense limited the Gamecocks to just 43 yards net rushing and the one touchdown.
“The senior linebacker, who has come back from an early-season concussion, had a tremendous game against South Carolina,” said Butler. “Reggie had seven total tackles, a half a sack and a tackle fora loss in his effort to stop a good SC offense. When we look at the upcoming schedule you will notice one thing — these final teams can run the ball. Reggie has been a leader in a silent way and his play speaks volumes for his teammates to play at his level. Reggie is going to be a key player for the Bulldogs down the stretch, heading to Atlanta as SEC East Champions”
Senior fullback Christian Payne, who not only twice ran for key first downs for the Bulldogs but was also excellent on the kick coverage teams.
“The senior fullback not only made his presence felt on the offense, his relentless coverage on special teams keeps UGA at the top of the league in coverage teams,” said Butler. “Christian is a true teammate in every sense of the word. His great play on offense and his willingness to contribute on special teams is the reason why he is the special teams player this week. The tackle on the kickoff (at 13-yard line) South Carolina tried to bring out woke up the crowd and let the Gamecocks know Georgia was in charge … a true unselfish player!”