Georgia’s Kirby Smart, Brock Bowers win SEC individual awards

ATHENS -- Georgia coach Kirby Smart and tight end Brock Bowers each received an individual football award from the SEC on Wednesday.

Smart, who led the Bulldogs to a 12-1 record and the Eastern Division championship, was named coach of the year. Bowers, the Bulldogs’ leading receiver, was named the league’s newcomer of the year. Both came from a vote of the league’s coaches.

Smart also received coach-of-the-year honors from the Associated Press. He also received both awards in 2017, his second year as the Bulldogs’ coach. This year, the Bulldogs recorded their first undefeated regular season since 1982 and spent eight weeks as the nation’s No. 1 team before losing to Alabama 41-24 in the SEC Championship game Saturday.

Georgia was awarded the No. 3 seed in the College Football Playoff and will face Michigan (12-1) in the CFP semifinals Dec. 31 at the Orange Bowl.

Bowers scored 12 touchdowns this season -- 11 coming on pass receptions. That was the most of any SEC tight end. A 6-foot-4, 230-pound freshman, Bowers led the Bulldogs with 10 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown against Alabama. That set a record for tight ends in the conference championship game. For the season, established a record for Georgia tight ends with 47 receptions for 791 yards. With another game to play, Bowers is tied with wide receiver Terrence Edwards for most receiving TDs in a season.

SEC champion Alabama claimed three the annual football awards, voted on by the league’s head coaches. Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee each had one.

Alabama’s Bryce Young was named SEC offensive player of the Year, outside linebacker Will Anderson was named defensive player of the year and receiver/kick returner Jameson Williams shared the special-teams player of the year with Tennessee’s Velus Jones.

Kentucky offensive lineman Darian Kinnard won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, and Missouri running back Tyler Badie was recognized as the SEC scholar-athlete of the year.

Young has thrown for 4,322 yards with 43 touchdowns this season. He ranks second nationally in touchdown passes, while his passing yards are fourth-most and his quarterback rating (175.53) is fifth-best. The Heisman Trophy finalist broke two SEC Championship game records with 421 passing yards and 461 yards of total offense.

Young, a sophomore, is expected to win the Heisman Trophy.

The SEC All-Freshman team will be announced Thursday.

2021 SEC Football Awards

Offensive Player of the Year

Bryce Young, Alabama

Defensive Player of the Year

Will Anderson, Alabama

Special Teams Players of the Year

Jameson Williams, Alabama

Velus Jones, Tennessee

Freshman of the Year

Brock Bowers, Georgia

Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Tyler Badie, Missouri

Jacobs Blocking Trophy

Darian Kinnard, Kentucky

Coach of the Year

Kirby Smart, Georgia

About the Author

Editors' Picks