The SEC champion Georgia Bulldogs are filled with upperclass talent, but two of the most important starters on the team were true freshmen and both have made GN’s SEC All-Freshman team.
GN picks a position-specific team, i.e., two tackles, two guards and a center along the offensive line, and cornerbacks and safeties in the secondary (we went with a 3-3-5 defense). Eleven of the league’s 14 teams are represented.
Redshirt freshmen are denoted with an asterisk.
QB Jake Fromm, Georgia (4-star recruit)
RB Malik Davis, Florida (3-star recruit)
RB Larry Rountree III, Missouri (3-star recruit)
The skinny: For the second consecutive season, the SEC champ has a true freshman starting quarterback. Last season, it was Alabama’s Jalen Hurts; this season, it’s Fromm, who moved seamlessly into the starting lineup when Jacob Eason was injured in the opener. Fromm is GN’s offensive freshman of the year. Davis, who missed the final five games with a knee injury, led the Gators at 75.1 yards per game and was on track for a 1,000-yard season when he was injured. Rountree wasn’t fully utilized until the final month of the season — he became an important cog when Damarea Crockett was hurt — but still managed to lead all SEC freshmen in rushing with 629 yards.
WR Jhamon Ausbon, Texas A&M (4-star recruit)
WR D.K. Metcalf*, Ole Miss (4-star recruit)
TE Albert Okwuegbunam*, Missouri (3-star recruit)
The skinny: A lot was expected of Metcalf, and he came through with 39 receptions for 646 yards (16.6 yards per catch) and seven TDs. Ausbon provided a steady complementary talent opposite Christian Kirk and had 38 receptions. Okwuegbunam had only 25 receptions for the pass-happy Tigers, but 11 of them went for TDs, tying him for the conference lead.
T Stewart Reese*, Mississippi State (3-star recruit)
T Andrew Thomas, Georgia (4-star recruit)
G Brett Heggie*, Florida (3-star recruit)
G Trey Smith, Tennessee (5-star recruit)
C Trystan Castillo*, Missouri (3-star recruit)
The skinny: Smith is the lone 5-star recruit on this list; he was the Vols’ best lineman and started at both guard and tackle. Thomas moved into the starting lineup in fall camp and helped solidify the line as a whole as the right tackle. Reese was seen by some recruiters as a guard, but he played well at right tackle for Mississippi State, which is third in the league in rushing. Heggie was the Gators’ most consistent interior lineman until getting injured in November; he is a road-grading run blocker. Castillo handled his shotgun-snapping duties with aplomb for Mizzou, which leads the league in scoring.
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