The 2017 SEC awards were announced on Wednesday. After a lengthy, whirlwind season, it’s the Auburn Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs who held firm to a majority of the awards. In fact, of the seven honors handed out, six of them were given to an Auburn or Georgia player. The lone one that didn’t was the Scholar Athlete of the Year award, which went to LSU Tigers quarterback Danny Etling.
Let’s take a look at who took home the honors.
Offensive Player of the Year
Kerryon Johnson, Auburn Tigers
After a brilliant season, Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson is the SEC Offensive Player of the Year. Johnson’s win means the award stays in Alabama for the fifth consecutive season and seventh in the last eight. He joins Tre Mason and Cam Newton as Tigers who’ve won the honor since 2010, and Trent Richardson, Amari Cooper, Derrick Henry and Jalen Hurts, who have all won for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He is the fourth Auburn Tiger to win it since it first was introduced in 2002. Johnson, along with the aforementioned Mason, Newton and former quarterback Jason Campbell have now all taken home the honor.
Defensive Player of the Year
Roquan Smith, Georgia Bulldogs
Roquan Smith is this year’s SEC Defensive Player of the Year. The Georgia Bulldogs linebacker had an outstanding junior campaign, in which he helped UGA win their first conference title since 2005. Smith becomes the first Georgia player to win SEC DPOY since David Pollack won it in 2004. Given that Pollack won it twice (2002, 2004) he and Roquan are the only UGA players to ever win the award. So, Smith joins some elite company. Although, technically speaking, Jarvis Jones won the AP’s SEC DPOY back in 2012. But, that year, Jadeveon Clowney won the Coaches DPOY.
Special Teams Player of the Year
Daniel Carlson, Auburn Tigers
No surprise here. Daniel Carlson is the Special Teams Player of the Year this year. Carlson had yet another outstanding year kicking the football, and earned this honor to say the least. It’s the second year in a row that he’s taken home the award, having won it after his 2016 campaign. He, John Vaughn and Carnell “Cadillac” Williams are still the only Auburn Tigers to win the Special Teams Player of the Year award to this point.
Freshman of the Year
Jake Fromm, Georgia Bulldogs
Another award that, really, had no shock in it. Jake Fromm took home Freshman of the Year honors after a great season under center for UGA. Fromm took the reins from Jacob Eason after his injury against Appalachian State. He rarely struggled, kept his composure and helped bring UGA to the CFB Playoff. The last Georgia player to win the award outright was Nick Chubb back in 2014. Isaiah Crowell won the AP SEC Freshman of the Year award back in 2011, and ironically, Jadeveon Clowney was the Coaches Freshman of the Year that year. Fromm’s victory gives Georgia 10 Freshmen of the Year honors in program history. He joins elite company with Crowell, Chubb, A.J. Green, David Greene, Quincy Carter, Randall Godfrey, Eric Zeier and Garrison Hearst being past winners of the award.
Jacobs Blocking Trophy
Braden Smith, Auburn Tigers
Auburn star lineman Braden Smith won this year’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy award. Smith played a pivotal role and paving the way for Johnson’s SEC OPOY award, and helped quarterback Jarrett Stidham out some as well. He is the seventh Tiger to win the honor and fourth since 2001. In that time period, he, Lee Ziemba, Marcus McNeill and Kendall Simmons have all taken home the trophy.
Coach of the Year
Kirby Smart, Georgia Bulldogs
Really, the race was between Gus Malzahn and Kirby Smart, and Smart’s work with UGA made him a very deserving choice for SEC Coach of the Year. In just his second season, Smart helped bring an SEC Championship to Athens and helped become a great program an elite one. Smart is the fifth UGA coach to win SEC Coach of the Year. He joins Mark Richt, Jim Donnan, Vince Dooley and Wally Butts in what is elite company in Georgia’s program history.