ATHENS, Ga. – Senior defensive back Maurice Smith of Sugar Land, Texas, senior center Brandon Kublanow of Marietta, junior tailback Nick Chubb of Cedartown and junior tailback Sony Michel of Plantation, Fla. took home the top awards at the University of Georgia football team’s annual gala on Sunday night at the Classic Center.
The four upperclassmen were named team captains, with Smith representing the defensive unit and Kublanow, Chubb and Michel on offense. Michel and Chubb, who also received the Leon Farmer Strength and Conditioning Award, were named Vince Dooley Offensive Most Valuable Players for the offense while Maurice Smith and Roquan Smith, sophomore inside linebacker of Montezuma, were the Vince Dooley Defensive Most Valuable Players. Junior receiver Isaiah McKenzie of Miami, Fla. was named the Vince Dooley Special Teams Most Valuable Player.
The Charley Trippi Award for most versatile player went to Lorenzo Carter, a junior outside linebacker from Norcross. The Frank Sinkwich Award, given to the players who demonstrated the most toughness, went to Greg Pyke, senior offensive guard of Baltimore, Md. and Dominick Sanders, junior strong safety from Tucker.
The David Jacobs Award, given to a player who portrays courage, spirit, character and determination, went to former Southern University wide receiver Devon Gales, who sustained a neck injury during a game against Georgia last fall.
The Up Front Awards for play along the line of scrimmage went to Kublanow and Isaiah Wynn, junior offensive guard of St. Petersburg, Fla., on offense and to John Atkins, junior nose guard of Thomson and Trenton Thompson, sophomore defensive tackle out of Albany, on the defensive side.
Newcomer of the Year Awards went to Jacob Eason, freshman quarterback from Lake Stevens, Wash., Isaac Nauta, freshman tight end from Buford, David Marshall, freshman outside linebacker from Thomaston, Julian Rochester, freshman defensive lineman from Powder Springs, Tyrique McGhee, freshman defensive back from Byron and D’Andre Walker, sophomore linebacker from Fairburn.
Most Improved Player Award winners included Lamont Gaillard, redshirt sophomore offensive guard from Fayetteville, N.C., Javon Wims, junior wide receiver from Miami, Fla., Davin Bellamy, junior outside linebacker from Chamblee, Natrez Patrick, sophomore inside linebacker from Atlanta, Aaron Davis, junior defensive back from Locust Grove and Rodrigo Blankenship, a redshirt freshman placekicker from Marietta.
The Community Service Award went to junior tight end Jeb Blazevich of Charlotte, N.C., and the Senior Scholar Award went to Billy Seward, a center from Watkinsville.
Maurice Smith, Brandon Kublanow, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel
Vince Dooley Offensive MVP
Nick Chubb, Sony Michel
Vince Dooley Defensive MVP
Maurice Smith, Roquan Smith
Vince Dooley Special Teams MVP
Charley Trippi Award
Frank Sinkwich Award
Greg Pyke, Dominick Sanders
David Jacobs Award
Leon Farmer Strength and Conditioning Award
Up Front Award – Offense
Brandon Kublanow, Isaiah Wynn
Up Front Award – Defense
John Atkins, Trenton Thompson
Newcomer of the Year Award
Jacob Eason, Isaac Nauta, David Marshall, Tyrique McGhee, Julian Rochester, D’Andre Walker
Most Improved Player Award
Lamont Gaillard, Javon Wims, Davin Bellamy, Natrez Patrick, Aaron Davis, Rodrigo Blankenship
Community Service Award
Senior Scholar Award