BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Dec. 7, 2022)-----Southeastern Conference champion Georgia claimed a pair of the SEC's individual football awards as voted on by the league's head coaches, it was announced Wednesday.
Tennessee's Hendon Hooker was named SEC Offensive Player of the Year, while Alabama's Will Anderson Jr., was named Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row. Georgia placekicker Jack Podlesny was voted Special Teams Player of the Year, Ole Miss' Quinshon Judkins was voted SEC Freshman of the Year, Arkansas' Ricky Stromberg was named winner of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy and Georgia coach Kirby Smart was named SEC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. Mississippi State's Austin Williams was recognized as the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year last week prior to the SEC Championship Game.
Hooker helped lead the Tennessee offense that ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring (47.3) and total offense (538.1). He threw for 3,135 yards and 27 touchdowns to go along with 430 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. He finished the regular season as the SEC leader in passing efficiency, total offense, completion percentage and yards per attempt.
Anderson ranks sixth nationally in sacks and seventh in tackles for loss while leading the SEC in both categories. He totaled 51 tackles on the year, including 17 for loss and 10 sacks. Anderson is the first player to be named SEC Defensive Player of the Year two consecutive seasons since the award's inception in 2003.
Podlesny leads the SEC in field goal percentage at 88.5. He has connected on 23 of 26 attempts, and 73 of his 91 kickoffs have resulted in either touchback or a fair catch. He was twice named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week during the regular season.
Judkins set the Ole Miss single season records in rushing yards (1,746) and rushing touchdowns (16). He is ranked third all-time in rushing yards by an SEC freshman, and Judkins has been named SEC Freshman of the Week five times this season.
Stromberg has helped pave the way for a 100-yard rusher in 10 of Arkansas' last 13 games dating back to the 2021 season. The Razorbacks rank second in the SEC with an average of 223.4 rushing yards per game.
Williams is a two-time first-team Academic All-American and has posted a 4.0 cumulative GPA during his time at Mississippi State. He is currently working on his third degree. He was previously selected as a member of the 2022 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class and is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is college football's premier scholar-athlete award.
Smart has led Georgia to a 13-0 record and the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff. He is the first coach since Nick Saban in 2008-09 to be named SEC Coach of the Year in consecutive seasons. Georgia will face Ohio State in the CFP semifinals on Dec. 31.
The SEC All-Freshman Team will be announced Thursday.
2022 SEC Football Awards
Offensive Player of the Year
Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
Defensive Player of the Year
Will Anderson Jr., Alabama
Special Teams Player of the Year
Jack Podlesny, Georgia
Freshman of the Year
Quinshon Judkins, Ole Miss
Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Austin Williams, Mississippi State
Jacobs Blocking Trophy
Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas
Coach of the Year
Kirby Smart, Georgia