Georgia senior inside linebacker Tae Crowder has been named one of 12 semifinalist for the Butkus Award, which is given to the nation’s best linebacker.
Crowder, a native of Hamilton, Ga., is one of only two players from the Southeastern Conference on the list. Finalists for the award are expected to be announced on Nov. 25.
Crowder’s friend and former roommate Roquan Smith was named the winner of the 2017 Butkus Award. Smith is currently with the Chicago Bears.
Current Bulldog freshman Nakobe Dean was the 2018 high school Butkus Award winner following his career at Horn Lake High School (Miss.).
Crowder is currently tied for second on the Bulldog defense with 36 tackles, including three tackles for loss. He also scooped up a fumble at Tennessee earlier in the year and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown. Crowder mans the middle of a defense that leads the SEC in Scoring Defense (11.4 points/game, No. 4 nationally), Rushing Defense (77.6 yards/game, No. 4 nationally) and Total Defense (268.1 yards/game, No. 8 nationally).
Georgia junior left tackle Andrew Thomas and senior place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship have earned weekly Southeastern Conference honors, according to a league announcement.
Thomas has been named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week while Blankenship has garnered SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after the Bulldogs’ topped No. 6 Florida 24-17 in Jacksonville, Fla., over the weekend.
Also of note, junior quarterback Jake Fromm was named a Manning Award “Star of the Week” for leading the Bulldogs to their third straight win over the Gators.
This is Thomas’ second honor of this kind in 2019 (third of his career) while Blankenship is a four-time winner this year (sixth of his career). So far this year, Georgia has seven weekly league awards with junior tailback D’Andre Swift garnering the other honor following the Kentucky win.
Thomas, a native of Lithonia, Ga., played 70 snaps and graded out at 90 percent this past Saturday. He had two knockdown blocks and allowed only one hurry as Florida, who leads the league in sacks, failed to sack Fromm a single time. Anchored by Thomas, the Bulldogs churned out 398 total yards, including 279 yards and two scores through the air.
Blankenship, a native of Marietta, Ga., was 3-for-3 on field goals (31, 37 and 27 yards) and drilled his only PAT during the win. He put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard near the end of the first quarter to give them a 3-0 edge and later extended that lead to 13-3 and then to 16-3.
Blankenship moved into No. 5 in SEC history for most points scored in a career (389). His school record 185 consecutive PATs ranks second all-time in league history for most PATs made and helped extend Georgia’s national leading consecutive streak for PATs to 276.
The No. 6 Bulldogs (7-1, 4-1 SEC) play host to Missouri (5-3, 2-2) on Dooley Field in Sanford Stadium this Saturday. ESPN will televise the game at 7 p.m.