DALLAS (FWAA) – Record-breaking Georgia All-America
tight end Brock Bowers has been named the recipient
of the fourth annual FWAA Freshman of the Year presented
by Chris Doering Mortgage.
"I think this guy is one of the premier players in college
football," Alabama coach Nick Saban said in the days leading
up to the College Football Playoff National Championship at Lucas
Oil Stadium last Monday.
|Georgia's Brock Bowers
"I know he's just a freshman, but this guy's got great size,
he's a good blocker, physical and he's tough," Saban said. "He's
got wide receiver skills in every way, shape or form, which makes
it difficult being a bigger guy for bigger guys to cover him and
it makes it also difficult for smaller guys to cover him.
"So this guy is just a phenomenal football player all the
The unquestioned most valuable player on the Georgia offense,
Bowers led the Bulldogs with 56 catches for 882 yards and a program-record
13 receiving touchdowns.
"He's really dynamic," Michigan defensive coordinator
Mike MacDonald said before Georgia beat the Wolverines in the CFP
Semifinal Orange Bowl, 34-11. "The thing that they do with
him is he can play – he really plays every position. He'll play
the Z, the Y, the X, the move guy, the down guy. They'll give it
to him on reverses, screens. It's pretty impressive."
Bowers, who scored touchdowns in each of the last five games
of the season, is the first player from Georgia and first tight
end to win the award.
A 6-foot-3, 230-pounder from Napa, Calif., Bowers came advertised
with a 40-inch vertical leap and 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard
UGA offensive coordinator Todd Monken knew what he had in Bowers
even before the season started.
"You can hand the ball to him if you want to," Monken
said in August. "In his high school film, he played some fullback,
in terms of route running. He's another guy that's a really diligent
worker, he'll run himself into the ground with how hard he works,
runs and competes."
Coach Kirby Smart chuckles when looking back at how the Bulldogs
recruited him, largely off video during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This was a guy that would put his phone up and go run up
a mountain or a hill out in Napa," Smart said, "and sprint
up the hill and back down the hill and send video of it. Like he
was wired differently."
Bowers led Georgia with six catches for 43 yards in a season-opening
10-3 win over Clemson in a clash of then-Top 5 teams. The next week
against UAB, Bowers showed speed that isn't often associated with
the tight end position, catching a short pass and taking it 89 yards
for a touchdown. The former five-star talent continued to be the
go-to guy for Georgia throughout the season, recording a season-high
10 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown in the Bulldogs' first
meeting with Alabama in the SEC title game.
Bowers proceeded to spark Georgia's win over Michigan with three
catches on the opening drive, including a 9-yard TD catch to open
the scoring. The SEC Freshman of the Year and Newcomer of the Year
capped off his season in the 2022 CFP National Championship with
a 15-yard score that gave Georgia a 26-18 lead en route to its first
national title in 41 years.
"Today's football is about creating matchup advantages for
the offense and there's no bigger matchup advantage than Brock Bowers,"
said Chris Doering, former player, SEC Network football analyst
and corporate sponsor of this year's award. "His size, speed,
strength and athleticism make him incredibly versatile. Georgia
was able to move him around all over the field to create those matchup
advantages that paid dividends all season long including in the
biggest games at the biggest moments. It's hard to believe Bowers
was in high school last year as his acclimation to college football
and the SEC seems to have been seamless."
Previous winners of the FWAA Freshman of the Year Award winners
have been: Trevor Lawrence (Clemson, 2018); Kenny Gainwell (Memphis,
2019); and Will Anderson Jr. (Alabama, 2020).
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Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America
consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers
and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works
to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards
and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information
about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive
Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or