Kevin Butler, former University of Georgia legendary kicker and a member of the Georgia radio broadcast team, will each week during the 2017 football season select his offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week for Bulldawg Illustrated. Here are Butler’s selections and reasons why for the Bulldogs’ 40-17 loss to Auburn on Saturday.
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Senior wide receiver Javon Wims, who pulled in three passes from Jake Fromm for a team-high 96 yards.
“The senior transfer from Hinds Community College was the best weapon the Bulldogs had against a powerful Auburn defense,” said Butler. “Throughout the game each offensive attack started with a great catch by Javon. Wims’ height and strength played an important role for him to be able to get off the line of scrimmage and leap to make tough catches. His 3 catches for 96 yards provided UGA with the most receiving yards in an offensive performance that needed so much more to compete. He will need to be a force the rest of the season.”
Sophomore tackle Tyler Clark, who played well in the Bulldogs’ defensive front by recording four tackles against the Tiger running backs.
“The sophomore from Americus played well in honor of Veterans Day and his hometown name against Auburn,” said Butler. “What stood out to me was his presence and hustle. This was a game where a player can ‘grow’ or ‘go’ and his growth in this game will pay dividends for the next two years. When leadership develops on a team it has to develop in the good games and the bad ones. Saturday during one of those bad games, Tyler’s hustle showed me he is willing to learn and grow during the good and not-so-good times. Four tackles were his contribution to Saturday’s performance and I see that growing with every game from here on out.”
Sophomore receiver Mecole Hardman, who totaled 203 yards in the loss, with 142 yards coming on kickoff returns, 43 coming on punt returns, 11 yards on the one reception he had and a final 7 yards coming on a jet sweep run.
“The sophomore sensation is just that!” said Butler. “Even in a game that was dominated by the War Tigers, Mecole scared the entire kick coverage teams for Auburn. Mecole’s output totaled 185 yards in returns on punts and kickoff, which were too many. His ability to return kickoffs altered the Auburn kick coverage team to just kick it short and give up the chance of a TD return. He will return a kick back at a key moment in this season’s finish. He is fast and even with the fumble he had, he is a key to our success.”
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