Gala recap - several win awards

ATHENS - Senior tailback Thomas Brown of Tucker, senior placekicker Brandon Coutu of Lawrenceville, junior linebacker Dannell Ellerbe of Hamlet, N.C., and freshman tailback Knowshon Moreno of Belford, N.J., took home the top awards at the University of Georgia football annual team Gala Friday night at the Classic Center.

Brown was named the team's Most Valuable Offensive Player, Coutu the Most Valuable Special Teams Player, Ellerbe the Most Valuable Defensive Player, and Moreno was named winner of the Vince Dooley Most Valuable Player of the Year Award.

Senior tailback Kregg Lumpkin of Lithonia was named the winner of the David Jacobs Award as the player who by example portrays courage, spirit, character, and determination.

Senior center Fernando Velasco of Wrens was named the team's permanent overall captain while Brown was named the offensive captain, senior strong safety Kelin Johnson of Daytona Beach, Fla., the defensive captain, and Coutu the special teams captain.

The Leon Farmer Award for dedication to the strength and conditioning program was presented to Brown and Velasco. Outstanding Scout Team Awards went to OT/DT Justin Lyles (offense) of Macon, Justin Fields (defense) of Savannah, and DE Wes Jacobs of Cordele and DB Chad Gloer of Fayetteville (special teams).

Most Improved Player Awards were presented to TE Tripp Chandler of Woodstock (offense), DT Geno Atkins (defense) of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and P Brian Mimbs (special teams) of Dublin. Newcomer of the Year Award winners were OT Trinton Sturdivant of Wadesboro, N.C., and OG Clint Boling of Alpharetta (offense), LB Rennie Curran of Snellville (defense), and LB Akeem Dent of Atlanta, DB Vance Cuff of Moultrie, and FB Shaun Chapas of St. Augustine, Fla.

LB Chris Gaunder Acworth was named recipient of the Senior Scholar Award for career academic achievement (3.46 in Biology). All-SEC Academic Awards were presented to WR Sean Bailey of Alpharetta, FB Shaun Chapas, WR Kris Durham of Calhoun, LB Chris Gaunder, WR Mikey Henderson of Buford, OT/DT Justin Lyles, P Brian Mimbs, LB Mitchell Pittman of Lyons, and QB Matthew Stafford of Dallas, Tex.

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