UGA’s Herrera edges Wilson for team defensive MVP honors

Inside linebacker Ramik Wilson was the only Georgia defensive player named first-team All-SEC, but he was edged out for team MVP honors on that side of the ball.

Fellow junior inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera got the nod from the Georgia coaches.

“Ramik obviously had more tackles and Ramik statistically had a better year, not by a lot,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said Monday. “That’s part of the reason Ramik was first-team SEC, but Amarlo is the signal caller, Amarlo has a lot of responsibility to get guys lined up and communicate a lot of things and led well. That’s part of it, too. Because of Amarlo’s extra responsibilities and the way he played and the way he led in the summer was a big part of it as well.”

Wilson leads the SEC with 128 tackles. Herrea is second with 107.

Herrera doesn’t take issue with Wilson getting a spot on the All-SEC first-team.

“It didn’t surprise me, because I knew what he had been doing all year and how hard he worked this offseason,” Herrera said. “I was happy to see him get it. When you lead the SEC in tackles, they have to give you that title.”

Tailback Todd Gurley said defensive lineman Garrison Smith and Herrera should have also made All-SEC. He wouldn’t have removed Wilson for Herrera either.

“I would put both of them on there,” Gurley said,

Wilson practiced at outside linebacker before last spring and didn’t get much playing time before this season.

“My gut was we weren’t seeing the best of Ramik,” Richt said. “I quite frankly thought he was a little bored. He wasn’t playing as much as he’d like to play, he had some special teams, he played here and there, but I had a feeling that once he got into a starting role, he was really going to perk up and start playing and practicing with more of a purpose.”

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