Atkins, Curran, Walsh Named to Watch Lists

ATHENS – Georgia defensive tackle Geno Atkins, linebacker Rennie Curran and place-kicker Blair Walsh have been named to Preseason Watch Lists for national awards.

Geno Atkins and Rennie Curran are being considered for the Chuck Bednarik Award, honoring the top defensive player in the nation, while Walsh is in contention for the Lou Groza Award, given to the finest place-kicker in college football's FBS division (Division 1-A).

Atkins, who is also a candidate for the Outland Trophy, given to the nation's top interior lineman, started all 13 games last year posting 34 tackles, including 7.5 for 17 yards lost, and leading the Bulldogs with 32 quarterback pressures.

Curran, who was a Butkus Award finalist last season, led the team in tackles (115), tackles for a loss (10.0), sacks (3.0) and forced fumbles (2) and earned the team's Most Valuable Defensive Player Award.

In 2008, Blair Walsh made his debut vs. Georgia Southern connecting for a 52-yard field goal on his first career attempt. He appeared in 13 games last season, connecting on 15-of-23 field goal attempts and recording 75 kickoffs for 4,499 yards. SEC coaches named Walsh Freshman All-SEC in 2008.

Last Thursday, junior safety Reshad Jones was named to the ledger for the Jim Thorpe Award for the nation's top defensive back, and Jeff Owens, senior defensive tackle, was also included on the watch list for the Outland Trophy.

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