In the last five years, two Georgia players have taken home the Butkus Award for the top linebacker in the country. First year starters Jamon Dumas-Johnson has the chance to be three in six years. On Tuesday, Dumas-Johnson was one of five players announced by the Butkus Foundation as finalists for the award.
Dumas Johnson is starting in all 11 games this season and leading a Georgia defense that leads the country in points allowed (11.1 points per game) nationally in yards allowed (272.1 per game). is fifth and has had 24 straight quarters, including six sides to a season-low in points through 11 games. Dumas-Johnson is second on the team with 54 tackles, including seven tackles for loss, three sacks, 17 quarterback hurries and two pass breakups.
Dumas-Johnson was placed on the Butkus Award watchlist this summer. The Butkus Award, named in honor of College and NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, will announce a winner at the end of the regular season. The 2022 honoree will be honored on December 8th at the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards. Nakobe Dean won the award in 2021 while Roquan Smith took home the award in 2017.
Coming to Athens as a four-star nominee in the 2021 class, Dumas-Johnson was a reserve as a true freshman but still found ways to make a difference. Dumas-Johnson ended 2021 with 22 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and 1 interception. There were plenty of highlights along the way, too: He turned that interception into a 20-yard pick-six against UAB, and he had five tackles and a sack against Missouri.
As a full-back Nolan Smith As explained back in March, Dumas-Johnson earned the nickname “Pop” because he delivers one so often when he makes a game.
“To be honest, every time he’s out there you actually see a bang; If he goes in there for two games, he literally gets the ball out,” Smith said. “For example, No. 10, he played three games against UAB and he caught a pick-six, ran back and he’s being made fumbles and sacks within seconds. So I love him.”
“Jamon is definitely one of those guys who is a ball guy. He’s always trying to get the ball; I want to say that he probably gets the most shots on the ball than anyone else,” Georgia said Christopher Schmidt said during spring training. “This year he’s always running onto the field and he’s like, ‘Chris, get a punch out! Get a punch out!’ So he keeps that in my head. And to see a guy that young going for the ball, the ball, the ball like that is definitely amazing.
Dumas-Johnson took a starting role this season after Georgia lost three inside linebackers in the 2022 NFL Draft Kai WalkerDean, and Channing Tindall. In all, Georgia lost eight defensive starters from the national championship roster, all of which were drafted in April. Dumas-Johnson and the rest of the Bulldogs will look to continue their elite game this weekend when No. 1 Georgia host Georgia Tech in Athens.