MOULTRIE - When Georgia defeated Alabama last week to win the College Football Playoff National Championships, Bulldogs sophomore running back Daijun Edwards became the fourth Packer to earn a championship ring.
Edwards joins Keith Hall, Cameron Erving and Jay Ward on playing on national championship teams.
Hall was a member of Georgia’s last national champion, the one that defeated Notre Dame 17-10 in the Sugar Bowl to claim the 1980 title.
Erving, now a member of NFL’s Carolina Panthers, started on the offensive line for Florida State’s 2014 championship team.
Ward was a freshman on the LSU team that defeated Clemson 42-25 to win the 2019 title.
Ward started in the secondary for LSU as a junior this season and had two interceptions, giving him five for his career.
Edwards, a sophomore, played in all 15 games for the Bulldogs this season and finished with 210 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 49 carries.
Of this and that:
• T.J. Smith made his NFL debut this season.
The former Colquitt County and Arkansas defensive lineman played 20 snaps for the Minnesota Vikings in their Nov. 28 game against San Francisco.
Smith was credited with one solo and two assisted tackles.
Formerly with the Los Angeles Chargers, the 6-foot-3, 305-pounder signed with the Vikings on Oct. 5.
• Tennessee red-shirt defensive lineman Jay Blakely has declared for the 2022 NFL draft.
The 6-foot-2, 270-pound former Packer appeared in 50 games for the Volunteers from 2017-21, totaling 44 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and three pass deflections.
The NFL draft is slated to take place April 28-30 in Paradise, Nevada.
# Quan Stokes, a two-time first-team All Mid-South Conference selection for Faulkner University, will graduate in May with a degree in criminal justice.
The 6-foot-5, 400-pound offensive tackle helped lead the Eagles to an 8-2 record last season. He is expected to attend the NFL Combine.
# Brian Daniels, who was the starting center on Colquitt County’s 1994 undefeated state championship team, is on the football staff at Wake Forest, which defeated Rutgers in the Gator Bowl on Dec. 31.
The Demon Deacons went 11-3, tying the program record for most wins in a season.
Daniels is in his sixth season as the Wake Forest football program’s director of equipment services.
# Senior tight end John Samuel Shenker caught five passes for 55 yards in Auburn’s season-ending 17-13 loss to Houston in the Birmingham Bowl.
Shenker finished the season with 33 pass receptions for 413 yards.
# The Reinhardt University wrestling team finished fourth in the NWCA Multi-Division National Dual Meet Championships held Jan. 8 in Louisville, Ky.
Former Packer Nic Jarvis had a 3-1 decision over an opponent from Ottawa University at 285 pounds for Reinhardt in the national meet.
# Za’nautica Downs is averaging 7.0 points and 2.1 rebounds through 15 games for Troy University.
# Diamond Hall had 10 points off the bench to lead Alcorn State in scoring in its recent loss to Alabama State.
The senior former Lady Packer is averaging 6.9 points for the Lady Braves.
# Cavin Hall won the Southeastern Junior Golf Tournament at Sea Island/Retreat Course in the 12/13 age division on Jan. 8-9. He shot 79-71.
Austin Baker finished tied for second in the 12/13 age division with an 83-75.
Michael Hall finished tied for ninth in the 14/15 age division with an 81-79.