ATHENS, Ga. (UGA/WRCB) -- Years of hard work recently paid off for Rhett McGowan at the University of Georgia.

The former Calhoun standout and rising junior wideout was part of a group of seven UGA walk-ons who received scholarships from head coach Mark Richt on Sunday.

Defensive back Blake Sailors, who grew up on Signal Mountain before moving to Athens, was also in the group. He first received a scholarship last year as a sophomore, and had it renewed by Richt for his upcoming junior year.

Junior running back Brandon Harton also had his scholarship renewed.

Along with McGowan, Richt awarded scholarships for the first time to junior defensive back Luis Capella, Augusta; redshirt freshman fullback Merritt Hall, Alpharetta; redshirt sophomore defensive back Connor Norman, Duluth; and redshirt sophomore linebacker Kosta Vavlas, Tarpon Springs, Fla.