College Football Star Skipping His Team’s Bowl Game

Deandre Baker

Deandre Baker

Georgia will be without one of its best players in the Sugar Bowl.

Defensive back Deandre Baker has opted to sit out of the game, coach Kirby Smart announced Thursday (via The Athletic).

"It was on his mind, definitely, you could tell", said fellow Georgia senior Jonathan Ledbetter, a defensive end. Baker, the 2018 Jim Thorpe Award victor, is considered a potential first-round draft pick.

Smart said that Baker had taken note of several other projected first-round NFL Draft picks not taking part in their teams' bowl games.

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Baker, the Thorpe Award victor and a first-team All-American, had originally said on December 5 at the College Football Awards in Atlanta that he planned to play in the Sugar Bowl.

Campbell started the first 10 games before being replaced by Stokes in the starting lineup. The two have combined for 144 receptions for 2,054 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. If Georgia had defeated the Tide, it would likely have earned a spot in the College Football Playoff.

However, the Jim Thorpe Award-winning cornerback was not at practice last Friday after flying home to Miami.

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