Georgia DB On Skipping Sugar Bowl: "It Was A Business Decision"

Deandre Baker wanted to be on the field against Texas, but he had to weigh the "risk and rewards of playing"

Tiki and Tierney
March 08, 2019 - 8:43 am

USA Today Images

Categories: 

Former Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker is a projected first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, which is one reason why he elected to not play in the Sugar Bowl against Texas.

“Well, at first, I had made an announcement that I was going to play, but over the couple weeks I had between practicing for the bowl game and going home before Christmas break, me and my family sat down and talked about the bigger picture and just thought about the risk and rewards of playing in this game,” Baker said on Tiki & Tierney. “So I just made the decision not to play after that. My heart wanted me to play, but it was a bigger business decision that I had to make.”

Georgia lost to Texas, 28-21, to finish the season 11-3. Still, Baker’s teammates and coaches respected his decision.

“My teammates supported me on it, and the coaches supported me on it also,” Baker said. “Even though the coaches would have loved me to play, they also understood the bigger picture.”

Baker, 22, was a consensus All-American in 2018 and won the Jim Thorpe Award, which is awarded annually to the top cornerback in the country. Baker hopes to model his pro game after several NFL greats.

“I watched Sean Taylor growing up,” he said. “Once I got a little bit older, I watched Patrick Peterson and Xavier Rhodes.”

Click below to listen to Baker’s interview in its entirety.