Nah, it’s not as big a deal as the decisions of Chubb, Michel, Bellamy and Carter to return last season instead of opting for the NFL draft, but I have to admit to a palpable sense of relief that Deandre Baker elected to return for his senior season. I’m reminded of that every time I read a projection of Georgia’s defensive backfield.
What to watch: With all the attention Roquan Smith, Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy received on defense, Baker probably didn’t get the respect he deserved. Down the stretch of the season, Baker turned into a lock-down cornerback for the Bulldogs
This was evidenced by his game against Alabama in the national championship, when he was tasked with guarding receiver Calvin Ridley on the outside. While Georgia doesn’t match its cornerbacks against a team’s top wideout, Baker saw Ridley quite a bit. And while Ridley did catch a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter, the star receiver was held to four catches for 32 yards.
Baker was a big reason why. The rising senior finished second on the team in interceptions with three and led the Bulldogs with nine pass breakups. Baker will be one of Georgia’s focal points on defense and should return as one of the SEC’s better defensive backs.
As we know, the secondary is going to get a little greener this season (which isn’t to say it won’t be talented). Having Reed and Baker back to anchor the back five I would think is a huge comfort for Smart and Tucker. I know it is for me.