Is Deandre Baker Georgia football’s most irreplaceable player?
Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more.
Who is Georgia’s most irreplaceable player?
247Sports’ Brad Crawford ranked Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker No. 8 on his list of the 18 most irreplaceable players in college football. Here is what he said about Baker:
The definition of a lockdown corner and probably the most talented player on Georgia’s defense next season. He’s a projected top-10 pick in 2019 and has 7 total interceptions over his last two seasons. Ask Jake Fromm how terrifying Baker is when he’s on an island — he tossed an errant throw toward the sideline in the spring game that Baker returned for six.
As the only Georgia player on the list, Baker is ipso facto considered the most irreplaceable player on the team, but Crawford didn’t dig too deep into his reasoning.
So, the question begs: Is Baker Georgia’s most irreplaceable player?
In the yes column is a simple fact: As Crawford notes, he’s the best player on the defense, maybe the best player on the team. No other Georgia corner can confidently challenge the best receiver of every opponent or expect to keep his half of the field closed for business all season. There is plenty of talent in the secondary, to be sure, but most of it is young and inexperienced.
So, who are the other contenders for most irreplaceable? Rodrigo Blankenship comes to mind. He has become a weapon on special teams and has proven he can make clutch kicks. With the defensive line as thin as it is, Tyler Clark was a thought, but the arrival of Jay Hayes mitigates the depth issues somewhat. I also considered an offensive lineman such as Andrew Thomas or Lamont Gaillard, but there are enough bodies on the line to do some reshuffling and still be relatively good to go.
As I went through the roster for this exercise to make sure I didn’t forget anyone obvious, I was astonished that I overlooked the reigning SEC Freshman of the Year and top returning player on offense, quarterback Jake Fromm. But when I thought about it, I realized my oversight is a testament to freshman backup Justin Fields, a player so highly thought of that many folks, myself included, think he could step in for Fromm and not miss a beat.
All told, I’d put Blankenship second among the most irreplaceable, but I think Crawford got it right in picking Baker. He is the team’s best on defense and one of its few veterans. Without him, the secondary may lack the experience and quality needed to be a national title contender this season.
MORE: Want this roundup in your inbox every morning? Sign up here!
Georgia baseball projects to host NCAA Regionals
Georgia baseball is 35-16 and in the midst of its best season in years heading into the final weekend of the regular season. The Diamond Dogs will want to cap this comeback season with a successful run in the postseason, and it looks likely they’ll be buoyed in that effort by a homestand for the NCAA Regionals.
In the latest NCAA Regionals projection from D1 Baseball, Georgia is projected as the No. 7 overall seed, which would come with the privilege of hosting duties.
Could Georgia land Primetime part II?
DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell caught up with 3-star 2019 CB Shilo Sanders, son of the legendary Deion Sanders. The younger Sanders was one of many recruits in Athens for G-Day, and the atmosphere left quite an impression.
“As soon as I stepped into the stadium, I was amazed at how many people were there,” Sanders told Sentell. “It was crazy. Everyone was hype. It was a great experience.”
Check out the post for more on his visit plans and the possibility he becomes a Georgia Bulldogs player.
Odds & Ends
- Don’t discount importance of Stetson Bennett, UGA’s No. 3 QB
- UGA recruiting: Has hyped Class of 2019 in Georgia lost a little steam?
- Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean on fan base: ‘You come, we’ll win’
- How nation’s No. 3 DT, UGA target Travon Walker views his upcoming decision
Dawgs on Twitter
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) May 15, 2018
She already added SEC Coach of the Year to her resume this year, but should Lu Harris-Champer add #D1Softball Coach of the Year as well??
— HERO Sports Softball (@HEROSportsSB) May 14, 2018
You saw ‘em here first. pic.twitter.com/H28HGcuuoj
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 14, 2018
dogs make the world a better place https://t.co/SNpE6hYsm0
— Baby Animals (@BBAnimals) May 14, 2018
Miss a previous edition of Good Day, UGA? Get caught up here.
Correction: Lamont Gaillard’s last name was misspelled in the original post. DawgNation regrets the error.