ATHENS — Georgia football All-American cornerback Deandre Baker was not present during the media viewing portion of Friday’s practice.
Baker’s Instagram account appeared to indicate he was in Miami, Fla., on Thursday night.
Georgia officials have not confirmed Baker’s wherabouts as of Friday evening.
Baker, a projected first-round NFL Draft pick, said at the College Football Awards Show in Atlanta on Dec. 8 that he planned on playing in the Sugar Bowl.
Baker was practicing with the team earlier this week, so his absence could very well be of the excused variety.
“We’ll just get in the film room, go watch the film and fix the errors,” Baker said about Sugar Bowl preparation earlier this month, “and we’ll go from there.”
Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart hasn’t been available to the media since Wednesday and did not mention anything about Baker missing an upcoming practice.
Smart said last Monday there are times he allows players to miss parts of practice.
“There’s coaches across the country that have a couple of practices without their seniors, we haven’t done that, we include our seniors in everything,” Smart said. “But we have had practices where they haven’t been involved on the back end, and it might be a deal that we go 60, 70 percent of practice and then those guys are able to leave. They’ve taken an abundance of reps in their years here, and we allow the younger guys to get more reps.”
Smart is not scheduled to meet with the media again until arriving in New Orleans on Dec. 27.
Smart also didn’t provide any update on freshman defensive tackle Jordan Davis on Wednesday. Davis was not seen on the practice field on Thursday or Friday, and is dealing with a back injury according to a source with knowledge of his situation.
Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes said that having Baker stick around to play in the Sugar Bowl “means a lot, to be honest.”
All-SEC outside linebacker D’Andre Walker has been nursing an injured groin suffered in the fourth quarter of the SEC Championship game when Georgia held a 28-21 lead. Walker was practice but not dressed out on Thursday and Friday.
Freshman tailback James Cook (foot) is also not practicing, instead spotted working out in the weight room during practice.
Georgia will practice Saturday before breaking for the holiday. The team is scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on Dec. 27.
The Senior Bowl has confirmed that Baker will not play in the All-Star Game in Mobile in January. Georgia seniors Jonathan Ledbetter, D’Andre Walker and Nick Moore have confirmed they will play.
DawgNation Georgia football Sugar Bowl