NEW ORLEANS — Georgia tailback Brian Herrien isn’t with the team for the Sugar Bowl, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the situation.
DawgNation and the AJC confirmed the news on Friday night.
UGA coach Kirby Smart declined to address Herrien’s status at the arrival press conference when asked specifically about him.
The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) play No. 7 Baylor (11-2) at 8:45 p.m. next Wednesday at the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome.
Herrien had 103 carries for 490 yards along with 16 catches for 110 yards this season.
The senior from Douglasville was a team captain for the South Carolina game, but he was unable to play that day on account of back spasms.
Herrien played in the other 12 games for the Bulldogs this season, starting against Vanderbilt and LSU. He was named the co-winner of UGA’s Frank Sinkwich Award this season, which goes to the team’s toughest player.
Georgia could be without its top two backs for the Sugar Bowl.
Junior tailback D’Andre Swift remains questionable with a shoulder injury.
“He was dealing with the shoulder trying to get better, and we’re hopeful that he’s 100 percent and he’s going to be able to play,” Smart said on Friday. “I know he wants to play, it’s important to him.”
Swift, a projected first-round NFL draft pick, was extremely limited in the 37-10 loss to LSU in the SEC title game. He carried the ball just twice, leaving the game in the third quarter.
Swift said after the LSU game he was slowed by ‘a lot of pain’ in his shoulder.
Smart said sophomore tailback James Cook, arrested on Dec. 14 for having an invalid driver’s license and an open container of alcohol in his car, has been cleared to play.
The Bulldogs also have redshirt freshman Zamir White and true freshman Kenny McIntosh at tailback.
Georgia will also be without starting offensive linemen Andrew Thomas, Isaiah Wilson and Ben Cleveland.
Thomas and Wilson have left the team to prepare for the NFL draft, and Cleveland is reportedly academically ineligible.
Georgia RB touches this season
• Brian Herrien 125 touches: 103 carries, 16 catches, 6 kick returns for 749 yards.
• Zamir White 63 touches: 60 carries, 2 catches, 1 kick return for 358 yards.
• James Cook 48 touches: 28 carries, 16 catches, 4 kick returns for 265 yards.
• Kenny McIntosh 19 touches: 19 carries for 148 yards.
DawgNation Sugar Bowl coverage