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3 things about Deandre Baker, Georgia All-American cornerback

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Outgoing Georgia football All-American Deandre Baker is projected to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night in Nashville.

The New York Giants ended Deandre Baker’s wait on draft night. Using their third pick of the first round, the Giants selected Baker with the No. 30 overall pick. He is the first cornerback taken in the 2019 NFL Draft.

“My numbers speak for themselves,” Baker said on the NFL Network. “I only gave up one touchdown my whole college career. I haven’t given up a touchdown in two years, no receiver had 100 yards on me — I just produce, that’s what I do.”

Baker, however, said he never gave returning to Georgia for his senior season a second thought.

“I never second-guessed staying,” Baker said at the Indiana Convention Center during his NFL combine evaluation.

“I know I gained a lot the last season, there were a lot of areas I improved in, so it helped me overall — my tackling and ball production.”

First UGA Thorpe winner

Baker became the first-ever Georgia football player to win the Jim Thorpe Award, which has been presented annually to the top defensive back in college football since 1986.

Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick won the award in 2017, but prior to that an SEC player had not won the award since 2012 when Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks won it.

Other SEC players to win the award included: Antonio Langham (Alabama, 1993), Lawrence Wright (Florida, 1996), Carlos Rogers (Auburn, 2004), Eric Berry (Tennessee, 2009), Patrick Peterson (LSU, 2010) and Morris Claiborne (LSU, 2011).

3-star recruit

Baker came to Georgia out of Miami Northwestern High School ranked as a 3-star prospect, the No. 83 player in the state of Florida 2015 class, according to the 247Sports composite.

Many thought Baker was headed to Texas, but he chose Georgia instead, former Bulldogs’ assistant Jeremy Pruitt serving as his primary recruiter.

Kirby Smart and Mel Tucker took over secondary coaching duties before Baker’s sophomore season,

Deandre Baker at NFL Combine

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