ATHENS ― The NFL released Friday the official list of underclassmen who declared for the draft, and for the Georgia football team there were no surprises: Roquan Smith and Trenton Thompson are the only ones on it.
Not on the list of early entrants: Lamont Gaillard, the junior center who had been thinking about putting his name in the draft, but did not say anything publicly on Monday, the deadline for underclassmen to declare.
Cornerback Deandre Baker and receiver Terry Godwin, both juniors who had been mulling the jump, announced that they were staying on Monday, the same day Smith made it official that he was entering the draft. Smith is expected to be a first-round pick.
Thompson, a junior defensive lineman, announced last week he was turning pro.
The NFL said 106 underclassmen declared, which is a record. The previous record was 98 in 2015. Last year, 95 underclassmen declared. In addition, 13 players who had eligibility remaining but graduated from their school also declared.
Gaillard started every game for Georgia the past two seasons, and he was one of only two returning starters on the offensive line in 2017. (Isaiah Wynn, a senior who moved from left guard to left tackle, was the other one.) After starting every game at right guard in 2016, Gaillard switched to center, where he provided a veteran and steadying influence between a pair of new starters.
It’s been a long and winding career for Gaillard, who initially came to Georgia as a highly rated defensive lineman from Pine Forest High School in Fayetteville, N.C.
After redshirting his first season at Georgia, he was moved to offense and saw action in two games in 2015. But he began to emerge in spring 2016, which was Pittman’s first year as offensive line coach. By the fall he had been installed as a starter.