OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Paycom Jim Thorpe Award group presented Georgia defensive back Deandre Baker with his trophy during the award’s 34th annual banquet at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.
Baker became the first Bulldog to win the Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented to the nation’s best defensive back in college football. The announcement of the winner initially came at the ESPN College Football Awards show at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta on December 6, 2018.
Baker, a 2018 consensus All-American from of Miami, Fla., joined Champ Bailey (1998) as the only Georgia finalists for the honor in history. Bailey was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame last weekend following a 15-year NFL career where he was a 12-time Pro Bowl selection.
2017 Thorpe Award winner Minkah Fitzpatrick presented the trophy to Baker on Tuesday night with other previous winners Roy Williams (2001) and Antonio Langham (1993) and Thorpe’s sons Bill and Richard in attendance.
A Miami, Fla., native, Baker started 13 games for Georgia last