The National Football League released the rosters for the 2020 Pro Bowl on Tuesday evening, and three former University of Georgia football players earned selections based on their performances this season. Those three former Bulldogs are Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb, and Kansas City Chief’s return specialist and wide receiver Mecole Hardman, Jr.
Geno Atkins played at UGA from 2006-09 as a defensive lineman for then head coach Mark Richt. He was selected in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL Draft at pick number 120 by Cincinnati. This year’s Pro Bowl selection marks Atkins’ eight of his NFL career and his sixth consecutive selection as well.
Nick Chubb signed with the Bulldogs as a member of UGA’s 2014 recruiting class out of Cedartown High School in Cedartown, GA. In four seasons at Georgia from 2014-17, Chubb ran over and through the competition amassing 4,769 yards and 44 touchdowns on 758 carries in 47 games, averaging 101.5 yards per game and 6.3 yards per carry. Chubb only trails Herschel Walker in school history and in the Southeastern Conference in career rushing yards. He also only trails Walker in career touchdowns in school history.
After Chubb returned with fellow tailback Sony Michel for their senior season to help lead Georgia to a 2017 SEC Championship Title, a Rose Bowl Victory and a National Championship Game berth, he was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL Draft at pick 35 by Cleveland. As a rookie in 2018, Chubb rushed for 996 yards and 8 touchdowns for the Browns. This season, Chubb has toted the rock 270 times for 1,408 yards and 8 scores for Cleveland and leads the NFL in rushing yards for 2019.
This marks Nick Chubb‘s first Pro Bowl selection of his NFL career and he has been dubbed as the starting running back for the AFC team.
Mecole Hardman, Jr. spent 3 years at the University of Georgia after signing with the Bulldogs as a member of their 2016 recruiting class out of Elbert County High School in Elberton, GA. He started out on special teams and on defense as a cornerback before switching to wide receiver on offense. At receiver, Hardman hauled in 60 receptions for 961 yards and 11 touchdowns in 29 games at receiver in 2017 and 2018 for the Dawgs. He also amassed 875 yards on 35 kick returns and 592 yards and a touchdown on 29 punt returns in 40 games from 2016-18.
Hardman decided to forego his senior season and declared for the 2019 NFL Draft where he was selected in the 2nd round at pick number 56 by Kansas City. As a rookie this season, Hardman has 25 receptions for 508 yards and 6 touchdowns along with 530 yards on 23 kick returns in 14 games for the Chiefs. He also has 13 punt returns for 136 yards. Hardman was selected to the Pro Bowl as a return specialist.
The 88 Pro Bowl roster selections are determined by votes from fans as well as players and coaches. The season’s Pro Bowl is set to kick off on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. ET in Orlando, Florida.