Georgia received and accepted an invitation to play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, but will two of its stars strap on the pads one final time or sit this one out?
As is the trend in this era of college football, and understandably so, players more and more are choosing to sit out and not play in postseason bowl games, especially if those games are not part of the playoffs or the national championship. Why? To limit the risk of injury which could potentially affect a player’s draft.
Last year, Georgia cornerback DeAndre Baker decided not to play in the Sugar Bowl as the senior was projected to be drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. When Draft Day came, Baker was the first cornerback selected and was drafted 30th overall by the New York Giants.
This year, the Bulldogs have two potential first-rounders.
Left tackle Andrew Thomas is projected to be a first-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft if the junior decides to forgo his senior season and declare. That is highly probable given that Thomas is expected to be drafted in the first five picks in the latest 2020 mock drafts from CBS, FoxSports, The Sporting News, and 247Sports.
D’Andre Swift is considered one of the top running backs in the upcoming NFL Draft if, like Thomas, the junior decides to forgo his senior season and declare. Swift is projected to go as anywhere from the low second round by CBS to as high as the 15th pick overall in the first round by The Sporting News.
After the SEC Championship Game loss to LSU on Saturday, December 7th, both Swift and Thomas were asked whether or not he was thinking about playing in the bowl game.
“I’m not sure,” said Swift. “I’m just focused on my teammates right now. Making sure everybody is okay, and trying to get back to 100%.”
Thomas’ answer was similar to Swifts’.
“I haven’t made any decisions yet. I have to talk to my family and coaches. We have a team meeting Sunday,” said Thomas. “That’s where we figure out what bowl game we’re in but I haven’t made a decision yet.”