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Georgia’s Deandre Baker named Bednarik, Thorpe semifinalist

Deandre Baker
Photo: Kristin M. Bradshaw/UGA

ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia senior defensive back Deandre Baker has been named as a semifinalist for the 2018 Chuck Bednarik Award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player, in addition to being named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given each year to the best defensive back in college football.

Baker, a native of Miami, Fla., joins eight other Southeastern Conference semifinalists for the Bednarik Award on the 20-man list and 13 other semifinalists for the Thorpe Award, which included two other players from the league.

The three finalists for the Thorpe and Bednarik awards will be named on Monday, Nov. 19.  The winners of the awards will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show, which will be broadcast live on ESPN on Dec. 6.

Former Bulldog All-American David Pollack has won the Bednarik Award and 2017 Butkus Award winner Roquan Smith was a finalist last year. Dominick Sanders was also a semifinalist for the 2017 Thorpe Award but no Georgia player has ever won the honor.

Baker was selected as a midseason All-American after registering 26 stops through the first eight games to go along with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a team-leading two interceptions returned for 82 yards.  He is also the SEC leader in passes defended with 10 in 2018.

The No. 6 Bulldogs (7-1, 5-1 SEC) travel to Lexington, Ky., to face No. 11 Kentucky (7-1, 5-1 SEC) on Saturday.  CBS will televise the matchup at 3:30 p.m.

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