Georgia senior safety J.R. Reed could easily forego his team’s Sugar Bowl appearance on Jan. 1 and turn his attention to the 2020 NFL Draft, but those are not his plans. Reed told reporters Wednesday that he will play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.

“The Dawgs are playing, and I’m still a Dawg,” Reed said according to Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald.

Reed is a finalist for the Jim Thrope Award, which is awarded annually to the nation’s top defensive back in college football. Last season, Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker became the first player in Bulldogs program history to win the Thrope Award.

While receiving the award last December, Baker initially announced that he would play in last year’s Sugar Bowl, but he later elected to sit out the game. Georgia lost to Texas, 28-21. Baker became the No. 30 overall pick to the New York Giants in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in April.


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This year, Georgia will play Baylor in the Sugar Bowl, which is once again, essentially a consolation prize after the Bulldogs just missed making the College Football Playoff for the second straight year.

According to the latest mock draft from CBS Sports, Reed is projected to be a fourth-round selection. The senior safety posted 54 total tackles, including 2.0 for loss, 0.5 sacks, one interception, seven pass breakups and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown.