Photo courtesy of Kansas City Chiefs
On Feb. 7 when the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers face off in Super Bowl LV, two former Georgia Bulldogs will hope to end the night by hoisting the Vince Lomardi Trophy.
Those two will be wearing a familiar color — red. Wide receiver Mecole Hardman and cornerback Deandre Baker will look to help the Chiefs become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champion since the New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004.
Part of a Well-Oiled Machine
Hardman is in his second season with the Chiefs. He was selected by Kansas City as the No. 56 overall pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of of Georgia.
Hardman is tied for 100th in the NFL with 41 receptions, but contributed to a stellar offense this season. He has a total of 560 yards and four touchdowns with an average of 13.7 yards per reception.
In Kansas City’s last regular season game vs. Tampa Bay on Nov. 8, Hardman had 23 receiving yards on three receptions.
Hardman, at 5-foot-10 and 187 pounds, finished his collegiate career at Georgia with 60 receptions for 961 yards and 11 touchdowns. He accumulated 97 rushing yards, with an average of 7.5 yards per carry. From scrimmage, Hardman tallied 1,058 total yards and 13 total touchdowns.
This will not be Hardman’s first Super Bowl appearance. In last season’s 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers, Hardman finished with two touches, totaling negative-4 yards.
Baker to Lend Support Off Field
While he won’t get to play in Super Bowl LV due to injury, Baker is the second former Bulldog on the Chiefs’ roster. Like Hardman, Baker is also in his second season in the NFL.
Baker, at 5-11 and 188 pounds, was drafted with the No. 30 overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the New York Giants before being traded to Kansas City.
Baker finished his career at Georgia with 83 solo tackles and 33 assisted tackles; he had one sack and seven interceptions, which he returned for a total of 145 interception yards. He defended 23 passes, forced one fumble, and had one fumble recovery.
In the Chiefs’ last contest vs. the Bucs, Baker had five tackles, one sack, and one pass defended.
He was placed on the Chiefs’ injured list after suffering a season-ending femur injury during the regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers. The injury ultimately led to surgery.
While Hardman looks for his second Super Bowl ring in two seasons, Baker is seeking his first.