Alabama and Auburn may not have received desired bowl invitations as top-10 teams in the Associated Press poll, but the in-state rivals are receiving good news on the personnel front.
Crimson Tide junior receiver Jerry Jeudy and Tigers senior defensive tackle Derrick Brown announced via social media that they will play on New Year's Day in the Sunshine State. Alabama (10-2) and Auburn (9-3) tied for ninth in the latest AP poll, with the Tide headed to play No. 17 Michigan (9-3) in Orlando's Citrus Bowl and the Tigers set to play No. 16 Minnesota (10-2) in Tampa's Outback Bowl.
"I'm playing in the bowl game," Jeudy posted on Twitter. "There's no reason to not play!"
Jeudy, who won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver last season as a sophomore, is expected to forgo his senior year and is projected to be a first-round pick in April's NFL draft. The 6-foot-1, 192-pounder from Deerfield Beach, Florida, has 139 receptions for 2,274 yards and 23 touchdowns the past two seasons for the Tide, who will start on-campus bowl practices Monday.
Fellow junior receivers DeVonta Smith and Henry Ruggs III are among the multitude of Alabama players who still have postseason decisions to make.
Brown, a finalist for the Outland Trophy, Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy, had a video made to announce his decision.
"I came back to finish what I started," the projected first-round selection said in the video, "and we're not done yet. See you in Tampa. War Eagle."
Two of the Southeastern Conference's top three rushers, Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill and Kentucky receiver-turned-quarterback Lynn Bowden, announced this week that they would be bypassing their senior seasons but would play in bowl games. Mississippi State (6-6) and Louisville (7-5) are meeting in Nashville's Music City Bowl, while Kentucky (7-5) and Virginia Tech (8-4) are vying at the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Bowden recently won the Paul Hornung Award as college football's most versatile player.
Georgia sophomore running back James Cook was arrested early Saturday morning by Athens-Clarke County police on misdemeanor charges of driving without a valid license and possessing an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the passenger area. He spent more than an hour in jail before posting bond, which was set at $1,000 for each charge.
Cook has played in all 13 games this season, rushing 28 times for 176 yards (6.3 per carry) and two touchdowns. He also has 16 receptions for 132 yards.
The fifth-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) will start on-campus practices Monday for the Sugar Bowl, with coach Kirby Smart scheduled to speak Wednesday. Georgia plays No. 8 Baylor (11-2) on Jan. 1 in New Orleans.