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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jones Staying at Georgia


First he was staying. Then Reshad Jones was leaving. Then he just wasn't sure. So in the end, he let the people who have meant the most to him in his life settle things.

The Georgia safety decided Thursday to remain in school for another season to finish his degree, which he is scheduled to earn in December, after a hectic 24 hours of waffling on a decision to enter the NFL draft.

"I was on the fence, on the edge," Jones said. "It was a hard decision to make."

Jones said his grandparents, who have raised him, wanted him to earn his degree, and that was the final motivating factor in returning to school.

"It was mostly after I talked to my grandma and grandad and that was the key," Jones said. "I'm a student first and an athlete second. I think it would make them proud for me to come back and get that degree."

Late Wednesday, Jones said he was leaning toward entering the draft, but by Thursday morning, he still hadn't come to a firm conclusion. Thursday was the final day for underclassmen to declare their eligibility for April's NFL draft.

Jones submitted paperwork to the NFL review committee in November, but said at the time that he was definitely returning to school and was simply looking for objective information on his game. He reiterated those claims Tuesday, but backtracked a day later.

Jones said he did not want to elaborate on what he was told by the review committee, but said had they told him he would likely have been a first-day pick in the draft, he would have left Georgia for the NFL.

Instead, after meeting with coaches and family Thursday, he decided another year in college was necessary, and he said he is fully committed to winning at Georgia.

"I'm proud to be a Bulldog now," he said. "I'm ready to work."

Some quotes from Mark Richt, who seemed a bit defiant with reporters today on a number of levels, even interjecting to point out the team's academic accomplishments as well as the fact that they finished No. 10 in the country. He later said he felt like "the local paper" was playing up negative things about the program by hyping the No. 13 AP ranking rather than the No. 10 Coaches' Poll.

On Stafford and Moreno decision...

With Knowshon and Stafford, for ever indication that I got, they were almost certainly going to be first-round draft picks, and most people said they were going to possibly going to be the highest-rated player at their position. What are you going to tell those guys? It's not like they can improve their draft position.

On Asher Allen decision...

Asher's situation, it was a decision that he and his family made based on the information they got. I hope that it all works out for Asher. I love Asher. He's a great kid and a very fine football player. He's just a hard-working athlete, and he's a good Georgia Bulldog.

On Reshad Jones decision...

The thing about Reshad is he has come a long, long way in his growth as a man and as a student and athlete. In the final analysis I think everybody felt like he wasn't quite finished with what he needed to do to really be ready for the NFL. It seemed like he would benefit the most by staying as far as where it would set him and where he could go. So business was part of it, but at some point, you want to get your degree.

On so many players thinking about leaving, how does that reflect on UGA...

There's nothing wrong with Georgia. There's no one unhappy at Georgia. We've got young men that are extremely talented and have an opportunity to realize their dreams in the NFL. It has absolutely nothing to do with whether they like Georgia or not. You heard Stafford and Moreno. They love it at Georgia, you know what I'm saying? I think Asher Allen loved it at Georgia. But it also comes down to their opportunity to move forward and prepare for their whole lives. It has absolutely nothing to do with whether they like Georgia or not. They love Georgia, and I can guarantee you those guys will be missing it. They're going to be great Bulldogs in life.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for posting so quickly!You're one of the best in the business. Let's just hope Reshad manages to shine a bit more than he has in his first three years.

Heyberto said...

attaboy Reshad!

Anonymous said...

David, you are flat-out killing it. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have you bringing us the info right from the sources and so quickly.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, seriously David, you do great work.

Anonymous said...

David, I didn't pick up on the defiance from Coach Richt in the piece you printed. What am I missing?

Pretty odd to characterize him that way. If anything I think he maight, as we all do, take a little offense at the ridiculous & ignorant notion that because a player leaves school early that they are in someway unhappy at UGA. But, that's the press for you I guess. Not a story unless you create one, huh?

Anonymous said...



In 1958, the Lions traded Layne to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Layne responded to the trade by supposedly saying that the Lions would "not win for 50 years," although it has never been confirmed that he said this. As of the end of the 2008 season, it has been 50 years since the trade, and indeed the Lions have not won a championship in that time.

Robert Lawrence Layne (December 19, 1926 – December 1, 1986), was born in Santa Anna, Texas, USA. He attended Highland Park High School in Dallas

Bernie said...

Those fries from ESPN Zone are somehow making you work harder DH. Great quotes on a great day for Dawg fans.

If CMR was grumpy it was probably cuz he'd been up all night after being blindsided yesterday.

David Hale said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to insinuate in THOSE quotes he was being grumpy, although he pretty adamantly defended the program.

What I was saying was that he stopped the questioning midway through to trumpet the team's grades and mention that they did, after all, win 10 games and finish No. 10 in the coaches poll. This was unprovoked and utterly divergent from the media inquiry. He later said that his comments were in response to "the local paper" hyping the team's No. 13 AP poll ranking rather than the No. 10 in the coaches poll. I thought that was explained clearly, but I probably could have made it more clear.

If you have read anything I've written in the past, Anon, I would think you would know better than to accuse me of creating a story. I simply pointed out how he reacted. Take it for what you want.

David Hale said...

Oh, and thanks to all of you for your kind words. I definitely appreciate it.

Carter said...


I've noticed that you consistently get info out before the AJC, ABH, Rivals, Scout, etc.

I hope your bosses notice, too.