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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jarvis Jones comes in from the outside

Call it a bye week surprise for the media. For the first time since Jarvis Jones officially joined the Georgia football team, the transfer from Southern California was made available for an interview.

(Many of us had requested center Ben Jones, perhaps to ask about the blocking scheme against Georgia Tech. Or perhaps to ask about Nick Fairley and whether Jones was upset he was suspended for a flagrant hit while Fairley was not. I guess we’ll never know. But at least we got a Jones who plays football for Georgia.)

So on to Jarvis Jones. Here are the highlights of what the Columbus-Carver High product had to say:

- He regards himself as more of an outside linebacker, but can play either spot, and is willing to do so.

“Wherever they put me on the field that’s where I’ll play,” Jones said. “I won’t have any questions about it, I’ll do it to the best of my ability and just have fun doing it.”

On scout team, he said he’s been playing the role of the “dominant linebacker” for the other team.

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said Jones could play either inside or outside.

“He gives you flexibility,” Grantham said. “He gives you flexibility on third down, you can play with three outside backers in the game on some things.”

- Jones elected to leave USC after the sanctions that hit that program following the Reggie Bush scandal. Because he was an underclassmen, (he will have three years of eligibility), he had to sit out this season.

“It’s been great,” Jones said. “This group at Georgia really took me in. the players, coaches. Everybody here at this university has just wrapped up their arms around me and showed me the love I needed. And I’ve done the same for them.”

As for why he chose Georgia, after not doing so initially, he cited a desire to be close to home and play in front of his family.

“Georgia’s been doing great things even before I was born. Coach (Mark) Richt and his coaching staff, great coaching staff, coach Richt himself. … I just love Georgia football,” Jones said. “I know it wasn’t my decision out of high school, but over time things change. It did. I’m just to have the opportunity to be here and the opportunity that coach Richt gave me, the second chance to come here to Georgia. And I’m just gonna take full advantage of it.”

- A neck injury ended his freshman season at USC after eight games. (He had 13 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.) The Trojan doctors wouldn’t clear him for spring practice, but Jones and Grantham each expected the player to be 100 percent for Georgia’s 2011 spring practice.

As evidence of his health, Jones tried to make an impression in the opening days of practice by laying hits on Carlton Thomas and Zander Ogletree.

That didn’t please the coaches.

“I got in trouble, they wouldn’t let me hit,” Jones said, smiling. “They put me in a green jersey.”

- Grantham sounded legitimately excited to use Jones, especially if Justin Houston leaves early for the pros. The Bulldogs are definitely losing leading tackler Akeem Dent, an inside linebacker.

“I don’t see any hesitation in him,” Grantham said. “I see a guy that likes to hit. I see a guy that when he hits them, he does have an impact. He’s explosive. He’s got some speed to him and range. He’s gonna be a good player. I’m excited about him.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hope this guy's as good as people say he is. Justin Houston will be leaving some big shoes to fill.