Reshad Jones makes his move; Curran next?

(UPDATE: As expected, Reshad Jones formally announced this afternoon that he is leaving UGA early for the NFL draft. Click here for the full story from his press conference.)

Georgia junior safety Reshad Jones, who was on the verge of entering the NFL draft a year ago, will do so this time and forgo his senior season at UGA, he confirmed late Monday night.

Although he changed his mind on the draft decision a couple of times last year, he indicated he is firm in his choice this time.

“I know I’m ready,” he said.

He said he made the decision after consulting with his family.

Jones will formally announce his decision to enter the draft at a news conference in Athens this afternoon. UGA says  to expect no word today from junior linebacker Rennie Curran, who is deciding whether to join Jones in the draft.

The NFL deadline for eligible underclassmen to enter the draft is Jan. 15, but  Curran has  indicated he  might prefer to make an announcement before spring-semester classes begin at UGA. That is Thursday.

Factors believed to be steering Curran toward the draft are financial (he has a 1-year-old daughter) and the fact that the biggest knock against his NFL potential (his height) won’t change with another year of college.

Jones,  from Atlanta, started all 13 games for Georgia this season, making 73 tackles and intercepting a team-high four passes. The highlight of his season was a superb  performance in a 30-24 victory over Georgia Tech.

After drawing much criticism for his play against the Yellow Jackets in 2008, he made amends in 2009. His dazzling one-handed interception of a Tech pass at Georgia’s 43-yard line in the second quarter set up a UGA touchdown drive.

“This game was real personal for me,” Jones said afterward. “I wanted redemption. . . . This is as sweet as it gets.”

In Georgia’s Independence Bowl victory over Texas A&M, Jones had a 59-yard interception return to the Aggies 28-yard line late in the third quarter, leading to a touchdown. It was the 11th and final interception of Jones’ UGA career.

Changing topics: It’s Dogs vs. Jackets in hoops tonight at Stegeman Coliseum. Click here for a blog on that.

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181 comments Add your comment

Eat It St. Simons

January 5th, 2010
2:12 am

((((30-24)))) hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

grandpapeckinpah

January 5th, 2010
2:12 am

Before all the idiots come out of the woodwork…good luck Reshad. I know you’ll make us dawg fans proud in the NFL.

Michael

January 5th, 2010
2:35 am

Darn! I guess we all saw this coming. Reshad Jones had potential for a major Senior year…but I know he is more than NFL ready. He has a lot of good tape to go with his freakish athleticism. I hope he can get drafted high and make an immediate impact like Stafford, Moreno and Massaquoi did.

The Fixer

January 5th, 2010
2:48 am

I had the good fortune to meet Reshad this past w/end at Eric Berry’s 21st bday party. Super engaging and humble young man and I wish him all the best in the NFL. He told me he was announcing his decision to turn pro today and he’s obviously a man of his word. His tape is his resume and I won’t be surprised if he blows up and the combine and sneaks in the first two rounds. He modestly told me they graded him out as a three but I think he will improve his stock at the combine. Reshad will look real nice in a Texans uniform! Congrats Reshad and GO DAWGS!!!

Thanks for the memories

January 5th, 2010
4:56 am

Reshad, thanks for the memories. Wish you well in the NFL. Glad we’ve got some good young talent coming to take his place. In a dismal year, Reshad was one bright spot. 78 tackles and 4 interceptions … 82 major plays. Hope someone steps into his shoes and takes his place. Wish the junior jump rule wasn’t there. Great players are down to two years of playing and then they jump. I think it should be the senior year…not the junior year. Best to you Reshad.

Keese

January 5th, 2010
6:02 am

Good luck Reshad. Would have loved to see you one more year with our new def coord. (whoever that is). Tear it up in the NFL

triplb

January 5th, 2010
6:39 am

I’ve seen this guy tackle(NOT). Hope he has attended class and saveswhatever money he can shake out of NFL. Special teamer at best. 2yrs. at most! Hello Mr. Ogletree!

raymond

January 5th, 2010
6:44 am

Not worried about Jones’ lose near as much as I would be Rennie’s.

Classy comment....

January 5th, 2010
7:06 am

NebraskaDawg

January 5th, 2010
7:09 am

Hey Jones, enjoy being a 4th rounder.

Wild Dawg

January 5th, 2010
7:34 am

Wonder if he will actually wrap up somebody in the NFL

To all the haters

January 5th, 2010
7:40 am

Before you speak, please realize that this young man will be drafted many many rounds before you would even be considered! So what if he missed a tackle here and there(not his fault he had a sorry position coach), I didn’t you out there tackling people either! I wish the young man good luck and I hope he has an outstanding NFL career. The higher he goes the better. It will help recruiting tremendously if we keep putting guys in the first and second rounds of the NFL draft. So quit hating on these guys and support them! He was and always will be a Bulldog for life!

Go Dawgs!!!

Joe B.

January 5th, 2010
7:43 am

I feel bad for Reshad. He was as physically gifted as any safety we have ever had at UGA, but he was the victim of Willie Martinez’s inability to coach both DB’s and be the DC.

Will Jones be able to mentally handle the rigors of the NFL? We will see. No doubt, he improved dramatically this year, and I hope he can continue that in the NFL.

Good luck!

superDawg

January 5th, 2010
7:46 am

Good luck Rashad now you will have a chance to knock out calvin.

really

January 5th, 2010
7:48 am

Glad Martinez is gone, but “victim of WMs inability to coach”? Really? I guess Sean Jones, Thomas Davis, Paul Oliver, etc., etc. were also victims, too.

getthepicturenow

January 5th, 2010
7:49 am

Kid will be an all-pro for many years in the league once he gets some coaching. Thanks Reshad. DGD.

getthepicturenow

January 5th, 2010
7:52 am

really- WM’s ability as a DB coach is unquestionable, its when he got in over his head as our DC that the secondary play, especially tackling and coverage dropped off significantly. and if you’re secondary can’t tackle or cover CONSISTANTLY, your D sucks. just as ours has over the last 2 years.

Joe B.

January 5th, 2010
7:54 am

really @ 7:48 am

Did you read what I said. Willie Martinez was a GREAT DB coach, no question about it.

However the greatest indictment of his tenure over the last couple of years is that the DB’s were clearly no longer getting the level of coaching that they had gotten from 2001-2006.

The same coach who got guys like Bruce Thornton and Tra Battle to improve immensely was now squandering NFL talent like Asher Allen and Reshad.

Willie was once a great DB coach, and likely will be again, but DB coach is the point that the Peter Princicple kicks in for him. He obviously does not have the requisite organizational skills to handle both DB and DC duties and perform them at an elite level.

[...] the surprise of probably no one, Reshad Jones confirms he’s leaving early for the NFL [...]

Spike

January 5th, 2010
8:11 am

Yawn. Good luck, Reshad.

ghldawg

January 5th, 2010
8:15 am

Good Luck, Reshad,..you’ve got the potential…work hard…and never listen to your “fans” whether it’s good or bad. LIVE…LEARN…BELIEVE!

Now…bring on Rambo and Ogletree!!! GO DAWGS!!!

Dude

January 5th, 2010
8:22 am

I don’t really get it, but whatever. I mean he is leaving for what??? Early 3rd round money. I understand he doesn’t know who his coach will be, and he knows it probably won’t make a difference, at least for his senior season anyway. I just think he has a huge chance to boost his stock next year. Curran, on the other hand, is ready. If he were about 3″ taller he would be a top 10 pick. Zach Thomas proved that height doesn’t always matter. I think Curran will make it big, IF they give him a chance at the next level. With the talent at linebacker in the NFL right now, he is going to have to fight just to get reps in practice.

Otis from Mayberry

January 5th, 2010
8:28 am

Who are those eye-gouging booger eating jerks from down I-75 rumered to be losing? O besides Coach “I don’t look like Norman Bates” Myer?

Joseph

January 5th, 2010
8:33 am

Seems to me that if the focus was to win championships and you don’t why leave early then? Everyone knows its all about the money in these decisions and certainly the fear of injury is always in the background, but can’t we just decide that unless the teams’ goals have been met, personal interests should be put on the back burner. I certainly understand the logic in Matthew Stafford’s decision, but we all knew he was done and when asked about not meeting the teams goals his reply was basically it was no big deal. That is precisely why we are underachieving as a team.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 5th, 2010
8:44 am

At most he is the 3rd best Safety coming out and thats strong. You have Berry from UT and Mayes from USC. Then off the top of my head I can’t think of another who has a better Pro Skill set than Jones. Yeah he aggravated the crap out of us, but he is a kid and still progressing in the game. Good luck Reshad!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

January 5th, 2010
8:48 am

Good luck, be nice if he stayed and at least mentored the freshman coming in. Curran will be leaving too.

PSJDawg

January 5th, 2010
8:56 am

Wish him luck – but I just believe that he could boost his stock by building on a pretty good rebound year!

NCDAWG

January 5th, 2010
9:11 am

Another year might have helped. To everyone degrading R. Jones, you are just mad that he is not staying. Ask yourself if you would be able to turn down the $$$? Best of luck Reshad Jones. As a bulldog fan I am more worried about the interior of the DL, with: Atkins, Weston, and Owens leaving.

Bremen Dawg

January 5th, 2010
9:24 am

Maybe Richt needs to get a better insurance company in there and talk these guys into buying a good policy if they get hurt and stay another year. 4th – 6th round pick for Jones, if he stays and gets better, which he has this year, then he could be a 2nd round pick next year.

Law Dawg

January 5th, 2010
9:32 am

Tough year to come out as a safety (Berry, Mays, probably Earl Thomas), but Reshad improved tremendously this year. Good luck to him continuing a great tradition of GA safeties in the league.

And to everyone thinking Ogletree is the automatic replacement, don’t sleep on Jakar Hamilton…

Go Dawgs!

Bremen Dawg

January 5th, 2010
9:33 am

Guys, Reshad is looking at most a 200,000 – 350,000 a year contract. He has had a hard time tackling at the college level and most NFL scouts know that. He also lacks that hard hitting of a NFL safety. Gets burned on deep balls alot but he is pretty good and stuffing the run.

The Swamp Fox

January 5th, 2010
9:35 am

I don’t see this as any huge loss for the Dogs. While talented, I never saw much from this guy. He completely lacked any consistency. Having said this, I wish him well and expect he will make some teams’ roster and play in the league for a while. Good Luck 9.

DogGoneGaDawg

January 5th, 2010
9:35 am

I do not want to be a downer but when I look at former DBs from UGA I see the likes of Thomas Davis, Greg Blue, Champ Bailey and Jermaine Phillips. These guys were outstanding performers at UGA. I am talking about game-in and game-out having the types of performances which were game changers. When I look at Reshad Jones I see someone with a great deal of ability getting burned and not making tackles. While I wish him the best at the next level I just do not see his loss as a negative at UGA.

1eyedJack

January 5th, 2010
9:35 am

The reason some of these kids come to UGA is to get to the NFL so it should come as no surprise when they leave early….but it still hurts. Good luck Rashad and go buy a tackling dummy….just kidding.

DogGoneGaDawg

January 5th, 2010
9:39 am

Good point ghldawg. Could it be that Reshad hears the footsteps of Rambo and Ogletree?

Big Albany Dawg

January 5th, 2010
9:42 am

Remind me who this guy is again?

DogGoneGaDawg

January 5th, 2010
9:45 am

Hey guys, did you notice the article about GT wanting to use the Orange Bowl as a springboard to the NC in 2010? I find it very peculiar that there is not a blog attached to this nonsense. Let’s see, creative writing, hmm, how do you describe laughing so hard you have to get side stitches?

UGA realist, must read

January 5th, 2010
9:48 am

Alright, let’s face it. A lot of the top talent UGA has is due to success the program had over the last 2-5 years. If Mark Richt can’t get this team back to near national prominence then I see the UGA ship sinking fast. Where are the national commits that UGA use to enjoy. Well, with Bama and Florida on the national stage, UGA is an after thought.

It is the truth, as a faithful UGA fan, the truth is I don’t know if Mark Richt is an iconic coach. He is a good coach, but not the coach that will compete for SEC and National titles year in and out. Atleast not with the level of talent that is coaching teams around him. Rival coaches out coach, recruit and lead their staff and players to a championship mentality, from practice, late night meetings, the film room and winning on Saturday. Richt is to much like Bobby Bowden in his later years. to nice of a guy with no killer mentality.

I am afraid UGA fan’s will grow even more frustrated in the next 2-4 years when the dogs are not in contention for the SEC and more. Why, Florida & Bama has the reign’s and UGA is no where in the picture. UGA is in contention only if Saban and Meyer leave, what does that tell you about UGA’s leader? By the way, if Florida and Alabama now have the supperior players according to recruiting, then Mark Richt has to beat them with less talented players? UGA is digging itself deeper and deeper into a hole from a recruting aspect. Richt has always had a hard team beating teams that have the same level talent or less. Richt has never blown out teams the way Alabama and Florida has.

Yes folks, I do compare UGA to those programs, because their is no excuse why UGA shouldn’t not be on their level. It will not happen with Richt. It doesn’t take iconic coaches 8-10 years to compete for a national championship, which UGA has never done under Richt. So what makes you think he will do that in the next 8-10 years. We are currently log jammed with with USC (Carolina), Tennesse and the Auburn’s, if we are lucky.

I am not excited the least bit about UGA anytime soon. It would take a miracle for UGA to compete with the Alabama’s and Florida’s of the SEC.

Mark my word, Richt will not get it done. A new DC will come in. UGA will win most games except, Florida, Tennesse etc. UGA may get to a 9-10 win season, but will not get over the hump. Eventually the boosters and fan base will have enough. Then it will be tough to find an iconic coach to come in and turn UGA into a Florida/Alabama program. Tough to find a Nick Saban/Urban Meyer. Maybe TCU coach, we need someone innovative who can truly lead.

Wishful thinking. I am sure the dawg hatters in our blogasphere want UGA to stay complacent with Richt, because they know what we have. A mild mannered nice guy who win’s against average opponent’s. Very predictable, he will only beat you if you are having a down year.

When will change come?

GT Bill

January 5th, 2010
9:48 am

Good Luck…

DogGoneGaDawg

January 5th, 2010
9:57 am

UGA realist: Where is your head? You are now telling us that we no longer get the national recruits? In case you are not aware the #2 and the #7 National QB prospects were red shirted this year at UGA. Why? Because you cannot learn an elaborate offensive scheme in three weeks in the spring and three weeks in the summer. Please, don’t get your panties in a wad and start panicking. Remember, two years ago UGA finished #2 in the nation. In ‘08, the year with all the expectations there were 21 roster players lost to season ending injuries and the still won 10 games. All you Richt haters who want to see him go away need a dose of reality, but just not from this guy.

Alpharetta Dawg

January 5th, 2010
10:00 am

I wish them both well. I hate to see Rennie go but agree another year will not raise his stock. Jones has lost his mind if he thinks he can work himself into the first round. He cannot cover or tackle…make ocassional big hits…catch an occassional INT that is thrown right to him…make no more than 2 athletic INT’s his whole career yes. Jones has terrible instincts and plays out of position way too much…I wish him well and glad he is gone…we will be better at safety with Rambo/Ogletree etc…

DogGoneGaDawg

January 5th, 2010
10:02 am

The last time I looked UGA was ranked #4 in national recruiting. In my book that is top tier. While cognizant of the fact that there are SEC school ranked higher, well, that might be the case when you are in the premier football conference in America. No one said it was going to be easy. You could be in the ACC. But that would be unconscionable.

PMC

January 5th, 2010
10:02 am

Good Luck Mr. Jones. I’m really glad I don’t have to go over the middle on this guy.

cheetah1976

January 5th, 2010
10:05 am

Good luck to him! Do we have someone in the wings who can make up for all of his personal foul, pass interference and excessive celebration penalties?

South FL Chapter of the Bulldog Nation

January 5th, 2010
10:05 am

Go get ‘em Rashad! Make us Dawgs proud!

Quickster 82

January 5th, 2010
10:07 am

we can’t fault both players for making the leap. Especially when we have a question mark at DC. Both have talent and we wish them well in the NFL. Who knows, maybe their kids will show up at UGA in 20 years or so.

mgdawg

January 5th, 2010
10:07 am

As for reshad jones, although I think he could’ve greatly improved his stock with another year, I wishhim the best of luck in the NFL. I think he wanted to leave uga, and no offense intended, but I don’t want a person playing who doesn’t want to be there. I think curran is in a different situation. I think he wants to stay, but financially he needs to leave.

UGA realist, I strongly disagree. While this year was definitely a down year, I don’t think it is a sign of things to come. UGA is still bringing in the talent, just look at aaron murray. He’s from florida and was the number 3 qb last year rated by scout.com. I guess you can say he isn’t from farther away like stafford was from texas, but if the number 3 rated qb happens to be from one state away I don’t think it makes a difference. Remember that in one of UGA’s worst teams in a while they still beat Gtech, a team that was having their best year in a while.

Finally, I think there is one thing that alot of fans don’t think about. Offenses and Defenses are totally different monsters. As a defense you want to be on the field as little as possible, as an offense you want to be on the field as much as possible. As an offense you need time to get in a rhythm and when the defense is playing “bend but don’t break” they are spending alot of time on the field. I think that is one reason that the offense has struggled so much. I don’t want to put all the team’s problems on the defense, but I think that is something that is overlooked. I don’t always agree with bobo’s playcalling, but I’m not as angered by him as some people are.

Zeus

January 5th, 2010
10:09 am

If a pro coach can figure out to get him to play near his potential, he will be a Pro Bowl safety in the NFL.

Dawg Fud

January 5th, 2010
10:11 am

Reshad will be a beast in the NFL because he will have excellent caoching. There is a GM out there very intrigued by his abilites and excited about the impact he can have on their franchise.

Reshad is one fo the ebst raw talents we ever signed. We simply never coached him up.

Rennie? he should take the money. everything changes when you have children.

collegeballfan

January 5th, 2010
10:12 am

Anytime you get an opportunity to get a million dollar paycheck, you are a fool if you turn it down. Good luck to both.