(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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