NG John Jenkins changes tune, says he’ll definitely return for senior season

DE DeAngelo Tyson (L-R), LB Michael Gilliard and OLB Sterling Bailey all had to watch practice from the sidelines Friday due to injuries. That's OL Xzavier Ward in the background. (Photo by Chip Towers)

DE DeAngelo Tyson (L-R), LB Michael Gilliard and OLB Sterling Bailey all had to watch practice from the sidelines Friday due to injuries. That's OL Xzavier Ward in the background. (Photo by Chip Towers)

TAMPA – Upon further review, Georgia’s John Jenkins said Friday he’s definitely coming back for his senior season.

The 6-foot-3, 351-pound noseguard has waffled about whether or not to turn pro after his one and only season with the Bulldogs. He requested an NFL draft evaulation earlier this month and said earlier this week he was going to give the pros serious consideration.

But then Jenkins said before Friday morning’s practice he’d decided he’d definitely remain a Bulldog another season.

“That’s where I belong, I belong at Georgia another year,” said Jenkins, a six-game starter this season. “I believe at the end of next year I’d have no choice but to be ready.”

Jenkins said he had not yet received his draft grade back from the NFL’s advisory board. But he said didn’t need to see what it said.

“Unless it’s first round, then I’d be a dumb guy not to go out,” he said. “But I don’t think that’s what I’m going to get. I think everybody knows I need to come back and polish up more with Coach [Rodney] Garner behind me. That’s what I need to do.”

With his size and athleticism, Jenkins is clearly an eventual NFL player. He has progressed exponentially during his six months at UGA. He went from playing behind sophomore Kwame Geathers to becoming a six-game starter. He enters the Outback Bowl with 28 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and 10 quarterback pressures. All are exemplary numbers at a position primarily designed to tie up interior blockers.

Jenkins is one of several Georgia underclassmen considering entering the NFL draft. Safety Bacarri Rambo said Thursday he had received a third-round draft grade from the NFL and was still “50-50″ on the decision whether to stay or go. Tight end Orson Charles is also thinking about it, as is outside linebacker Cornelius Washington and a few other players.

The Bulldogs have the ultimate resource at their disposal in Todd Grantham, who spent 11 years in the NFL before coming to Georgia as defensive coordinator. He sees it as a fairly simple decision for these young men.

“If you’re not a top 15 pick you should stay in school,” Grantham stated flatly. “If you’re a top 15 pick, the amount of money that you make you can justify it. But if you’re not, you should work to become that. Because if you look at the guaranteed money you make up at the top is so great, you can actually make money by staying. You go from being a middle second-round pick to a bottom first- or top-second-round pick, you’re talking hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. You can make that by working hard.”

That said, Grantham said he doesn’t flat out tell a player he should stay or go.

“Each individual is different and each individual has to make their own decisions,” he said. “We’re going to do what’s best for them.

“I’ll talk to them and give them my view as far as pluses and minuses for all good players and just lay it out there for them. I want to make sure they make an educated, wise decision that’s best for them and their future. But if you’re not a top 15 pick you need to be working to become that.”

– Chip Towers

410 comments Add your comment

WDE

December 30th, 2011
10:59 am

WDE

December 30th, 2011
11:00 am

And Chip have a Happy New year and thanks for the great job this year!

john

December 30th, 2011
11:01 am

Well said coach!

BG

December 30th, 2011
11:01 am

First? GO DAWGS!!

john

December 30th, 2011
11:02 am

& if your name is Orson Charles you should stay regardless.

Proud-Dawg

December 30th, 2011
11:09 am

The only player that should leave is Orson. Is he guaranteed to be a top-15 pick? No, but he will likely be a late first, early 2nd round guy. TE usually fall in this range, so he has nothing to gain by coming back. Don’t get me wrong, I would love for him to stay 1 more year, but you can’t blame him for leaving early. As for the rest of the guys, Rambo, Washington and Smith, you guys won’t see the field in the NFL. It bothers me that many of our top prospects over the years use UGA as a stepping stone to the NFL. It’s not about wins and losses, but instead dollar signs. But I don’t blame them, I would take the money too.

TampaGator

December 30th, 2011
11:11 am

Must have finally received that draft report he was waiting for…….”FREE AGENT”…..but only a possibility……better play another year and show a lot more than you did this year….and then possibly get drafted next year…..possibly.

Any Dawg fans on Clearwater Beach yet for TEAM BEACH DAY? I am headed down soon to enjoy the banter between Dawg and Spartan fans. Always fun to watch.

Augusta dawg

December 30th, 2011
11:13 am

Stay and give it a run for a NC next year. The $ will be there. That’s also why several get insurance policies. Favorable schedule (Vandy doesn’t play the big 3 from the west either) and a told tier defense paves the way to a possible national title. Go Dawgs! GATA

McDawg

December 30th, 2011
11:14 am

so he is saying that Jarvis should go?

13-1 SEC East Champions 2012

December 30th, 2011
11:14 am

WDE

What makes you such a great fan, when you do not even go the games ?

TampaGator

December 30th, 2011
11:15 am

Seriously…..

This kid made a great decision to stay one more year. He has a chance to earn all SEC honors next year and become a high draft pick next year. He made a lot of progress during the year. Now….also….go get a degree…..something you did not bother to mention….and I guess not a priority for you, Mr. Jenkins….but it should be.

TampaGator

December 30th, 2011
11:16 am

Yep….Jarvis Jones should go….because he would be a top 15 pick for sure. See ya….Mr. Jones….you better take your coaches’ advice…..PLEASE.

Dawg_Mike

December 30th, 2011
11:22 am

None of the players will go pro early. You heard it here first.

npgator

December 30th, 2011
11:24 am

Charles should leave and take the money.

WDE

December 30th, 2011
11:26 am

@13-1 SEC East Champions 2012 I saw my first UGA game in 1967 . Now what makes such a Richard with ears? Hmmmmmm

A person SMART enough to know......

December 30th, 2011
11:26 am

Can Murray play for 3 more years? Me just might get to be a top 15 pick by then.
Coach Grantham you were not totally truthful. If a Kid is in the top 3 at his position he should consider going no matter the ROUND. The Money is different but a player might not get any higher with another year in college. OG’s are not top 15 picks so they all should stay? Hell no if you are the best or second best the player and agent can work that for more money.

WDE

December 30th, 2011
11:29 am

@TampaGator what is the mood of Gator Nation going into your bowl game.?.I hope you beat the stuffing out of Ohio St.

Bob Stoops

December 30th, 2011
11:34 am

Kids should stay in school until their entire eligibility is up and I don’t mind pressuring kids to stay both in private and through the media!

Dawgie Doo Know

December 30th, 2011
11:41 am

SMART – I imagine Grantham advisis defensive players – not offensive players such as guards or other offensive linemen. His advise (he being a proffessional) is probably superior to yours. Think so?.

flo-ri-duh

December 30th, 2011
11:42 am

I don’t know if the cut off point is top 15 – which most don’t have in them to achieve but I would definitely say come back unless you are a 1st round pick or early 2nd round. Rambo improved a lot this year and I can see he being a mid 2nd round pick should he stay one more year. That is a lot more more money than 3rd round. I understand his family needs the money because his father is a disabled vet? A year is not such a long time in life so I hope that Rambo will stay at UGA. Orson Charles is good enough now but I always wondered why he wasn’t moved to WR where he can be even more dominating. Hopefully he will stay but I wouldn’t blame him for going. He is probably a 2nd round choice right now.

Dawgie Doo Know

December 30th, 2011
11:42 am

typo – professional

A person SMART enough to know......

December 30th, 2011
11:42 am

Bob Stoops then make a Scholarship 4 years guaranteed not a year to year deal.

Dawgie Doo Know

December 30th, 2011
11:44 am

And when Grantham says stay until you might become a top 15 – he is speaking to those who are possibly of that caliber.

A person SMART enough to know......

December 30th, 2011
11:46 am

Dawgie Doo Know Grantham didn’t say D players he said PLAYERS. He wouldn’t have MANY D players leave early EVER then. Typically most of the top 15 are Offensive players are they not?

North Georgia Dawg.

December 30th, 2011
11:50 am

And the Vanderbilt offensive line that loves to openly clip and chop block said” We already are dreading blocking this man again next year”

Augusta dawg

December 30th, 2011
11:57 am

Unfinished business. SEC and National titles to attend to. Junkyard Dawgs D! Welcome Mizzou and the finish off LSU. Then beat whoever ESPN annoints to play us in the NC game!!!

UGAgrad71

December 30th, 2011
11:57 am

Not every player can be a first-round pick. Remember, there are hundreds of potential picks for all NFL teams to consider. Tim Brown, WR is the only player that I can recall that was the #1 pick (player) coming out of high school, a #1 pick as a college player and hall of famer as a pro.

Dawgie Doo kNOw

December 30th, 2011
11:59 am

know -iIn which case Bo Bo will most likely advise them. Or Richt. Grantham would most likely adise those he is most familiar with. And there are often top 15 D players – if they can dominate. I believe Jenkins is one of those rare D players who could go in the top ten. This article was referring to Jenkins – so his (Grantham’s) comments probably had him in mind.

Dawgie Doo kNOw

December 30th, 2011
12:00 pm

* top 10 if he stays another year, that is.

big john 340 lbs

December 30th, 2011
12:00 pm

big john will be back to eat mo’ sec qbs.

my boy orson cmin’ back too!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

December 30th, 2011
12:04 pm

Truth be told it appears none of the guys considering leaving should but, that has not stopped some in the passed Clemons,Geathers,Berria from doing so. Lets hope they all elect to come back and play for a MNC in’12.

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

December 30th, 2011
12:12 pm

@Tampa Gator (11:15 am): Well said good advice.

Show Me the Money

December 30th, 2011
12:14 pm

Money makes the world go round.

Buckhead Bulldog

December 30th, 2011
12:19 pm

Charles needs to work on his blocking if he wants to make it as TE in the NFL. He always seems to get flagged for holding in critical situations

jarvis

December 30th, 2011
12:19 pm

Tim Brown was picked #6 by the Raiders.

Rodney Dangerfield

December 30th, 2011
12:22 pm

Orson Charles and Jarvis Jones look like solid pros, they should leave. Jenkins has size and ability but is somewhat of a unproven commodity.

Good luck on your MNC!

Nom Nom Nom Chucks Taylor, or Norris if he is avaliable

December 30th, 2011
12:22 pm

“Bob Stoops then make a Scholarship 4 years guaranteed not a year to year deal.”

Well said. Charles should go, Rambo’s got another year.

Rodney Dangerfield

December 30th, 2011
12:23 pm

Oh and anyone thinking Murray is a top 15 draft pick at any point in the future is drinking the kool-aid.

Preston

December 30th, 2011
12:25 pm

SOOOOOOOO glad Jenkins isn’t leaving!

JMar

December 30th, 2011
12:27 pm

Good for Jenkins. Of all the players, Jenkins had the least amount of business even considering the pros. Charles is NFL ready. Rambo is something of a project, like Asher Allen was, a guy I’d take with a third or fourth round pick who could bust out quickly or improve and contribute. Stay another year, and he’ll have a chance to work his way into the second round.

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

December 30th, 2011
12:28 pm

@A person smart eough to know(In His Own Mind) and smarter than Grantham(Out of His Mind):

You got me convinced kiddo. I’m confident you get huge offers from various football entities all the time…….NOT. I mean CTG has been in the BIGTIME football business for 30 or so years. Can you say NFL? But I’m sure you could take CTG’s job if you really wanted it…….Not. CMG is making close to $1,000,000.00/year and definitely should reach the 7 figure salary within a year. Show us your pay stub.

jarvis

December 30th, 2011
12:29 pm

@UGAGrad71, Peyton Manning would be a really good example of a player that was #1 recruit out of high school, #1 overall in NFL, and a sure thing for 1st ballot Hall of Famer.

I realize there is a lot of hit and miss, but here is a cool article from SI last year. It shows how the top NFL draft picks were rated as high school recruits. There are some mixtures in the first round, but only 1 of the top 10 in last year’s draft was rated below 4 stars out of high school, and half of the top 10 were 5 star recruits.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/andy_staples/04/25/nfl-draft-picks-as-recruits/index.html

jarvis

December 30th, 2011
12:32 pm

@Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life), thanks for putting the the “.00″ behind that $1M. Glad you didn’t exaggerate the change.

Glenn

December 30th, 2011
12:32 pm

I hope they all stay, they have a great chance to be very special next year.

tony

December 30th, 2011
12:34 pm

John Jenkins was the piece that needed to come back to keep the defense in the top 5. Will they win a nc next season with that easy schedule? It depends on 3 things?

1) Richt must commit to the run
2) Richt must tell his team that every game is a must win
3) Richt must play his best players unless they need a breather

If he does those 3 things, they will win a nc next season…….now go sign Mike Davis-rb.

brick

December 30th, 2011
12:36 pm

Good to see we have mr SMART here, its obvious he is an expert. He has to be a fan of Bama, which means he obviously doesn’t want to give scholarships for 4 years. But I won’t be surprised if the other conference presidents and ads don’t force the NCAA to shut down the loopholes Bama and LSU both use to get a competiive advantage over other teams. You can claim its all Saban and Miles being the greatest coaches ever, but facts don’t bear that out, Saban was a good college coach, until he got to LSU and was able to sign and cut players basically at will and doing the same at Bama, While Miles is a likeable guy, he was barely average until he got to LSU and got to start taking advantage of the lack of ethics at LSU. Its more about Bama and LSU having signed 125 players over the last 4 years compated to everyone else signing 85-90, its half an extra team. But all Bama wants is a level playing field right?

Damn Right!

December 30th, 2011
12:41 pm

Thanks Big John WE need you next year my man! And to the rest contemplating the NFL: I think CTG has some good advice, if you’re not in the Top 15 stay at UGA and go for the Title!

jarvis

December 30th, 2011
12:42 pm

@tony, you think Richt tells them that some games are “mabye win or maybe don’t” game?

jarvis

December 30th, 2011
12:43 pm

Am I the only one very concerned about the O-Line next year?

RedandBlackDAWG

December 30th, 2011
12:44 pm

J.J. isn’t going anywhere, in spite of the fact that a lot of teams wish he would along with their fans. (I.E. Tampa Gator). He is enjoying his time playing in college, and he wants to help the DAWGS win games next year. His time will come, but it is not this year by his own choice. The money will be there next year again, after another all American team selection.
Big Mr. Jenkins needs the extra year at UGA, to sharpen his skill set to get picked up early in the NFL. He could be all SEC, at a minimum in 2012.
We will lose Boykin and Charles. The money is good enough for them to go to the NFL. Charles will be a little harder to replace than Boykin, but I think UGA has the players to do it.

GO DAWGS and GATA

P.S. Good article Chip and Coach Grantham is a heads up kind of guy. He tells the players how it is, but let’s them make the final call.