COLUMBIA, MO. – You may have noticed that Jarvis Jones’ helmet did not pop off once during Georgia’s opener. That was no accident.
Jones’ helmet popped off a bunch last season. In fact, Jones said a fan recently informed him that he counted and Jones’ helmet came off 26 times in the 2011 season. Jones couldn’t verify that number but said, “I know it happened a lot.”
The Bulldogs couldn’t afford for that to happen this season. The NCAA enacted a rule that dictates that a player whose helmet comes off without being forcibly removed by an opponent has to come out of the game for the next play regardless of the situation.
“I can’t come out of the game, period” the All-American linebacker said. “That can’t happen.”
A few things have helped ensure it doesn’t happen. First off, the Bulldogs aren’t opening the season in Nike’s Pro Combat uniforms. According to UGA equipment manager John Meshad, many of the helmets for Georgia’s season opener against Boise State — including Jones’ — didn’t arrive until a few days before the game. He said he prefers to have players wear their game helmets at least a dozen times before an actual game. The Bulldogs, who have new helmets as they do every season, did that this year. Jones and other players who have long dreadlocks, also were re-fitted with specially-designed, chin straps that are designed to hold the helmets tighter on their heads.
Just thought you’d like to know.