Georgia’s Jarvis Jones motivated by prospect of becoming a No. 1 draft pick

Jarvis Jones and teammates celebrate after his strip of Florida's Jordan Reed clinched the Bulldogs' victory. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

Jarvis Jones and teammates celebrate after his strip of Florida's Jordan Reed clinched the Bulldogs' victory. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

ORLANDO, Fla. – When you ask Jarvis Jones whether it’s important to him to become the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, you start to get an idea where his head is at regarding making an early jump for the pros.

No, Jones still has not said definitively whether he’ll be leaving Georgia after this, his junior, year. But seeing how he is projected as a consensus top five selection by the most respected draft analysts, it’s generally thought to be a foregone conclusion that the two-time All-American will go ahead take the NFL millions now. Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft.

But being the top overall pick is clearly something about which Jones has given some sincere thought. Asked if it was important to him to be selected No. 1, Jones answers the question with a question.

“Has there ever been a defensive player from Georgia drafted No. 1?,” he asked a group of reporters surrounding him before Sunday’s Capital One Bowl practice at Celebration High School. “I’m not talking about the University of Georgia. I’m talking about the state of Georgia.”

There have been several players from the state of Georgia selected No. 1 in the NFL draft, most recently Cam Newton in 2010. And there have been several Bulldogs go number one overall, including Matt Stafford in 2009, Harry Babcock in 1953, Charley Trippi in 1945 and Frank Sinkwich in 1943.

But there has not been a defensive player from Georgia that has become a No. 1 NFL pick. It’s likely that Jones already knew that. And, yes, he’d like to become the first.

“It’d be great,” said Jones, a 6-foot-3, 241-pound outside linebacker from Columbus. “If I decide to come out I’m going to train to be No. 1. I’m not going to train to be in the Top 10 or the Top 5. I’m going to train to be the No. 1 draft pick.”

For now, Jones said all he is training for is Tuesday’s Capital One Bowl date with Nebraska. He said he has been having the time of his life in Orlando and he speaks nostalgically of the college experience. In a lot of ways, he doesn’t want it to end.

“I’m just enjoying my time,” he said. “Me and these guys have so much fun together, I can’t even think about being away from them. I know even if I did come back a lot of these guys would be gone. So you’ve got to enjoy these moments right here. Once they’re gone you can’t get them back.”

Jones has been the No. 1 attraction for Nebraska media in Florida covering the team. Of all the players on Georgia’s team, this is the one they know the most about and want to know more about.

Jones has patiently answered the same questions day after day as more media members arrive as game day draws ever closer. Todd Grantham, the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator and Jones’ position coach, never gets tired of talking about him.

“He’s a guy that really enjoys playing the game,” Grantham said during a news conference at the Rosen Plaza Hotel. “He’s physical setting the edge on tight ends. Any time you play a 3-4, your ability to set the edge of the defense and force people to either bounce it or run it inside. Those are some things he does well. He’s a guy that’s pretty instinctive as far as if he sees a play once, he knows what’s happening when he sees it again in a game and can make some plays.

“He makes the players around him play better. You look at the way he played on the road at Missouri, he kind of took over in the fourth quarter. Look at the Florida game; has another dominant game. So he’s played well in big games for us and made the other players around him play well and play with energy.”

Jones, who was named a consensus All-American for the second consecutive year, obviously has had a great season. His third on the team with 77 tackles and, with 12.5 sacks, needs just two more to break David Pollack’s single-season track record.

“Two years, two-time All-American. How much more can you do?,” coach Mark Richt said.

But as the year draws to a close, Jones talks about what might have been. He’d probably already have the sack record if he hadn’t had to sit out two games with injuries. And, of course, the Bulldogs came up short in their quest to win the SEC Championship and compete for the SEC title.

“I think I played pretty well,” he said. “There were two games I wish I wouldn’t have had to miss. I think I could have done more for my team if I hadn’t missed those two games, as far as defensive rankings and things like that. But I think we played well. We overcame a lot of adversity. A lot of guys stepped up and made plays for us and I think we finished strong.”

And finishing strong, Jones said, is his motivation for Tuesday’s game against the Cornhuskers.

“We want to enjoy every last minute of it,” Jones said. “That’s why we’re down here making the best of every opportunity we get. We’ve been having fun outside of practices. Our practices have been great. Guys have been really honed in and focused and doing what our coaches asked of them. We haven’t had many missed plays. Guys have been in the right spot doing what they’re supposed to do. So we’ve been executing. It’s been great. I’m loving it.”

Sounds nostalgic, doesn’t he?

MORE CAPITAL ONE BOWL COVERAGE

65 comments Add your comment

Kirk

December 30th, 2012
6:25 pm

That’d be great if he stayed, although I don’t think anyone would be insane enough to give up a guaranteed Top 5 slot and risk getting injured or having a lackluster season and potentially cost you millions…

tenn.DAWG

December 30th, 2012
6:36 pm

JJ = DGD,GATA !!!

Jon Koncak

December 30th, 2012
6:53 pm

Nostalgic???!!!!!! Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!

South Carolina just scored again.

1eyedJack

December 30th, 2012
7:07 pm

You are wise Jarvis. You will never pass this way again.

JB

December 30th, 2012
7:28 pm

Jarvis will have to stick his helmet more in the NFL rather than just going after the QB every play….for that aspect of his game , I’m thinking he drops to like the 10-15 pick……Still a lot of Moo Laa fora Cllumbus kid. Probably 10 -15 mil guaranteed.

JB

December 30th, 2012
7:28 pm

Columbus….hello

Ghost of Sinkwich

December 30th, 2012
7:33 pm

Jarvis is a perfect example, of why staying, in your home state, to play is the right decision. The Georgia people will always revere him, like they do Herschel.
If he would have stayed at USC he would have had a great career, but not the love he will get, from the home folks, that he will receive now.

Seriously?

December 30th, 2012
7:52 pm

Thank you Jarvis for your time at UGA. You are and always will be a DGD.

GATA

LaDiFrickenDa

December 30th, 2012
7:56 pm

@Jon Koncak–Gotta suck knowing that the East was as down as it had ever been, you guys had your best collection of talent ever, yet you watched the Dawgs in the SEC CG 2 out of 3 years. You mad, bro?

PIERCE COUNTY DAWG

December 30th, 2012
8:43 pm

Jarvis thanks for staying another year at UGA!!! We will miss you next year!!!!

PIERCE COUNTY DAWG

December 30th, 2012
8:44 pm

You are a class act!!!!

Neutral

December 30th, 2012
9:02 pm

@Jon,
AND the Gators and Tigers just scored again!!!

Rabid Dawg'84

December 30th, 2012
9:07 pm

Love Jarvis Jones, go kill some cornies!

Granthams The Man!

December 30th, 2012
9:24 pm

Jarvis Jones. One of the most talented Georgia players of them all. Go Dawgs!!!

chuck

December 30th, 2012
9:27 pm

JJ, you are a DGD. I wish you well.

@Jon Knocak

December 30th, 2012
9:30 pm

Enjoy SC’s relative success. It goes away soon. You know it and so does the rest of the SEC…and Clemson.

Snoop Dawg

December 30th, 2012
9:38 pm

Snoop will always love and have the highest respect for Jarvis Jones. My only advice would be to get a normal haircut. If you want to be important you have to look important..

Lonnie

December 30th, 2012
9:54 pm

So proud of Jarvis Jones and his story!! He is truly a great Dawg!!!!

One of the greatest Dawgs EVER!

December 30th, 2012
9:55 pm

JJ is one of the greatest Dawgs EVER. This dude’s attitude and approach to the game and to his university are unparalleled.

I’ll bet after his HOF pro-career you’ll see him on the sidelines ‘tween the hedges one day as a leader of men. Mark it down!

JJ…thanks for all you do for UGA. You’re the best!

MBA Terry College UGA

graydog

December 30th, 2012
10:06 pm

DGD! Enjoy every minute Jarvis. You’ve always played hard, played well and been a great representative of student athletes at UGA.

This alum is proud of you and will enjoy watching you play on Sundays.

Rick James

December 30th, 2012
11:35 pm

@Jon Koncak

South Carolina just scored again.
——————————————-
And just watched the SEC championship game on television again..

bwell

December 31st, 2012
1:13 am

To momma Jones,

Please tell your son to come back for one more year!

Happy New Year

Left Coast Dawg

December 31st, 2012
4:59 am

What is David Pollack’s single season TRACK record?

RedandBlackDAWG

December 31st, 2012
5:43 am

Probably the only question that remains now, is whether Kansas City drafts him first or tries to fill another need first. Either way, it is a shame a great player and person like him, has to toil in the NFL on a poor team. KC doesn’t ever seem to want to commit to putting out quality team anymore, and I would hate to see him end up there.

By

December 31st, 2012
7:23 am

Enter your comments here

Bulldawg Charlie

December 31st, 2012
7:26 am

Jarvis Jones= UGA’s best defensive player since Terry Hoage.
JJ=Maybe an even better person
JJ= One damn good dawg

zbulldawg

December 31st, 2012
7:43 am

LET THE BIG DAWG EAT

NCDAWG

December 31st, 2012
8:05 am

Tomorrow determines if he stays or goes. If he has a great game he will be the #1 overall pick…barring an epic fail in the combines. You can’t pass up being the #1 overall. However, if he has a so-so game or gets injured, his stock may drop and he may feel it is worth it to come back and get a shot at # 1 overall again. That said… I think it is a lock that he will be no less than the 3rd overall pick and he WILL have a great game tomorrow.
GO DAWGS!

dap01

December 31st, 2012
8:07 am

Tomas Broun spot: JJ is a class act. You are not. Get a life. Get a girl friend. Your mama is not even proud of a troller, a stalker. a basement dweller, you.

Grantham's The Man!

December 31st, 2012
8:20 am

Jarvis Jones is motivated. Time for some Big Boy SEC football.

Taylor Martinez is about to get educated.

Buckeye

December 31st, 2012
8:54 am

We are about to enter the time of year when dogs think they are #1

Rooney

December 31st, 2012
8:54 am

“And, of course, the Bulldogs came up short in their quest to win the SEC Championship and compete for the SEC title.

If you didn’t mean to write national title, this sentence makes no sense, because they did compete for the SEC title.

Buckeye

December 31st, 2012
8:55 am

Another bankruptcy 5-7 years from now

Buckeye

December 31st, 2012
9:15 am

I will be watching the draft in a hot tub with Paul Johnson!

Preston Thompson

December 31st, 2012
9:19 am

Will there ever be a really great player out Georgia that finishes what he starts rather, like a free college education, rather than jump after the NFL bounty money? We’ll see. I would like to see No 8 come back for another year.

Bill E Goat

December 31st, 2012
9:22 am

@LaDiFrickenDa

Dude the East may have been “down” last year but this season that most certainly was not the case. It was equal to the West and you had THREE teams that finished in the BCS top 10. I don’t think that’s ever happened in the East.

[...] here: Nostalgic-sounding Jarvis Jones ‘enjoying every minute’ of Georgia’s bowl experience ← Back to Home Tags: answers, dawgs, draft, important, mark richt, nebraska [...]

Vance

December 31st, 2012
9:34 am

Jarvis Jones has been one of the truly great players ever for UGA. He has been a joy to watch–such intensity on every play in every game. He has a great future ahead of him in the NFL.

Paul in NH

December 31st, 2012
9:41 am

Only question for Jones is whether his previous neck injury will affect his draft position. Other than that he is top 5 for sure in 2013.

[...] the original: Jarvis Jones motivated by prospect of becoming a No. 1 draft pick ← Back to Home Tags: ajc, andres, clinched, fla, florida, jarvis, reed, thought, [...]

DaveDawg

December 31st, 2012
9:46 am

Class act. The Dawg Nation will always have his back, even if he doesn’t play a down in the NFL.

Dawg Fud

December 31st, 2012
9:50 am

Gonna miss you Jarvis but take the NFL deal. Anybody who advises you differently is dimwitted.

Athens

December 31st, 2012
9:51 am

@Preston

If you had a son, would you tell him to take a job making 8 to 10 million a year now or stay a finish what you started – your degree? The whole reason I went to college was to get a good paying job or to better my position for a good paying job.. Unfortunately, too many have lost sight of this. He will have the next 20 years to complete his degree if he wants.

GO BIRDZ!!

December 31st, 2012
9:55 am

It’s nice that JJ wants to go #1…but then he’ll be in pergatory in KC for the next 5 years… If he “slips” to #4, he has a shot to be on a contender right away… Philly’s a good team, which was CRUSHED by injuries this year…

He will find the greatest success with a franchise willing to spend $$$ to win… A new coach and a healthy team in 2013; he can avoid the fear of being stuck on a perenial loser (KC, JAX, OAK).

“With the #4 overall pick, the Philadelphia Eagles select….”

GT Fan

December 31st, 2012
10:12 am

Well Jarvis Jones sounds like he already has one foot in the NFL and not wanting to risk that number 1 pick. I am guessing he won’t be giving 100% in the bowl game. Can’t blame him, I’d rather not risk injury myself for a meaningless game.

Columbia SC Dawg

December 31st, 2012
10:13 am

@ Konkack … keep buying your wife pretty lingeries … she loves to wear it in my bedroom.

Buckeye

December 31st, 2012
10:21 am

I actually saw Paul Johnson with his family at Hartsfield. I said hello, mentioned the team and he was very kind and gracious.]

Tommy Tubberville, on the other hand, on the range at the Shark’s place in Destin at 7:30AM was a complete jerk.

SEC! SEC!

Chris Mike

December 31st, 2012
10:45 am

Thanks JJ for all the big time plays you made in your two years at UGA. For all the future recuits from GA, stay in state and recieve all the prasies you get from Dawg Nation.

Jeff

December 31st, 2012
11:37 am

Jon Koncak
“Nostalgic???!!!!!! Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!
South Carolina just scored again”

Enjoy the 28 point win. UGA has beaten USCe by that many on 8 different occasions, with the greatest margin of victory…40 points. Its sad that Gamecock fans have no history.

Jeff

December 31st, 2012
11:40 am

Buckeye
“We are about to enter the time of year when dogs think they are #1″

We are about to enter the time of year when the Buckeyes get caught cheating…again.