ATHENS – Jarvis Jones is turning pro.
Not that anybody didn’t already know that. The junior outside linebacker has been projected as high as No. 1 in the April NFL if he chose to forgo his senior season. But it wasn’t until late Friday evening that Claude Felton, UGA’s director of sports communications, confirmed the news via Jones. Felton said Georgia is not planning a formal news conference at this point.
Jones issued a statement through UGA:
“This has been a difficult decision, and one that I have talked over with my family and coaches. I want to thank my family, teammates, coaches and support staff and the Bulldog Nation for everything over the last three years. I will always appreciate the chance Georgia gave me after my injury at Southern Cal. There is nothing like the Bulldog fans and I will forever be proud to wear the ‘G’. I think this decision comes at the right time for me and my family and I look forward to seeing what the next level holds for me. Go Dogs!”
Jones leaves with the Bulldogs’ single-season record for quarterback sacks. After getting two against Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl this past Tuesday, Jones finished with 14.5, or point-five more than David Pollack, who set the old record in 2002. That was also tops in the nation.
Jones, a 6-3, 241-pound native of Columbus, a two-time consensus All-American, recorded 28 sacks in his two seasons with Georgia. He played in 26 games over his two seasons with Georgia, starting all of them. He finished his career with 28 sacks in that span (1.08/game), which is tied for third in school history. Jones also recorded 44 tackles for loss of 235 yards, 155 total tackles, nine forced fumbles and an interception during his time as a Bulldog.
Jones, a 2012 consensus First Team All-American, ;ed the nation in tackles for loss (24.5 for loss of 132 yards) and forced fumbles (seven). He was third on the Bulldogs with 85 tackles and added an interception and two fumble recoveries in 12 games played this season (Jones was injured for two of Georgia’s 14 games).
Jones joined the Bulldogs as a scout team member in 2010 after transferring from Southern California. He was a consensus first-team All-American in 2011 after leading the SEC in sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (19.5) and piling up 70 tackles in 14 games.
The 2013 NFL draft is April 25-27.