published Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

UGA’s Jones to NFL

Audio clip

Reshad Jones

This time he’s leaving, and this time it’s sticking.

Georgia junior safety Reshad Jones announced Tuesday that he is forgoing his final season and will enter the NFL draft. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder from Atlanta considered leaving last January after his redshirt sophomore season before electing to return.

“I’ve always been physically ready,” Jones said, “but I just wanted to learn the game a little more and study a little bit more film, which I did.”

Jones is the third high-profile Southeastern Conference defensive back to bypass his final year of college eligibility, joining Tennessee junior safety Eric Berry and Florida junior cornerback Joe Haden. He also is the 17th Georgia player to leave early since coach Mark Richt’s first season in 2001.

A potential 18th, junior linebacker Rennie Curran, has yet to announce his decision and has until Jan. 15.

“I think I made some tremendous strides over the four-year period, not only on the field but off the field,” Jones said. “As a man, I think I have matured and grown, and that’s what kind of led me up to making this decision.”

Said Richt: “I’m hopeful this decision works out in his best interest, and we wish him nothing but the very best.”

Rated by Rivals.com as the No. 1 safety in the 2006 class, Jones amassed 57 tackles and two interceptions as a redshirt freshman in 2007 and had 76 tackles and five interceptions as a sophomore. This past season, he had 73 tackles and four interceptions, including one in each of the last two games against Georgia Tech and Texas A&M.

Jones, who grew up an Atlanta Falcons fan but now says the Baltimore Ravens are his favorite NFL team, is rated by ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper as the No. 5 junior safety. He received a grade recently from the NFL draft advisory board but wouldn’t disclose it.

“A lot of guys probably think that I can’t run as fast as I can,” he said, “so I’m really going to go and blow up the combine like I know I can and increase my stock.”

Fabris to Louisville

Jon Fabris, one of three Georgia defensive assistants fired Dec. 2, became the first to resurface Tuesday when he was hired by Louisville’s Charlie Strong as defensive line coach. Fabris spent nine seasons with the Bulldogs, developing the likes of David Pollack, Charles Johnson and Quentin Moses, and is the son of the late Rossville High coach Frank Fabris.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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