published Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Georgia's Jarvis Jones opting for NFL draft

  • photo
    Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones tips his hat to fans as he leaves the field after defeating Nebraska 45-31 in the Capital One Bowl NCAA football game in Orlando, Fla.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Georgia redshirt junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones announced Friday afternoon that he has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL draft.

Jones is rated by ESPN analyst Mel Kiper as the draft's top overall prospect.

"This has been a difficult decision and one that I have talked over with my family and coaches," Jones said. "I will always appreciate the chance Georgia gave me after my [neck] 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."

The 6-foot-3, 241-pounder from Columbus, Ga., sat out in 2010 after transferring from USC, and he had 28 sacks in 26 games in the two seasons since. He also racked up 155 total tackles, 44 tackles for loss, nine forced fumbles and one interception.

Jones had two sacks in Tuesday's 45-31 win over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, which enabled him to set Georgia single-season records for sacks (14.5) and tackles for loss (24.5). He was a two-time All-American and a recent finalist for the Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski and Butkus awards.

Junior inside linebacker Alec Ogletree announced immediately after the Capital One Bowl that he was turning pro. The Bulldogs are awaiting decisions by junior quarterback Aaron Murray and junior noseguard Kwame Geathers.

Murray and Geathers are expected to make announcements next week. Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare.

A new batch

The Bulldogs also announced Friday that there will be 13 early enrollees from the 2013 signing class.

Enrolling early are defensive tackles Johnathan Atkins and Chris Mayes, offensive linemen Aulden Bynum and Josh Cardiello, linebackers Reggie Carter and Ryne Rankin, quarterback Brice Ramsey, wide receivers Jonathon Rumph and Tramel Terry, athlete JJ Green and defensive backs Tray Matthews, Quincy Mauger and Reggie Wilkerson.

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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