Jarvis Jones likes it at UGA

Jarvis Jones likes it at UGA

November 1st, 2011 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones (29) Contributed Photo

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Georgia redshirt sophomore outside linebacker Jarvis Jones delighted Bulldogs fans Saturday by sacking Florida quarterback John Brantley four times in Georgia's 24-20 win.

Jones delighted them again Monday when he was asked if he might skip his final two seasons in Athens for the National Football League.

"Not at all," he said. "I'm going to be here as long as I can."

The 6-foot-3, 241-pounder from Columbus turned some heads on a sizable stage this past weekend, recording the most sacks by a Bulldogs player in a decade and rocketing up two national categories. Jones ranks fourth with 14 tackles for loss in eight games, or 1.75 per game, and he is tied for fifth with eight sacks -- one a game.

He was named co-defensive player of the week by the Southeastern Conference.

Jones sat out last season after transferring from Southern Cal, where he played eight games as a freshman before suffering a season-ending neck injury.

"I think he's got a high ceiling as far as where he can go," Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. "He's only played in our system for one year, and I think as he gets more comfortable in the way he can play and the things he can do, I think he'll continue to be productive and make plays that we're all going to be proud of."

Florida overcame the first Jones sack when Brantley completed a fourth-and-19 pass to tight end Jordan Reed for a 31-yard touchdown that gave the Gators a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter. The Gators had a chance for more less than a minute later by intercepting the Bulldogs at the Georgia 13-yard line, but a second Jones sack helped push Florida out of field-goal range.

Jones made his third sack early in the second quarter when Brantley dropped back on third-and-10 from the Georgia 18, and that forced a Florida field goal that made it 17-3. His final sack occurred on Florida's final play, when the Gators tried to convert a fourth-and-10 from the Georgia 36 with 5:32 remaining.

"Every time I was on the field, I just saw it as an opportunity to make a play," Jones said. "Every time I step out on the field, whether it's practice or a game, I love playing football. I would make every play if I could."

Said nose tackle John Jenkins: "I couldn't keep count of how many times he was in their backfield. I was just happy he was on my team."

Jones spent last season on Georgia's scout team, which is where Bulldogs coaches saw what the rest of college football is witnessing now.

"Those Tuesdays and Wednesdays were game days for him," head coach Mark Richt said. "He was lighting people up and playing fast and really giving us more than a good look. He was too tough to handle and was blowing things up for the offense.

"He's been great for our team. He really loves playing for Georgia, and he has certainly made an impact."

Jones always pegged himself as an inside linebacker and credits Grantham for his move outside. He played more at the strongside spot earlier this season but has spent recent weeks at weakside, a position that tends to produce more numbers.

Saturday was his fifth straight game with at least one tackle for loss.

"I think I'm having a good year, but it's not all my work," he said. "I've got great teammates, and I've got great coaches who put in the work and get us in the position to make plays."

Odds and ends

Senior cornerback Brandon Boykin is one of 15 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award and one of seven from the SEC. ... Senior left tackle Cordy Glenn was SEC offensive lineman of the week Monday after grading out at 82 percent with three intimidation blocks against the Gators. ... CBS elected Monday to use a six-day option for Nov. 12, so kickoff time for next week's Auburn-Georgia game will not be known until Sunday.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.