Kent State
22
Final
39
(1) Georgia

Jamon Dumas-Johnson ‘ready for the challenge’ of being the next standout Georgia football linebacker

Georgia football-Jamon Dumas Johnson-challenge
Georgia inside linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson (10) during a practice session in Athens, Ga., on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

There are quite a few misconceptions about inside linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson that probably need to be cleared up. While recruiting sites listed lists him as being a Baltimore, Md., native, the inside linebacker is actually from Hyattsville, Md. in Prince George County. There’s also the origin of his nickname, Pop. It did not come from that fact that some think he looks like an old man.

But it when it comes to on-field performance, Dumas-Johnson has left little doubt. And if he plays that way during the upcoming season, just about everyone will know his name throughout the Southeastern Conference.

The sophomore linebacker is indeed, comin’.

“I mean, if they’re saying that, obviously they see some things that I can bring to the games or bring to the table for the team,” Dumas-Johnson said. “I appreciate them guys that think I can do it. And I believe in myself that I can do it, and I’m ready for the challenge.”

Related: Georgia football coaches continue to rave about ‘old man’ Jamon Dumas-Johnson

Dumas-Johnson, from pretty much the moment he arrived last summer, made a habit of making play after play. He had a Pick-6 in his first home game. He tallied a sack to close out the year against Georgia Tech. He played sparingly given he was behind three NFL linebackers on the depth chart last season, but every chance he got, he made a play.

It’s not exactly something you would expect from someone who did not get a chance to play football during his senior year at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. Maryland did not have high school football in the fall of 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.

That did somewhat slow Dumas-Johnson’s development. But after arriving in Athens last summer — he signed with Georgia because of his relationship with Glenn Schumann — Dumas-Johnson took advantage of every opportunity he’s earned.

“I was excited. Who wants to take a year off from football? I think that set me back just a little bit because of corona and those issues, you couldn’t really work out in Maryland,” Dumas-Johnson said. “Once I got here, I was a little heavy but I tried to work out and keep my weight low. Once I got that going, It was like I never left before.”

The thing about the old days of the Georgia inside linebacker room — when Nakobe Dean, Quay Walker and Channing Tindall were making life miserable for opposing offenses — is that they were the old days.

Dumas-Johnson has clearly taken up the mantle of being the leader in the inside linebacker room. He knows there is no replacing what the aforementioned trio brought to the team. He just has to go out and be the best version of himself.

“Very strong-minded, very smart,” Dumas-Johnson said. “We have a lot of good communication on the field. If there’s a mistake, he always talks to me and that’s the main thing that stands out to me about Pop. Very smart, good at recognizing plays and good at bringing others together. He comes with a lot of energy and it’s really great to have him on the defense for sure.”

A man has to have a code, and it would appear that Dumas-Johnson’s is built upon his football intelligence. He saw how far that got Dean and wants to further incorporate that into his own game.

He also noted how Quay Walker and Channing Tindall used their gifts to follow the money into the NFL. Dumas-Johnson has the ability to do the same.

“My goal this year is to be the best that we can be the whole season,” Dumas-Johnson said. “Not just me but the whole team. Keep the same Georgia standard as if they never left. I learned from all of them. I took pieces from each of their game and molded it into my own.”

Dumas-Johnson has been the most consistent of Georgia’s inside linebackers thus far. It’s clear he’s going to be a major player for the Bulldogs this fall.

His teammates refer to him as Pop, a nickname that actually comes from his mother. Despite Dell McGee saying it is because Dumas-Johnson looks like an old man, it’s actually from a commercial Dumas-Johnson would watch when he was young.

He doesn’t feel old. Nor really look it. For Georgia’s sake, the Bulldogs hope he just plays like it and that great linebacker play at Georgia is all in the game.

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