Kirby Smart praises Jarvis Jones as he helps Georgia’s outside linebackers
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Kirby Smart details how Jarvis Jones is helping Georgia football
There are a lot of expectations when it comes to Georgia’s outside linebacker group in 2019. Between Azeez Ojulari, Nolan Smith and the rest of the players in the room, they’re expected to help increase the number of havoc plays the Georgia defense creates this season.
But even if Ojulari, Smith or whoever steps up in that room has an outstanding season, it will likely fall short of what one current student assistant did at the position for Georgia.
That’s because Jarvis Jones is that assistant.
In his two seasons at Georgia, Jones terrorized opposing offenses. He finished with 27 sacks and 45.5 tackles for loss in both of those seasons. He was an All-American in 2011 and 2012, while also taking home SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2012.
Jones went on to become a first-round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2013 NFL Draft. However, injuries derailed his career and shortened his time in the league.
But thanks to a connection with Georgia running backs coach Dell McGee — Jones’ high school coach — the former Georgia outside linebacker has come back to help Georgia’s next generation of pass rushers while also working towards his degree.
“We have talented players at that position group, but a lot of those guys don’t have any experience,” Smart said. “Here’s a guy that did it in the NFL and did it here at a high level. He’s from our state and played for one of our coaches. It’s a blessing.”
Jones isn’t the first former Bulldog great to work for Georgia as an undergraduate assistant, as former Georgia kicker Kevin Butler helped Georgia’s special teams in a similar role earlier in the Smart tenure. During the media viewing portion of practice, Jones assists Georgia defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach Dan Lanning as the outside linebackers go through drills.
When some of Georgia’s outside linebackers have been asked about Jones and how he’s helped them so far, they’ve been appreciative of his efforts.
“He has already been in the game, already been in the league a couple of years,” outside linebacker Walter Grant said. “Whatever he can give back I am willing to take and everyone else is to take it in too.”
Jones was the last Georgia player to finish a season with double-digit sacks. Smart and the Georgia fan base would likely be thrilled if one of Georgia’s outside linebackers hit that total this season, especially given that no Georgia player other than the now-departed D’Andre Walker had more than 2.0 sacks a season ago.
And if that’s going to be the case, Jones will play a small part in helping Georgia’s outside linebackers take a step forward.
“A lot of times you get those guys that can’t be all in, but Jarvis is all in. He is in there to learn. He helps set the tempo, set the standard in the outside linebacker room,” Smart said. “He demands excellence. He played the position; he knows what it takes to play it.”
Where Georgia’s offensive line haul stacks up
The Bulldogs landed another offensive line commitment on Saturday, as 4-star center Sedrick Van Pran announced his commitment to the program.
He becomes the fifth offensive line commit in the class, joining 4-star tackles Joshua Braun, Chad Lindberg and Tate Ratledge as well as 5-star tackle Broderick Jones.
Earlier this summer we took a look at some of the all-time great offensive line hauls from a recruiting perspective. The Bulldogs lost a commitment in Akinola Ogunibiyi since then but have added Lindberg and Van Pran.
The five commitments have a total of 21 stars. That makes it only the 10th time in the history of recruiting rankings that a team has landed a haul with that many stars. Georgia actually did it before back in 2018. That recruiting class included the likes of Cade Mays, Jamaree Salyer and Trey Hill.
Of the commits at the moment, only Jones (No. 20) and Ratledge (No. 37) rank inside the top-100 of the Composite rankings, though Van Pran sits just outside as the No. 101 prospect in the country. Lindberg also has a shot at cracking the top-100, as he ranks as the No. 137 prospect.
Ratledge also is knocking on the door of becoming a Composite 5-star prospect.
So while this haul might not end up being statistically the greatest offensive line class of all-time, it will certainly help Georgia restock the offensive line for next season. The Bulldogs could lose four major contributors to the NFL draft, as Andrew Thomas, Solomon Kindley, Ben Cleveland and Isaiah Wilson are all draft-eligible. Those four players were all voted onto to various All-SEC teams this past week.
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