WATCH: Georgia football captain Jonathan Ledbetter in Senior Bowl scuffle
MOBILE, Ala. — Georgia defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter has his motor running high this week at the Senior Bowl, his intensity carrying into each drill with NFL coaches and scouts looking on.
“I came here to compete,” Ledbetter said. “Just work and do my best, fly around to the ball and show these coaches what I’m about.”
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) January 23, 2019
South team coaches from the San Francisco 49ers and teammates got a glimpse of the fierce nature that landed Ledbetter a Senior Bowl roster spot on Wednesday in the South Alabama practice facility.
Heavy rains forced the Senior Bowl to move from Ladd-Peebles Stadium into what was more of a closed-practice situation with NFL media requested not to come due to the limited space.
Ledbetter and Old Dominion defensive end Oshane Ximines got into a shoving match while lining up for a drill, the Georgia team captain unwilling to yield one rep to the four-year starter from the Monarchs.
Everything at the Senior Bowl is a competition, even practice repetitions.
Jim Nagy, the Senior Bowl executive director, explained on Monday that part of what earned Ledbetter an invitation was his fierce practice disposition.
“He’s so combative, he plays hard,” Nagy said. “He jumped out on the practice field at Georgia.”
Ledbetter, however, knows when to rein it in, and he took to Twitter to explain the he wasn’t going to allow the exchange to escalate into a brawl.
Not going to break into a full fledged fight over a rep in front of Gms and coaches it’s called being the bigger person 😂 https://t.co/1EOCEsMInl
— Jon Ledbetter ™ (@LedbetterDE15) January 23, 2019
Ximines is a big person in his own right, the first Old Dominion player to ever earn an invite to the Senior Bowl after finishing fifth in the FBS ranks last season with 12 sacks.
ODU assistant coach Charles Bankins vouched for his character, linking an NFL draft projection that suggests Ximines could be a first-round pick.
@OshaneXimines is a much better person than he is a football player and he’s projected to go first round @NFLDraft. He lives the #AimHigh philosophy that @ODUFootball is all about. Come to #ODU and you too came be a Balla from Da Beach. #POP https://t.co/QMVUcd27jJ
— Coach$$$nDaBank (@FBCoachBankins) January 17, 2019
Ledbetter opened the week on the right foot on Tuesday, often used by San Francisco 49ers assistant Chris Kiffin to demonstrate technique.
Kiffin was a member of Hugh Freeze’s Ole Miss staff and recruited Ledbetter when he was with the Rebels.
The cameras quickly found Ledbetter at the Senior Bowl.
— DLineVids (@DLineVids) January 22, 2019
Senior Bowl practice
South Practice underway in Mobile, Ala. https://t.co/VjVOoDl8lo
— Reese’s Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) January 23, 2019