ATHENS — Ferocious on the football field, Georgia defensive lineman and team captain Jonathan Ledbetter has shifted into his relaxed mode with his future soon to be determined.
“I’m just back home hanging out with my family, my loved ones, that’s where it all started for me so I want to be with them,” Ledbetter said, asked about his NFL draft viewing plans.
“My brother got home from North Carolina where he’s stationed, so here’s here, too, so enjoying these moments.”
Former UGA player Joe Ledbetter, who played tight end and on defense for a season with Jonathan, is a paratrooper in the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Ledbetter went through the entire NFL evaluation process, from his time working out with professional trainers, to his week in Mobile, Ala., at the Senior Bowl, and time interviewing and working out at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.
“I enjoyed the process, not a lot of people get to go through it, so it’s a blessing,” said Ledbetter, who hails from Tucker, Ga. “It’s a little nerve-wracking at times, but you have to make sure you enjoy it.”
Here are three things about Jonathan Ledbetter:
The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Ledbetter ranked third among NFL draft eligible edge defenders in run-stop percentage.
One of the best run-defenders in this class, Jon Ledbetter credits the hours he put in to working on his craft and sat down with us at PFF to share how he does it. https://t.co/kbkfQPbf3e pic.twitter.com/nrckS7nK1g
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 2, 2019
Strong practice player
Ledbetter earned his Senior Bowl invited with his play in practices as well as games.
Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, a former NFL scout most recently with the Seattle Seahawks, couldn’t say enough about Ledbetter.
“He’s so combative, he plays hard, he jumped out on the practice field at Georgia — and Kirby and those guys really coach those guys hard,” Nagy said, “so it’s not like he’s at a place where there’s not good effort — and he still stood out.”
Ledbetter was coached up at the Senior Bowl by San Francisco 49ers pass rush specialist Chris Kiffin, the younger bother of Lane Kiffin.
Chris Kiffin was at Ole Miss when Ledbetter came out of Tucker High School, and tried to recruit him to the Rebels.
“We’re running a lot of the same stuff that Georgia ran — he’s been using me a lot for examples because I know a lot of the stuff and I’m familiar with it,” Ledbetter said Senior Bowl week. “I’m honored to be able to put my talents on display here and help the other guys learn the techniques and fundamentals.”