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What is the status of former 5-star OT Broderick Jones for the upcoming season?

Broderick Jones: What do we really know about reports of a recent injury?

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry will center on recent reports from numerous media outlets that current Georgia freshman OT Broderick Jones sustained a recent injury. 

Broderick Jones had suffered a leg injury. It happened during a bike accident of some sort.

Those were the basic details that came out last Friday and over the weekend regarding the former 5-star recruit who ranks as the second-highest OL prospect the Bulldogs have signed during the Kirby Smart era.

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound freshman from Lithonia was an anchor of the 2020 recruiting class. Georgia held off late advances from both Auburn and former line coach Sam Pittman at Arkansas to retain his commitment and eventually sign Jones.

The Jones news was first reported by UGAsports.com and then also by Dawgs247. Those are credible and well-respected outlets. Those reports were then aggregated and cited by various other entities that also cover the Georgia football program.

DawgNation wanted to see what we could confirm independently regarding the Jones injury. In doing so, we’ve been able to track down a few details by checking in with several well-placed sources regarding his status.

Here’s what DawgNation has able to confirm: 

  • Jones is not expected to miss significant practice time. If there is indeed a 2020 season, he should be ready to practice and potentially earn playing time during fall camp. 
  • The timelines shared with DawgNation was this would be a two-week to a four-week injury. 
  • The most consistent timeline shared over the last two days was a four-week recovery. 
  • DawgNation was told the former Under Armour All-American did not suffer any bone, ligament, or muscle damage. 
  • We can not confirm that it was a motorcycle or an ATV accident. There was the possibility suggested by one source that the accident took place while Jones was riding a motorized scooter and not a traditional motorcycle. 

Those that have been following Jones on his Instagram channel know that he’s no stranger to ATVs, dirtbikes, motorcycles, and muscle cars in general. He’s been around bikes and handling himself well on them far longer than he was seen an elite national recruit.

Jones, it must be noted, even told DawgNation once he understood the risks associated with his fondness for riding. He even explained he knew that extra safety precautions must be taken to safeguard the bright future of a promising athletic career.

Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com “Before the Hedges” program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download it.

Broderick Jones-Georgia football-Georgia recruiting
DawgNation has learned that the recent injury suffered by 5-star OL Broderick Jones is not expected to cause him to miss significant time in the event of a season this fall. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Broderick Jones: Can he still make a run at playing time this season? 

That’s a big question up above. For the sake of answering it, let’s assume there will be a 2020 college football season.

That answer was yes.

And in a word, it is still yes.

Jones isn’t the same prospect current New York Giant Andrew Thomas was coming out of Pace Academy in 2017. He’s different, but that doesn’t mean much better or much worse. The ratings for Thomas were skewed by a spring shoulder injury before his senior year of high school. It affected him at the Opening finals.

When he was fully healthy competing on the national stage at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl practices, he looked like a Giant of a prospect. Thomas was as sharp as any tackle in America and not just the nation’s No. 10 OT prospect for 2017.

Jones did not come out of high school as technically sharp or adept at the many different nuances of playing the position.

We were able to see Thomas engaged in several high-profile matchups with the nation’s elite defensive ends and linebackers during the spring of his junior year and during the U.S. Army All-American practice week after his senior season.

Georgia football-offensive line-Cade Mays
With time and training, Broderick Jones has a vast future. He has the feet, hips, hands, and natural agility to one day counter even the most athletic edge rushers in college football. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Thomas also basically trained like a madman after that All-American week to be ready as a freshman. He did early morning work in all types of training from heavy bags to weights to footwork and technique sets to boxing. He was also at a high school program with a few former professional football players on staff.

Jones did not have those extended evaluation opportunities. And yet he is a special athlete in his own right. He is more naturally athletic and a little taller than Thomas. It was not lost on this observer at the Under Armour All-American week practices how fluid he was. Just seeing him warm up every day was telling.

To sum up the matter succinctly, Jones has a higher ceiling coming out of high school as a prospect. Thomas had the much-higher floor.  We make that comparison extending a great deal of respect to both players.

That’s because Jones looked as fluid and even more athletic than other 5-star prospects at other positions. Not just the offensive lineman. The ease in which he moved and his overall athleticism even compared favorably to 5-star Georgia TE signee Darnell Washington, too.

He was also a strong starter on the Lithonia High basketball team. Jones averaged about seven points and 10 rebounds for a team that was rated No. 1 in Class 5A in Georgia last winter. This summation of his basketball game from Lithonia High coach Wallace Corker still stands out:

“The big thing is we just don’t see a guy that big that moves the way he moves at that size and is under control,” Corker said.  “He doesn’t get a lot of charges. Knows how to control his body. Really good kid to coach. We haven’t matched up well with anybody that can match his size and actually Broderick defends very well on the perimeter.”

“He guards the guards on the perimeter. I’ve seen him get down and sit down and move his feet very well. … We’ve given him some threes, but he doesn’t have a green light. I give him one from time to time. Just depends on the flow of the game and how it is going. I will give him a three or two. Broderick can shoot. He can actually shoot the basketball from the outside and actually wants to spend more time behind the three-point line than he does.”

Broderick Jones-Georgia football-Georgia recruiting
Broderick Jones is the second-highest rated OL prospect the Bulldogs have signed during the Kirby Smart era. He was the nation’s No. 11 overall prospect in 2020 on the 247Sports Composite rankings. Junior OL Jamaree Salyer was the only Bulldog who rated higher on that rating scale. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Why Broderick Jones will get a good look at right tackle in 2020

Those are all things to consider here with the scouting picture for Jones. He can play well and play early at Georgia.

But it just might look different than the path Thomas followed grabbing the starting right tackle spot as a true freshman. For starters, this position battle should be more tightly contested.

Competition. Competition. Competition. That’s the Georgia Way under Smart. It will be no different for Jones.

The 2020 reset of the depth chart at Georgia at the tackle position will augment his chances. Thomas and Isaiah Wilson were both snatched up by the NFL in the first round. It creates a chance for playing time at UGA for two new starters and also their primary backups, too.

Jones is as naturally talented as any lineman that is currently in Matt Luke’s room. But he wasn’t in the Georgia program all last season like another former All-American –like 6-foot-7 Xavier Truss was. The same goes for another very talented redshirt freshman from the 2019 class in Warren McClendon Jr., too.

McClendon and Truss were on the practice field at Georgia last fall. They’ve been under the guidance of a top-tier strength and conditioning program like the one ran by Scott Sinclair for over a year now. Owen Condon, a 2018 signee, has also logged two full seasons in the Georgia program, too.

That will mean something. So will those reps in practice last year. But another thing to consider here is the changeover from Pittman to Matt Luke. We must also be certain to point out that UGA also has talented options for that RT spot like two more All-American freshman OTs in Chad Lindberg and Tate Ratledge from the 2020 signing class to think about here, too.

But there is a reason why Jones was the nation’s No. 2 OT and the nation’s No. 11 overall prospect for 2020 on the 247Sports Composite rankings scale. Truss and McClendon were rated as the nation’s Nos. 214 and 227 overall prospects in 2019, respectively.

Ratledge was pegged the nation’s No. 37 overall prospect in 2020. He is massive and a punishing future talent who didn’t come to Georgia to sit, but even he was rated as highly as Jones. Jones, like Thomas, is a natural projection as a future LT in the SEC. Ratledge looks to be another strong flex RT or RG option like Cade Mays was for Georgia, too.

Jones is the second-highest rated OL prospect the Bulldogs have signed in the Kirby Smart era. That only trails projected LT starter, Jamaree Salyer. Salyer, who expects to shift to left tackle this fall, was rated No. 10 overall as an OG prospect in the 2018 cycle.

The change in offensive line coaches and a new system that will be installed under first-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken will also limit a lot of the head starts that Bulldogs that Condon, McClendon, and Truss will have on locking down that right tackle spot, too.

Here’s a mid-July prediction that seems about right: If Jones is ready, he will be given every chance to earn a lot of playing time. If he ascends to the starting position, it will not be unexpected. He is just that special of an offensive line recruit.

If he does not win the job and McClendon or Truss beat him out, they will have had to earn it.

Whatever the scenario, the Bulldogs will be in fine shape. The room Luke inherited from Pittman is a country mile from the line Netori Johnson, Justin Shaffer, Thomas and Wilson joined when they signed with UGA in 2017.

Counting the 2020 signees, there are still a total of six offensive tackles on the roster that were either named an All-American in high school or chosen to compete at the Opening finals. Or both.

That’s with Thomas and Wilson in the NFL and Mays back home in Tennessee, too.

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