Editor’s note: Each day between now and Georgia’s Capital One Bowl date with Nebraska, we will review the season for a key Bulldogs player and attempt to project what’s next. Today we’ll look at outside linebacker Jarvis Jones.
No. 29 Jarvis Jones
77 tackles, 22.5 TFL, 12.5 sacks, 7 FF, 2 FR
Role in 2012: Jones returned after an All-America sophomore campaign and became a consensus All-American again, ranking among the nation’s best pass rushers and top prospects for the 2013 NFL draft.
The good: There were moments -- particularly in Georgia’s wins against Missouri and Florida -- where Jones seemed almost unstoppable. His speed, relentless motor and ability to make good things happen created some of the most memorable plays of the season. With a game still to play, he trails David Pollack’s UGA single-season sack record (14 in 2002) by 1.5 and is tied for fifth on Georgia’s career sack list despite playing only two seasons as a Bulldog.
The bad: Few players make it through an entire season without dealing with injuries of some sort, but it would be interesting to have seen the kind of numbers Jones could have posted without the assortment of ailments that plagued him at times this season. We could mention as a negative that he struggled against the run here and there, but Jones had one of the best individual defensive seasons in school history. There wasn’t much negative about it.
Crystal ball: Jones said Friday that he doesn’t want to think about his looming decision over whether to enter the NFL draft, but his options are clear. He’s almost certainly a first-round pick if he leaves school, and his skills seem likely to translate effectively as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the pros. He certainly has maximized his opportunities in college, ranking as perhaps the most important figure in Georgia’s defensive transformation in the past two seasons.