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Insider

Georgia's Jones not 'ready to play in the NFL'

10/31/2011

ATHENS, Ga. -- Jarvis Jones piled up the weekly awards after his four-sack performance against rival Florida on Saturday.

But that breakout effort before a national TV audience isn’t proof that he is ready for the NFL, Jones said.

“Not at all,” the sophomore Georgia linebacker said Monday afternoon. “I’m going to be here as long as I can.”

Jones is a third-year college player, which would make him eligible to enter the draft after this season. He played at USC in 2009 before being medically disqualified with a neck injury suffered during a game. He was cleared to play at Georgia last year and sat out last season before bursting onto the scene at outside linebacker this year.

On Monday, he was named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week, SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week, Rivals.com SEC Player of the Week and the College Football Performance Awards National Player of the Week.

The Columbus, Ga., native leads the SEC with eight sacks and 14 tackles for loss, wreaking havoc mostly as a pass rusher while playing the key position -- will linebacker -- in second-year defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme.

He has at least one tackle for loss in each of the last five games -- a stretch where he also has recorded all eight of his sacks.

“He’s talented enough to cover and he does a good job of that, but the whole defense is kind of built around our will linebacker and he’s the one that we think has the best juice in terms of rushing the passer,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said.

Grantham has pointed out several times that Jones has not yet approached his potential, given that this is his first season playing in Georgia's 3-4 scheme and that Jones didn't start playing linebacker until his junior year of high school. Jones on Monday agreed with that assessment when it comes to leaving school early.

“Right now, I don’t think I’m ready to play in the NFL anyways. I’ve still got a lot to learn,” he said.

The quarterbacks left on Georgia’s schedule would probably prefer not to think about how much better Jones can get.