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UA jersey tour: Jonathan Ledbetter

10/8/2014

ESPN 300 defensive tackle Jonathan Ledbetter was presented with his Under Armour All-America jersey on Wednesday in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance and held at the Tucker (Georgia) High School gymnasium during a school pep rally. A large crowd consisting of family members, students, teammates and faculty members cheered loudly as the jersey was given to the 62nd-ranked in the country.

The Georgia commit, who recently switched his commitment from Alabama to the Bulldogs, said he was honored to be selected for the game.

"It's just an honor. Not a lot of people get selected for the game,” Ledbetter said. "There was a few select spots and I had an opportunity to go to the junior combine last year and they told me they really liked the way I played at the combine and they wanted me to come play in the game. I definitely accepted it.

"It was between this game and the Army game and I told Under Armour I would love to be in their game because I did their combine and liked the way they run things. I'm glad I just have the opportunity to be in such an elite all-star game.”

Since switching his commitment to Georgia, Ledbetter admits his recruitment has slowed somewhat, but that several schools, including the school he had been committed to, continue to recruit him.

"Alabama has still kept in contact with me,” Ledbetter said. “Coach [Lance] Thompson came by to see me like two or three weeks ago. We just kind of talked and he told me they were still going to recruit me and try to get me there. Florida, Miami, Ole Miss, Auburn and schools like that have been talking to me. They've been checking in.

"I'd say I'm 100 percent, 110 percent actually. I'm not going to switch, I've made up my mind."

 

Seven questions with Jonathan Ledbetter

If you were to start a team with any other player in your class, who would it be?

Ledbetter: Of course I'd have to get a quarterback. I'd actually pick Blake Barnett, that's my boy. He's just a great player and we kind of bonded when I was committed to Alabama and he makes a lot of good decisions on the field. He's just one of those sound quarterbacks.

Who is the best player to ever play in the Under Armour game that you know of?

Ledbetter: I would say definitely say Jadeveon Clowney. He's a freak of nature. He does stuff I've never seen a human being do before. He's just an overall great athlete. He's a good person and has a great work ethic. He's ridiculously quick and can do a lot of things and can rush the quarterback.

What is your earliest football memory?

Ledbetter: I'd have to say when I lived in Maryland. I went and tried out for the team, made it. I was probably five or six years old. I was playing with my little brother and my oldest brother was on the older team. It's a funny story because this is when I hated football and didn't want to play at all. I played for two or three weeks and then I quit. My brother's made me quit. Every day my brothers would get on me. Then my older brother would come join our practices and come hit me. He wasn't even allowed to be on our field but he would just come on our field and come hit me. I was like "I'm sick of it, I quit." They ended up going undefeated but I didn't get a trophy because I quit. That's my earliest football memory.

Which football player did you idolize or be like when you were a kid?

Ledbetter: I didn't really like or watch football growing up so there wasn't really a player I wanted to be like. Now that I'm older I like players like J.J. Watt and Ndamukong Suh. They are both great players.

If you could take on any pro player in their sport, who would it be?

Ledbetter: I'd have to say Michael Jordan just because I'd love to play basketball against him. He's old now so that kind of kills it, but Michael Jordan in his younger years.

What number do you wear?

Smith: I wear No. 9 now. I had 81 last year and everyone is like 81 divided by nine is nine. I know James Vaughters had No. 9 when he was there and Detric Dukes had it last year and now he's at UGA. So everyone kept telling me I needed to get nine so I just went ahead and did it.

What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Smith: I used to play the piano. I have a grand piano at my house and I used to play. I also have an acoustic guitar. I can play both of them.