Jarvis Jones: Don't judge UGA or Carver because of off-field troubles

semerson@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 19, 2012 

HOOVER, Ala. - Just a few weeks ago, there were three products of Carver High School on the Georgia football roster. Now Jarvis Jones is the only one.

Isaiah Crowell was arrested and dismissed a few weeks ago. A little more than a week later, Quintavius Harrow left the team with academic troubles.

Jones, the All-American linebacker for the Bulldogs, admitted on Wednesday that the Crowell arrest hit himself and the team hard.

"It was devastating. Isaiah is just like my little brother," Jones said. "But he's gotta benefit. He's just gotta make better decisions. And I think he will. Everybody still supports him, everybody still loves him. And from here forward, we're going to help him try to make better decisions."

Crowell had run into trouble during his freshman season, but teammates had been raving about his improved work habits this offseason. That made the events of several weeks ago even harder, according to Jones.

"It was kind of devastating for everybody, because (Crowell) had been working so hard. He hadn't been getting in trouble. He was becoming a leader," he said. "And when something like that happens it kind of upsets some people. But as a team we're going to lose some individuals. People leaving for the NFL, people transferring. So you've just got to prepare for that. We hate that we lost him that way. But we're still a team here, we've still a goal in mind, we've still got to focus."

Crowell is far from the only incident to hit the program this offseason. There have been other arrests and the reported positive drug tests.

But Jones said that shouldn't reflect on the entire team or program.

"It's the individual that makes the mistake, not the university. So you've got to look at it like that," Jones said. "Coach Richt isn't in trouble."

Last season, Jones was one of three Carver graduates on the team. Now he's the only one. There was also the incident last year when Carver High player Deion Bonner was arrested in a theft incident while on a recruiting visit to Georgia. Bonner ended up signing with Tennessee.

But Jones said it's not a Carver issue.

"I hear that a lot. It ain't Carver. It's not Carver It's the individual," Jones said. "There's a lot of great players that that have went on from Carver: Oklahoma State, Duke University, Ole Miss. I mean we've got a lot of players in Division I football. It's the individual that makes mistakes. ... It's never the school, it's the players."

Jones, of course, is one of those players that has avoided trouble, despite a rough upbringing.

"Well I try," he said, laughing. "I'm not perfect, by far. I've just got a goal in mind, and I'm trying to reach that goal. I've got great supporters, and I listen to older people, I've seen people make mistakes, and I'm not trying to go down that road."

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