UGA's Jarvis Jones enjoying possible final college season

semerson@ledger-enquirer.comDecember 31, 2012 

There was the media session when Jarvis Jones, done with his interviews, stayed and hung out with reporters for another five minutes, just talking about cars.

There was the final Dawg Walk of the season, when Jones (Carver High) was the last Georgia player out of the tunnel, and proceeded to shake seemingly every hand, lingering in the crowd.

And there was the moment before practice Saturday when Jones stopped to talk with coach Mark Richt. Jones stood with a hand in one pocket, the other holding his helmet, he and his coach in no particular rush.

Jones has not made his decision official on whether to turn pro, but there have been so many moments over the past weeks where it has been obvious he's soaking it in for one last time:

"I'm just enjoying my time," Jones said Sunday, before what could end up being his final practice at Georgia. "Me and these guys have so much fun together, man, I can't even think about being away from them. I know, even if I did come back, a lot of these guys are going to be gone. But you got to enjoy these moments here, because once they're gone you can't get them back."

The Capital One Bowl today will likely be the final time Jones suits up in college, unless he shocks nearly everyone and decides to return for his senior year. But assuming he does leave, Jones will wrap up a relatively short Bulldog career -- just two years -- where he has maximized his time.

"Two years, two-time All-American. How much more can you do?" Richt said.

Well, he could break David Pollack's single-season sack record. Jones is 1.5 sacks away, and if he does it today, Pollack can congratulate him in person, as he'll be calling the game for ESPN.

Jones was asked Sunday if he's advised Pollack that his school record has a couple more days left.

"I haven't got to see him yet. But he knows. He knows," Jones said with a laugh. "We talked at the ESPN awards a couple weeks ago down here in Orlando."

Pollack has publicly given his blessing to Jones about breaking the mark. But it will take some extra effort from Jones, because Nebraska is a run-oriented team.

In any case, Jones agrees that he doesn't need Pollack's record to cement his legacy.

"I don't. But it'd be a great accomplishment," Jones said. "I do what I can to help my team win. Going out of my way, doing my own thing, just to break a record, that's not me, it's way out of my character.

"If I'm doing what I'm supposed to do, just execute what our coaches call, it'd be great. Especially getting the win. If I don't, I think my teammates respect me, the Bulldog nation respects me."

Freshman linebacker Jordan Jenkins (Harris County), who until the bowl had been Jones' road roommate, has said that he and everyone else expect Jones to turn pro. But even Jenkins thinks Jones is letting that wait.

"I think he's trying to have fun with everybody," Jenkins said. "I don't even think he thinks about leaving yet. He doesn't act any different. He still acts the same, like he's going to be here and everything."

But it doesn't mean Jones is returning, it just means he wants to enjoy the moment.

"I just think he's putting it off as long as he can," Jenkins said.

There have been many signs that Jones knows he's leaving. The latest came Sunday when he volunteered that he'd like to know who the last Georgia native was to be picked No. 1 overall in the NFL draft.

"I know about (Matt) Stafford," Jones said, alluding to the Georgia quarterback who went first in 2008. "But the first one from Georgia."

Could Jones end up being the answer to the trivia question?

"I hope so," he said. "If I decide to come out I'm going train to be No. 1. I'm not going to train to be in the top 10 or the top five. I'm going to train to be the No. 1 draft pick."

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