D.J. Jones is hoping that Saturday’s Idaho State at Georgia game is the big break he has been waiting for.
The Columbus native, who played at Georgia as well as in the NFL, will be the color analyst for the television broadcast.
Now whether his hometown fans get to see his work and the game is a bigger question.
The SEC’s contract with CBS and ESPN allows each school to keep one game for itself. Most times, the SEC schools simply opt to offer those games on pay-per-view, such as what Auburn is doing with Saturday’s game against Chattanooga.
Georgia decided to go a different route and allow WSB, an ABC affiliate in Atlanta, to broadcast the game. For those who don’t receive WSB as part of their cable package, the game will be available only on espn3.com or as part of ESPN GamePlan, a pay-per-view service. ESPN GamePlan and espn3.com are both available on all Columbus cable systems.
Jones will be joining veteran play-by-play announcer Bob Neal and sideline reporter Zack Klein, WSB sports anchor.
“I feel like a kid in a candy store,” Jones said. “There is no doubt I love broadcasting.’’
Jones’ career in broadcasting started while he was still in school at Georgia. Jones hosted ‘‘The Power of Soul’’ radio show on WUOG-FM 90.5 in 1982. He has hosted radio talk shows in Columbus, and he was WRBL’s sports anchor from 1998 to 2001.
For the past six years, Jones has been part of the announcing team for Georgia Public Broadcasting’s telecasts of the GHSA state semifinals and finals from the Georgia Dome. Jones says he is open to doing more of those games this year but has not heard from the company producing them.
He also has hosted, along with fellow Columbus native and Georgia teammate Dale Williams, ‘‘SportsVisions,’’ a weekly recap of local, regional and national sports. That show airs each Saturday morning on WXTX.
Jones, who played at Georgia during that school’s glory days of the early 1980s, joined the pre-game show, “Bulldogs Tailgate Show,” for the Georgia radio broadcasts prior to this season. He also is on Bulldogs Brunch on Sunday mornings and Bulldog Hotline on Monday nights.
Jones is hoping Saturday’s game will lead to opportunities for him to be a regular on a national network.
‘‘I am very appreciative for the opportunity,’’ Jones said in a press release from WSB. ‘‘I look forward to what the future holds for me at the next level.’’