ATHENS - Inevitably, Jarvis Jones will get The Question a lot this season. Technically on Tuesday he didn't, but the star Georgia linebacker knew it was coming, and he was ready with an answer.
Jones is a fourth-year junior for the Bulldogs, and after this season will be eligible to declare for the NFL draft. He was eligible last year, but ruled it out quickly, even though many analysts thought he had a chance to be a first-round pack.
Following Tuesday's morning practice, Jones sat for an extended interview with reporters, including myself, and got to talking about his expectations for himself, how blessed he felt about, well, everything in his life. At one point, I asked when he was graduating from UGA.
"I graduate in the summer," he said. "Next summer."
Then Jones gave me a smile and a look. After a few seconds, he laughed, because everyone knew what the natural next question would be. To Jones' credit, he decided not to wait for anyone to ask it.
"Man, we got a long season ahead of us. Prediction or anything in that such, I'll just let it play out," he said. "I know where you're trying to get me to go with it. But you know, if I'm blessed to have the opportunity, I think our coaches and (those) around the Bulldog nation will realize.
"But as far as now, you know, we're in training session for camp, and that's what I'm focused on, making myself and my teammates better. The next move, man, it's gonna be down the road, which I don't know what it is yet. I'm just trying to take it in stride: Carpe diem, and seize the moment that I have right now. And that's getting better."
Jones was then asked if he had heard from people surprised that he hadn't left after last season.
"You get some people that are like: I would've taken the money, or I would've did this," he said. "It ain't all about the money. A lot of guys could've left and made money. But they sacrificed their careers to come back here to get better. Become legends of the university."
The other comments in the Jones interview will be included in a longer, more in-depth story later this month.