ATHENS – Jarvis Jones is headed back on the college football postseason awards circuit.
The Georgia linebacker was named one of three finalists for the Bednarik Award, which goes to the nation’s best defensive player. The other finalists are Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o and South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney.
The award will be announced on Dec. 6. Jones was a finalist for the award last year, when it ultimately went to LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu.
Jones is also a finalist for the Lombardi award, which goes to the nation’s top lineman or linebacker. He is a semifinalist for the Maxwell, Butkus and Lott awards.
The Columbus native leads the nation in tackles-for-loss per game (1.6), and is second in sacks-per-game (1.0). Jones, who missed two games this season, has a total of 62 tackles, 18 tackles-for-loss, 10.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception.
Focused on Tech
Head coach Mark Richt didn’t want to address anything except the Georgia Tech game, and apparently didn’t discuss the national title possibility with his team on Monday.
“He hasn’t really hit much on it,” freshman linebacker Jordan Jenkins said. “We mostly have been worrying about Tech. We’ve actually been learning more about the rivalry each day.”
Georgia players who spoke after Monday’s practice were on-message as well. But they admitted to watching Saturday’s Kansas State and Oregon losses, which got Georgia into the national title picture.
“I was watching it on TV, and it was pretty exciting,” junior guard Chris Burnette said. “But I think I kind of realized while I was watching the game that if we don’t take care of business this Saturday, it wouldn’t really mean anything.”
Burnette is back
Georgia looks likely to have an offensive line starter back.
Burnette, the starter at right guard who missed the past two games, practiced on Monday. Burnette was wearing a cast on his left hand, but it was his shoulder that kept him out of the previous two games.
“I did pretty much everything. I didn’t get as many reps but I felt fine doing what I did.”
And that usually means a player can go in the next game.
“I think so,” Burnette said. “They pretty much have to tell me I can’t go for me to not play this Saturday.”