Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jarvis Jones a perfect leader for the defense

As is the case with many players at UGA, Jarvis Jones came out of high school with all the accolades and accomplishments you'd expect. So many, in fact, that then-powerhouse USC came calling from 3,000 miles away and convinced Jones to be a Trojan.

Then, just as the freshman linebacker was beginning to make his mark on the field, disaster struck. A freak neck injury left him wondering if he'd ever play football again. It left the USC medical staff wondering as well, and they refused to clear Jones to play.

Fortunately, other medical opinions were formed to the contrary. Jarvis Jones was granted a second chance to pursue his dreams at the University of Georgia. NCAA rules dictated that the now red shirt sophomore had to sit out a year, which was probably for the best anyway, as it gave him time to continue to heal and regain confidence in his spine.

Now, the former top-5 ranked linebacker/defensive end out of Columbus sits atop the Dawgs' depth chart at "Sam" linebacker, ready to announce his return in front of 70,000+ at the Georgia Dome on September 3rd. But, for a Georgia defense that struggled to find its identity in 2010, Jones represents more than just the position he plays.

There's something about getting a second chance. Football has generally come easy for every player on Georgia's squad until this point. Often times, these 18-22 year olds don't really know what it would be like to not have football. Jones does. He knows from 1st hand experience that nothing is given, and in fact, it can easily be taken away. He knows that it's nothing to be squandered.

Even after his return to the field was eminent, there was a new situation that threatened his playing time, as the NCAA began to look into potential improprieties stemming from a slush fund tied to his AAU team. There again, Jarvis Jones was in danger of having football taken away from him, if even for just a few more games.

So, you can bet that when Jones is calling for his teammates to push a little harder, or to work a little more, his words carry weight. Someone who has been through what he's been through, and has unquestioned talent and ability, has the potential to lead like few others.

Hopefully, it's a success story that's only truly beginning to play itself out.


  1. Way to work in the term "slush fund".

  2. I think that, outside of a trust fund, it's the best kind of fund there is. Obviously better than a hedge fund.