In the end, Georgia won the recruiting battle for LB Jarvis Jones. The Columbus, Georgia native originally chose USC over in-state powerhouse Georgia. USC dubbed Jones as the next great Trojan linebacker. As a true freshman, he played special teams and reserve strongside linebacker. However, against Oregon he suffered a severe neck injury that sidelined the rising star. He did not see the field after that, missing USC’s remaining five games. When spring rolled around, USC doctors would not medically clear Jones for spring practice.
Jones did what any hungry athlete would do, and that is to get a second and third opinion. He found doctors that cleared him to play; however, USC’s medical staff did not want to take any chances and would not clear Jones. Rightfully so, USC does not clear any player with career-ending injuries. This frustrated Jones, who ultimately requested to be released, which the school granted.
Jones then headed back home to Georgia where he was medically cleared to play by UGA doctors. The 6’3 236 pound LB will finish his collegiate career as a Bulldog. Per the NCAA transfer rules, Jones will have to red-shirt and sit out the 2010 season, but he will have 3 years of eligibility remaining. Jones does have the option to petition the NCAA to play in the upcoming season, but it appears he will just red-shirt.
This fits in perfectly for Mark Richt’s defense as he will lose at least 2 star linebackers (Gamble and Dent) after the 2010 season. Adding a healthy Jones to the mix will certainly benefit Todd Grantham’s 3-4 defensive scheme come 2011.
Let’s just hope the UGA doctors aren’t prematurely clearing an athlete because he has a strong desire to play and Georgia has a stronger desire to win. It’s pretty telling when USC, who is extremely thin at the LB position, doesn’t clear one of its rising stars to play ball.