Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones (6-3, 241) is the early front-runner for the defensive player of the year and is even receiving some Heisman Trophy talk. He was named the Walter Camp, Bronko Nagurski, Chuck Bednarik and SEC defensive player of the week for his performance against the Missouri Tigers last Saturday.
Jones dominated against Mizzou with nine tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception and five quarterback pressures. The junior outside linebacker was a preseason All-American and had an SEC best 13.5 sacks in 2011. He also garnered defensive player of the week honors against Florida last season, in which he tallied five sacks and a forced fumble.
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Georgia coach Mark Richt talked about Jones after the 41-20 win over the Tigers, “People talk about big time players make big plays in the biggest games, and that’s what he did. The moment that we needed it the most he made some really big plays for us.” In the last quarter, Jones had an interception and forced fumble that helped swing the momentum of the game.
There is already early Heisman talk about Jones, but defensive player of the year is more realistic. In the Heisman race, he is currently sixth on Heisman Pundit and seventh on ESPN polls, but only one defensive player has ever been awarded the trophy.
With Tyrann Mathieu out for LSU, another preseason favorite, Jones has a good shot at gathering a hoard of defensive awards. This offseason, Georgia safety Baccari Rambo said, “It’s just scary the things he’s gonna do this year.”
Expect to also see Jones playing on Sundays in the near future. The pressure happy linebacker is a top rated NFL prospect. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has him listed second on his 2013 NFL Draft Big Board, only behind USC quarterback Matt Barkley.
Check out this YouTube fan video of Jones forcing a fumble during the Missouri game:
[ezjw url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8R12f236r6Q&feature=youtu.be" ]
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Game stats for Jarvis Jones against Missouri are from the press release for the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week. Jones’ stats for that game varied among other sources. Quotes are from CollegePressBox.com and Athlon Sports SEC preseason magazine.