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Big Jenkins out for Cap One Bowl

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Georgia's traveling party for the Capital One Bowl arrived Wednesday at the Renaissance Orlando Resort a little bit lighter than usual.

John Jenkins is a possible first-round pick in this year's NFL Draft.

Senior defensive lineman John Jenkins did not make the trip and will not play in the bowl game, UGA coach Mark Richt confirmed.

"John Jenkins won't be here," Richt said. "It's academic-related. He will not be at the bowl."

While team members were still arriving as of Wednesday evening, Richt said Jenkins was the only player that was not expected to make this trip.

As a result, Jenkins' career at UGA has ended. He has accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl in Mobile and has a chance to be a high NFL Draft pick in the coming months.

"I think John Jenkins has been awesome for Georgia," Richt said. "I'm really proud of everything he's accomplished for us. I just want to wish him the very best. He's been a blessing to our program."

Jenkins played in all 13 games as a nose tackle and a defensive end this season, totaling 50 tackles and 15 quarterback pressures.

However, he did not participate in bowl practices in Athens with what UGA's medical staff deemed a concussion.

"He's a part of this senior class," linebacker Christian Robinson said. "He's meant a lot to us. ... I think he's proud of what we've done and everything we've accomplished up to this point. We're going to miss him."

"Things happen," receiver Tavarres King said. "Guys have stepped up thus far all across the board. So I think somebody will step up. Big Kwame (Geathers) will step up and play his tail off. There will be no drop off."

Geathers is expected to step into the starting lineup as the nose tackle in Jenkins' absence, while Garrison Smith, Cornelius Washington and Ray Drew are possible fill-ins at defensive end.

Senior defensive end Abry Jones, out since the Kentucky game with an ankle injury, could also possibly return for the Capital One Bowl.

"When we left town, we were expecting (Jones) to be able to be in position to play," Richt said. "What type of condition he'll be in and how many plays he'll be able to play will be another story. It might create more of an opportunity for a guy like Mike Thornton and Ray Drew. ... Sterling Bailey has practiced well, so he may get some reps as well."

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