ATHENS, Ga. -- Confirming a decision that was predictable and long-anticipated, Georgia junior linebacker and two-time All-American Jarvis Jones announced Friday he was foregoing his final year of collegiate eligibility and entering the 2013 NFL Draft.
(Photo by Perry McIntyre/UGA Sports Communications)
Jones, who is projected as potentially one of the top selections in this year's Draft, announced his departure through a statement released by UGA.
"This has been a difficult decision, and one that I have talked over with my family and coaches," Jones said. “I want to thank my family, teammates, coaches and support staff and the Bulldog Nation for everything over the last three years. I will always appreciate the chance Georgia gave me after my injury at Southern Cal.
"There is nothing like the Bulldog fans, and I will forever be proud to wear the 'G.' I think this decision comes at the right time for me and my family. and I look forward to seeing what the next level holds for me. Go Dawgs!”
After a stellar two years on the field for Georgia, Jones exits as one of the more decorated defensive players in program history. He was a finalist this past season for the Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski, Butkus and Lott Awards and broke David Pollack's single-season sacks record with 14.5.
A Columbus, Ga., native, Jones joined Georgia's program in 2010 as a transfer from Southern Cal, sitting out one year before playing two seasons, each of which ended with him being named a consensus All-American.
Jones opted to return to UGA's team after the 2011 season and expressed some remorse on several occasions about the pending decision this year.
"I’ve got a family that I want to support and a mother that I just want to give the world to, my sister, nieces, nephews, and the people back in Columbus that support me the most," Jones said recently. "And the Bulldog Nation, I know they don’t want to see me go.
"Shoot, I wish this could be my NFL career and just play how long I want to play in college and just be here every day.”
Jones joins linebacker Alec Ogletree as UGA juniors who have confirmed intentions to declare for the Draft this year. Quarterback Aaron Murray and nose tackle Kwame Geathers are each considering the jump and have not yet announced a decision prior to the Jan. 15 deadline for declaring underclassmen.
CLICK HERE for more on those other decisions.