For Georgia’s Jarvis Jones, time is short

semerson@macon.comDecember 30, 2012 

ORLANDO, Fla. -- There was the media session when Jarvis Jones, done with his interviews, stayed and hung out with reporters for another five minutes, just talking about cars.

There was the final Dog Walk of the season, when Jones was the final Georgia player out of the tunnel, and proceeded to shake seemingly every hand, lingering in the crowd.

And there was the moment before practice Saturday, when Jones stopped to talk with head coach Mark Richt. Jones stood with a hand in one pocket, the other holding his helmet, he and his coach in no particular rush.

Jones has not made his decision official on whether to turn pro, but there have been so many moments during the past several weeks where it has been obvious he’s soaking it in for one final time.

“I’m just enjoying my time,” Jones said Sunday, before what could end up being his final practice at Georgia. “Me and these guys have so much fun together, man, I can’t even think about being away from them. I know, even if I did come back, a lot of these guys are gonna be gone. But you gotta enjoy these moments here, because once they’re gone you can’t get them back.”

The Capital One Bowl on Tuesday likely will be the final time Jones suits up in college, unless he shocks nearly everyone and decides to return for his senior year. But assuming he does leave, Jones will wrap up a relatively short Bulldogs career -- just two years -- where he has maximized his time.

“Two years, two-time All-American. How much more can you do?” Richt said.

Well, he could break David Pollack’s single-season sack record. Jones is one and a half sacks away, and if he does it Tuesday, Pollack can congratulate him in person, as he’ll be calling the game for ESPN.

Jones was asked Sunday if he has advised Pollack that his school record has a couple more days left.

“I haven’t got to see him yet. But he knows. He knows,” Jones said with a laugh. “We talked at the ESPN Awards a couple weeks ago down here in Orlando.”

Pollack has publicly given his blessing to Jones about breaking the mark. But it will take some extra effort from Jones, because Nebraska is a run-oriented team.

In any case, Jones agrees that he doesn’t need Pollack’s record to cement his legacy.

“I don’t. But it’d be a great accomplishment,” Jones said. “I do what I can to help my team win. Going out of my way, doing my own thing, just to break a record, that’s not me, it’s way out of my character. If I’m doing in what I’m supposed to do, just execute what our coaches call, it’d be great. Especially getting the win. If I don’t, I think my teammates respect me, the Bulldog Nation respects me.”

Freshman linebacker Jordan Jenkins, who until the bowl had been Jones’ road roommate, has said that he and everyone else expect Jones to turn pro. But even Jenkins thinks Jones is letting that wait.

“I think he’s trying to have fun with everybody,” Jenkins said. “I don’t even think he thinks about leaving yet. He doesn’t act any different. He still acts the same, like he’s gonna be here and everything.”

But it doesn’t mean Jones is returning, it just means he wants to enjoy the moment.

“I just think he’s putting it off as long as he can,” Jenkins said.

There have been many signs that Jones knows he’s leaving. The latest came Sunday when he volunteered that he’d like to know who the last Georgia native was to be picked No. 1 overall in the NFL draft.

“I know about (Matt) Stafford,” Jones said, alluding to the Georgia quarterback who went first in 2008. “But the first one from Georgia.”

Could Jones end up being the answer to the trivia question?

“I hope so,” he said. “If I decide to come out, I’m gonna train to be No. 1. I’m not gonna train to be in the top 10 or the top five. I’m gonna train to be the No. 1 draft pick.”

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