ATHENS Now it can be told: Last season John Jenkins, the massive Georgia nose tackle, was even more massive than publicly known.
Hes taken the weight off since then, trying to get in shape for the NFL draft. Hes now at a svelte 343 pounds - all the way down from 370, which he admits he weighed at one point last season.
When youre in the moment, you dont want the negative feedback, Jenkins said, with a laugh. The program stuck behind me, kept saying I was 354, when in all reality I was 370.
Jenkins is projected as a second-round draft pick with a chance to slip into the first round, based on the athletic ability that goes with his weight: He was timed at 5.2 in the 40-yard dash, which he said was satisfactory, though he was aiming for a 4.9.
Jenkins two-year career at Georgia didnt end the way he wanted, as he was academically ineligible for the Capital One Bowl. Jenkins said it pained him so much he couldnt even watch the game and was very relieved when the Bulldogs won without him.
It was a lot of frustration, Jenkins said. Things happen. I cant dwell on the past. I have to look forward to the future.
Geathers bullish on replacement
The teams other nose tackle prospect has dropped less weight, but has still dropped it: Kwame Geathers said hes down to 335 pounds, about seven pounds lighter than last season. Geathers was timed at 5.35 in the 40-yard dash.
The departure of both top nose tackles from last year leaves a void on this years defense. When asked who on the defensive line he expected to stand out this year, Geathers mentioned senior Garrison Smith the only returning starter but also Mike Thornton, one of the contenders at nose tackle.
I think those two are gonna turn it on, and be leaders of that group, and theyre gonna finish strong, Geathers said.
Thornton is the smallest (6-foot-1, 302 pounds) of the candidates at nose tackle and hasnt played much in his three years on campus. But Geathers has long been a supporter of his now-former teammate.
I always tell him all the time: I look at his size as an advantage, Geathers said. Hes shorter, he can stay low all the time, hes powerful. So Ill be like, Man, if I had that height nobody would be getting under me.
New York bound?
As likely first-round picks, Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree could both draw invites to attend the draft in person, in New York City. But only one of them was sure hed attend if invited.
Ogletree said hed definitely be in New York, as he and his mother have never been there.
I told her that if I get invited wed go, Ogletree said.
Jones said he hasnt made a decision, and he would discuss it with his agent. But Jones did give a clue.
I know coach Richt wants to go with me, so well probably end up in New York together, Jones said. So thatll be fun, anyways.
Abry Jones working back
Former Northside High School standout Abry Jones looked still a bit slowed during shuttle drills on Thursday, though he was timed at 5.15 in the 40. Its possible the defensive end is still feeling the effects of the ankle surgery that kept him out of the final seven games of last season. Jones nearly returned to play in Georgias bowl game but was ruled out just beforehand.
During the bowl game I think I was pretty close to 100 percent. Just really my movements were really stiff, Jones said. But a few weeks after I started training (for the draft) I was fully 100 percent, I was running around, cutting, doing all that stuff.
Jones said he visited Wednesday with the New England Patriots and on Saturday is due to meet with the Philadelphia Eagles.
So hopefully I get a couple more, he said.
Just the facts
Last year Brandon Boykin was participating at Georgias pro day and being interviewed afterwards. A year later Boykin was doing the interviewing.
The former Georgia cornerback, who was a journalism major, is interning this semester at WSB-TV in Atlanta, which sent him to cover pro day on Thursday. Boykin just finished his rookie season with the Philadelphia Eagles, for whom he was a fourth-round pick.
Boykin, to his credit, didnt use his status with former teammates to jump in front of other media members. He was professional and asked legitimate questions, asking Abry Jones where his ankle would be come August, and Jenkins whether he was happy with his 40 time.
In fact Ogletree laughed at first when he saw Boykin, who smiled back, but then asked a serious question.