Pollack checks in on Jarvis, Clemson-Georgia and more

semerson@macon.comApril 29, 2013 

ATHENS - The parallels between Jarvis Jones and David Pollack continued past their college days. First, Jones chased and then broke Pollack's single-season sack record, and then Jones was the 17th overall pick in the NFL draft, just like Pollack was eight years ago.

"And same division," Pollack pointed out.

Pollack was a Cincinnati Bengal, while Jones is headed to the Pittsburgh Steelers, which many think is a great situation for him. Pollack is one of them.

"That's just perfect. That's awesome. That's a great spot for him," Pollack said. "I mean if I could've got drafted by a team that was a perfect fit it would've been Pittsburgh. ...

"He's such a good kid. I really, thoroughly enjoy his spirit, his humility. He was a fun guy to watch. You wish you could have those guys around all the time, but those guys don't come around too often."

Pollack spoke on Monday before the pro-am for the UGA Stadion Classic, a web.com tour event being held at the UGA golf course. (John Daly is playing in the event, along with other former major winner Lee Janzen.) These days Pollack is a college football analyst for ESPN, where he has become part of the GameDay crew.

It hasn't been officially announced, but Pollack is confident that GameDay will originate from Clemson for the season opener against Georgia.

"The first thing that pops off is (Aaron) Murray- (Tajh) Boyd," Pollack said of the quarterback showdown. "Both of those guys could've left early, both undersized quarterbacks, both (experience), now this is Tajh's third year as a starter, Aaron's fourth year as a starter. So I think about that and the offenses, high-flying. Clemson's got Sammy Watkins coming back, Georgia's got everyone coming back minus Tavarres King. The first thought of that is whichever defense can hold them under 30 (wins)."

Back to the draft: Georgia has become almost a feeder team for the Bengals, who have picked one Bulldog four straight years, including Shawn Williams this year in the third round. Pollack thinks that's because the Bengals are "SEC-driven."

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, who coached Pollack in Cincinnati, didn't reach out to him about Williams or last year's pick (Orson Charles), but Pollack said he heard from Lewis constantly in the lead up to the 2011 draft.

"Marvin would text me before the A.J. Green pick probably a hundred times," Pollack said. "He loved some A.J. Green, just loved him. But he wanted to know about his personality a little bit more. Because he just had a guy, No. 85 there, (Chad) Ochocinco, that he had to deal with, and I saw first-hand couldn't have been much fun."

Lewis badly wanted Green, apparently.

"He said if someone wanted to get up to his spot in the A.J. draft, he said it would've cost them their whole draft," Pollack said. "The Falcons? They were talking to them about getting up there and he said it would've cost them their whole draft. That's how much they respected A.J. And he's proven it too."

Pollack long ago found peace with the premature end of his football career, which came after a neck injury. Initially Pollack thought he would play in the NFL for 15 years, but he thinks he's better off now.

"The cool thing is I would've beat the crap out of my body and now I don't have to," Pollack said. "I couldn't do what (David) Greene has done and be an insurance guy. I have to have football in me and it's in my blood. If I weren't doing this I'd be coaching."

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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