ATHENS – Georgia freshman Jordan Jenkins may get a second chance to play in place of All-American Jarvis Jones, who remains questionable for Saturday’s game at Kentucky.
The youngster is ready.
“If he doesn’t play, if he plays hurt a little bit, I don’t know which it’s gonna be,” Jenkins said after Wednesday's practice . “But I’m trying to get ready, and if he is out I’m gonna try to hurry up and get some sacks, get to his level, to get past him before he comes back.”
Jenkins, who enjoys a sibling-like rivalry with Jones, was laughing as he said it. The freshman has three sacks this season, short of Jones' total of 5.5.
But Jones' status for the Kentucky game is increasingly in doubt, as he missed practice for a third straight time on Wednesday, due to a sprained ankle. Head coach Mark Richt declined to address Jones' status, but Jenkins weighed in.
“I’m starting to get the feeling, just seeing him not practicing today, that I may start Saturday,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins started in place of Jones the third week against Florida Atlantic, when Jones had a strained groin. But he didn’t have his best games until the next two weeks, racking up two sacks against Vanderbilt, and the game-deciding sack against Tennessee.
“He’s very disciplined in what he does,” Richt said. “He’s one of those kids that when you teach him something he tries to do it just the way you tell him to do it. He creates good habits on a daily basis. He’s gotten a ton of reps for a freshman and he’s taking full advantage of them. But yeah, he has a lot of the physical attributes that you’d want to have in a rush guy.”
Jenkins and Jones are developing into friendly rivals at outside linebacker. Besides working together in practice, the two have roomed together on the road.
"I always do everything for him," Jenkins said. "The A.C. will be right by him, and I'll be like: Are you gonna turn the air down? And he'll be liked: 'You got legs, go ahead and get up freshman.'"
And when a staff member knocks on the door to take roll, Jones makes Jenkins get up and answer the door, even if Jones is closer to the door.
"But it's all brotherly love," Jenkins said.