ORLANDO - The two-year Georgia career of nose tackle John Jenkins is ending one game early.
The senior will not play in the Capital One Bowl because of academics, head coach Mark Richt said on Wednesday evening, as the team reported to town for bowl practice.
"It's just academic-related," Richt said. "He will not be at the bowl."
Richt said Jenkins is the only player missing the bowl because of academics.
Jenkins started every game this season for the Bulldogs, and is considered a possibility to be a first-round pick in next April's draft. After transferring from junior college to Georgia in 2011, his 355-pound presence has helped shore up the team's defense.
"I think John Jenkins has been awesome for Georgia," Richt said. "I've been really proud of what he's accomplished for us, and just really want to wish him the very best. Because he's been a blessing to our program."
Jenkins' absence leaves a big void, literally and figuratively, for the Bulldogs. Georgia had struggled against the run late in the season, and now junior Kwame Geathers will have to handle nose guard himself. Geathers and Jenkins had shared the job this season, with Jenkins also playing defensive end.
The one hope for the Bulldogs is that senior end Abry Jones, who has been out since October after ankle surgery, will be able to return. Richt remains optimistic about that.
"When we left town we were execting him to be able to be in position to play," Rricht said. "What type of condition he'll be in and how many plays he'll be able to play in will be a another story."
Richt added that it could create an opportunity for defensive lineman such as Mike Thornton, Ray Drew and even Sterling Bailey.