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Georgia safety Reshad Jones not leaving for NFL draft

First he was staying. Then Reshad Jones was leaving. Then he just wasn't sure. So in the end, he let the people who have meant the most to him in his life settle things.

The Georgia safety decided Thursday to remain in school for another season to finish his degree, which he is scheduled to earn in December, after a hectic 24 hours of waffling on a decision to enter the NFL draft.

"I was on the fence, on the edge," Jones said. "It was a hard decision to make."

Jones said his grandparents, who have raised him, wanted him to earn his degree, and that was the final motivating factor in returning to school.

"It was mostly after I talked to my grandma and grandad and that was the key," Jones said. "I'm a student first and an athlete second. I think it would make them proud for me to come back and get that degree."

Late Wednesday, Jones said he was leaning toward entering the draft, but by Thursday morning, he still hadn't come to a firm conclusion. Thursday was the final day for underclassmen to declare their eligibility for April's NFL draft.

Jones submitted paperwork to the NFL review committee in November, but said at the time that he was definitely returning to school and was simply looking for objective information on his game. He reiterated those claims Tuesday, but backtracked a day later.

Jones said he did not want to elaborate on what he was told by the review committee, but said had they told him he would likely have been a first-day pick in the draft, he would have left Georgia for the NFL.

Instead, after meeting with coaches and family Thursday, he decided another year in college was necessary, and he said he is fully committed to winning at Georgia.

"I'm proud to be a Bulldog now," he said. "I'm ready to work."

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