December 30, 2012

Jones eyeing No. 1?

ORLANDO, Fla. - Georgia practiced for the final time Sunday afternoon in preparation for Sunday's Capital One Bowl. The question is, was it also the last one for junior linebacker Jarvis Jones?

No, Jones didn't drop any hints during a brief session with the media, but said if he does, he'll do so with one goal in mind - to be the No. 1 pick.

"If I decide to come out I'm going to train to be No. 1, I'm not going to be the Top 10 or Top 5," Jones said. I'm going to train to be No. 1."

If that were to happen, Jones would become the fifth Bulldog in history to be selected No. 1, joining Matthew Stafford (2009), Harry Babcock (1953), CharleyTrippi (1945) and Frank Sinkwich (1943).

Ironically, neither of those four individual are/were Georgia natives, meaning Jones could conceivably be the first from the Peach State taken with the first overall pick.

College underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the NFL Draft.

But Jones insists his mind is not yet made up, and will wait to decide until later after the bowl.

"I and these guys have so much fun together, and I can't even think of being away from them," Jones said. "But even if I did come back, a lot of these guys are going to be gone. You've got to enjoy these moments, because once they're gone, you can't get them back."

Richt says Dawgs are ready

Head coach Mark Richt said his Bulldogs are ready to tee it up.

"We've done all we can do. Sometimes, you've just got to play the game. How ready are we? I think we've prepared well," Richt said Sunday. "I think that we'll get after it, but Nebraska has prepared well, too. It's going to be interesting to see how the game begins, what kind of energy level we can bring to start the game."

Richt said it shouldn't take too long to tell whether or not his Bulldogs are ready for Tuesday's game (1:07, ABC).

"I was watching some of these bowl games, one team obviously has a little more juice when the thing started, but before you know it the other team grabs the momentum," Richt said. "It will be interesting to see just how everybody comes out of the box."

Although he's concerned about how his team will respond, Richt noted he's more concerned about the layoff as it will have been a month since the SEC title game.

Then again, the Cornhuskers are basically in the same boat after falling to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title contest the same day.

"It's a month for most everybody since you played last. If we didn't play in the SEC Championship it would have been more like five weeks," Richt said. "But what happens in these games are very similar in what happens in Game 1, you see a lot of turnovers, a lot of fumbles, a lot of picks, special team things that happen that maybe don't happen later as the season settles in a little bit - maybe a few more blocked kicks, things of that nature. You just hope that you have created good enough habits in the season and in practice that those things won't creep up on you."

Injury update

After saying defensive end Abry Jones (ankle) would probably play on Tuesday, Richt seemed to back off that statement Sunday.

"I don't know how much he will go. I can't say he's exactly been flying around," Richt said. "He's been working really hard to get back where he can play, but just how and what kind of condition he's in, how quickly can he move … we don't want to put him out there if he's not ready to go, so I'm not 100 percent sure how much he will go. A lot will depend on how he's going to feel."

Jones has not played since injuring his ankle in Week 7 against Kentucky.

Samuel to train in Athens

Senior Richard Samuel admits he's second-guessed himself plenty of times since being unable to find a permanent home during his five years at Georgia.

"I have second thoughts about a lot of things, but I can't worry about that because I can't change anything," Samuel said. "But it did teach me how to deal with adversity and teach me when thing don't go your way, especially when whether you play or not is in other people's hands. If it was in my hands, I would have made something happen."

Samuel intends to "make something happen" when he takes part in Georgia's Pro Day this March.

"I won't have to depend on people to play me at Pro Day," Samuel said. "It will be interesting, I can tell you that."

Samuel will continue working in Athens with strength coaches Joe Tereshinksi and Sherman Armstrong as he prepares for his shot at the NFL.

"They're (NFL scouts) are going to see things they haven't seen," Samuel said. "They're going to see speed, the ability to catch, strength - they're going to see all that."

Although Samuel would prefer to play defense on the next level, he's not ruling anything out and said he'd be willing to take part in both the offensive and defensive drills at Pro Day.

"I haven't really thought about it, but I'd be willing to do it," Samuel said. "Anything I could do to make myself more marketable, I'll give it a shot."

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