After his dominant showing against Missouri on Sept. 8, Richt said Jones “may be the best defensive player in America.”
He went further Tuesday after initially repeating that first evaluation.
“I can’t think of a better player than Jarvis in the whole United States of America,” Richt said. “He’s the best.”
Jones (8 ½ sacks) was asked if he told former Bulldog defensive end David Pollack (14 sacks) that he’s coming after his single-season sack record.
“I think he knows,” said Jones, second in the nation in sacks. “I’m very humble about it. Just keep working towards it. …I’m pushing for it. I’m coming.”
Jones isn’t getting any love on The Heisman Pundit/CBS Sports.com Heisman Straw Poll. He’s not among the eight players listed.
Kansas State’s Collin Blein is first with 31 points and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o is second with 13.
“I know the linebacker at Notre Dame is a great player as well,” Richt said. “They may be equally great. They’re both so important to their defensive side of the ball and to their team. Jarvis is a pretty dynamic player to have the pass rush ability, the ability to drop back and make the pick or be the guy that mirrors a quarterback who’s athletic or be the guy that stops the run two, three yards back in the backfield. Just stones somebody that’s trying to block him and makes the play right there.”
Jones leads in the nation in tackles for loss (14) and forced fumbles (five).
He said he learned from watching LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu, who led the SEC last year in forced fumbles: “He was always going for the ball.”
Jones picked up another honor as FWAA/Bronko Nagurski national defensive player of the week after his 13 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and two recovered fumbles against Florida.
Stepping up against Gators
Zander Ogletree hadn’t taken an offensive snap this season prior to last Saturday’s game against Florida.
He said coaches had talked to him at one point about a possible redshirt.
“I was always ready,” the junior said. “I just wait until my name gets called or my number gets called.”
That came after the Bulldogs’ first offensive play when starter Merritt Hall sprained his right ankle.
With backup Quayvon Hicks (concussion) also out, Georgia turned to Ogletree, twin brother of linebacker Alec Ogletree,
“He was very physical in his run blocking,” Richt said. “He didn’t seem to have many mental errors at all. I don’t even know if he had a missed assignment.”
Ogletree’s only action before Florida was one snap on the punt return team at Kentucky.
He played about 30 snaps against Florida. He had a pair of catches for 13 yards.
“We were just focused all week on playing hard and playing physical,” Ogletree said. “That’s what I came to do.”
Hall didn’t practice again on Tuesday.
“I think his ankle is not ready,” Ogletree said. “Hopefully I’ll still be in the mix. I’m ready for it. I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Jenkins making waves
Jordan Jenkins knew he had a pretty good game against Florida simply from the feedback from fellow linebacker Amarlo Herrera.
“I finally got praise from Amarlo and that’s a hard thing to do,” Jenkins said.
Herrera admits he’s probably Jenkins harshest critic.
“I see the potential he has and I see the plays that he makes and I just get on him about little things,” Herrera said of the freshman from Hamilton. “I just want to see him make bigger plays because he’s capable of it.”
Jones benefited from some of the pressure Jenkins brought.
Jones told him “thank you for a sack or two,” Jenkins said.
“I got him up under my wing,” Jones said. “I told his parents I was going to take care of him if he came here and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Jenkins was credited with two tackles, including a half tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry. He said he’s mad about one sack in particular that he let get away.
He has 19 tackles, is second on the team in sacks (three) and quarterback pressures (13).
“He’s been great at being where he’s supposed to be and he still has provided pressure coming off the edge,” Richt said.
Jones and Jenkins started at outside linebacker and played together much more extensively than they typically have.
“I don’t know if it’s going to stay like that or not, but hopefully it does because I was doing some pretty good things,” Jenkins said.
This and that
Senior receiver Tavarres King was held without a catch against Florida for the first time since the Georgia Tech game in 2010, breaking a streak of 22 straight games with a catch. “I felt like I left a few plays out there just in route running and things of that sort,” King said. He still enjoyed a second straight win over the Gators. “This one was a lot more sweeter,” King said. “It’s my last go-round.”
Center David Andrews practiced without limitations on Tuesday after sustaining a left knee contusion in the second quarter against Florida. “I just didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to be bothered with it,” Andrews said.
Linebacker Chase Vasser (shoulder) didn’t practice. Hicks practiced in a non-contact jersey.
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo on why offensive lineman Watts Dantzler wasn’t on the 70-man travel roster to Florida. “It was just a decision where some other guys practiced better last week.”