All over the field. Unblockable. Quarterback’s worst nightmare. Beast mode. These are all things that describe Georgia Bulldogs All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones‘ performance against the Missouri Tigers. Jones had 9 tackles, two sacks/tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, and the first interception of his career in what has been considered by many as a dominant performance.
Emphasis on the word “many.”
James Franklin and the Missouri Tigers were not the only people to realize how great Jarvis Jones was on Saturday as the All-American garnered multiple honors from different organizations. Jones was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, Walter Camp National Player of the Week, the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week, the Chuck Bednarik Player of the Week, and received a helmet sticker from the ESPN College Football Live crew.
That’s quite a bit of hardware for the star linebacker.
Though all the player of the week honors are great, perhaps the greatest honor received by Jarvis Jones last week was having his name mentioned in the same breath as the Heisman Trophy. The Heisman goes to the nation’s top player, which is often an offensive player due to their ability to put up incredible stats. This is not always the case as current Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson won the Heisman Trophy while in college and former LSU Tiger Tyrann Mathieu was a finalist for the award last year.
As a linebacker, Jones will not put up gaudy stats like those of Woodson and Mathieu, who returned kicks as well, he has attracted the eyes of the national media and that is how the Heisman hype starts.
“But there’s no understating (Jarvis) Jones’ display of one man dominance” said Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel. “It called to mind ex-LSU star Tyrann Mathieu’s game changing forced turnovers last season that helped earn him a Heisman invite. Jones may soon start eliciting similar buzz. At least he should.”
Jones had 13.5 sacks last year, .5 short of David Pollack‘s school record, in his first season with the Bulldogs and decided to come back for more. Why not leave for the NFL? Jarvis believed that he was not yet ready for the NFL and could benefit from another year in defensive coordinator Todd Grantham‘s system.
“Jarvis is exceptional” said Bulldogs freshman linebacker Jordan Jenkins of his teammate. “He was hurting since the first quarter he told me after the game and he is just a phenomenal athlete. He’s quick, knows how to react quickly to offensive pass sets. He seems to just make all the impact plays we need throughout the game.”
So far, Jones has 3.5 sacks through two games. Two of which game in the Missouri game while playing with a strained groin. The thought of what he could have done at 100% is scary. Jones seems to improve with each game he plays and is always working at his craft.
If he tops Pollack’s sack record and continues to harass opposing quarterbacks the way he did James Franklin, Jarvis Jones will find himself sitting in New York as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and may possibly hoist the trophy by the end of the night.
Chris Lionetti is a writer for Rant Sports with a focus on the SEC and the Georgia Bulldogs.
Follow him on twitter: @ChrisLionetti