October 24, 2012

Jones says he's ready

It was last year's Georgia-Florida game when outside linebacker Jarvis Jones basically introduced himself to the rest of the college football world.

The Bulldogs limited the Gators to 32 second-half yards and collected six sacks, four by Jones to help spark the Bulldogs' 24-20 win.

"I made a couple of good plays in that game. I definitely learned a lot and I got better. As the season went on, I kept learning and kept getting after it," Jones said. "For me, it's all the same - just give everything I've got and push myself to be relentless. That was the way I was able to make plays that game and how I've been able to make plays my whole career so far."

No doubt Bulldog fans would love a repeat performance when No. 12 Georgia (6-1,4-1) tangles with the third-ranked Gators (7-0, 6-0) at Everbank Field in Jacksonville.

But unlike last year, there's a question of whether or not Jones will be at 100 percent.

Jones only returned to practice on Monday after spraining his ankle in the fourth quarter against South Carolina when teammate Alec Ogletree rolled over the top after being pushed down by a Gamecock lineman.

"I've just been a lot of treatment," said Jones, who traveled with the team to Lexington for last Saturday's game against Kentucky.

"I got treatment while I was up there, three times a day, started Friday night and got some while I was in the hotel," he continued. "I've been working hard, coming in during the early morning, then at night, just pushing myself to get in the best position to be able to play."

When healthy, there are few better at his position.

Despite missing the game against Kentucky and earlier against Florida Atlantic, still ranks third on the Bulldogs in tackles with 36 with 9.5 for losses of 60 yards, including a team-high 5.5 sacks.

"It's been tough. It's been frustrating, but I've just got to go out there and keep my head level and stay focused.," Jones said. "Guys on this defense really look up to me, and I've got to take care of my body better than I have been and when I do get a chance to play give it everything I've got."

For example:

"Just eat better, sleep more, just get in the training room more," Jones explained. "Most football players, most athletes, they hate being in the training room. Just listen to the people in the pros, the training room becomes your best friend when you get to that level."

Despite his recent health setbacks, Jones promises he will be on the field for Saturday's game (3:30, CBS).

"Just for me personally, every game is a big game for me and I try to go into every game giving it everything I've got. When I step on the field Saturday, that's what I'm there to do, to help my team in any way I can," he said. "It's a big game for us, it's a big game for them," he said. "If we win, it puts us in the driver's seat, if they win, (Florida wins the East division). It's going to be a dog-fight for 60 minutes."