football Edit

Former All-SEC Center Ben Jones discusses Stacy Searels hire by UGA

Ben Jones has played ten years in the National Football League. Known for his grit and football acumen, Jones was first-team All-SEC in his final season at Georgia. In his senior season, Jones was also a captain for UGA.

Jones came to Georgia as a three-star prospect in the Class of 2008. He was recruited to Georgia and developed at Georgia into a starting NFL center by none other than Stacy Searels. Searels was officially hired as Georgia's offensive line coach once again yesterday, February 28.

UGASports was able to have Jones on the latest episode of RUMORS vs. FACTS on our YouTube channel. During that appearance, Jones spoke on what Georgia is getting in the return of Searels and also credited Searels largely with his longevity in the pro ranks.

"He (Searels) is a guy that I trust," Jones said. "He's a guy that kind of made me into the guy I am today. He molded me into a man. I give a lot of credit for my success and the ten years I've played in the NFL to him."

Jones expounded upon how Searels specifically prepared him for the NFL.

"His coaching style and the way he taught you in the meeting room," Jones said. "The reason I'm still in this league (NFL) is because I play through injuries, I'm tough, but I know the game of football. I'm a guy who can get everyone lined up and make all the calls. That's what he taught me. How to be a leader, how to make every call for the offensive line, for guys to rely on me in our room. Guys look to me to make sure we are on the right page. He got me to making checks, making sure I knew where blitzes were coming from, so he prepared me for the next step."

In terms of Searels's style of offensive line play, Jones was very blunt in describing what Searels expects.

"He demands a lot of you," Jones said. "He wants a physical offensive line that plays at a high level every snap. He gets the most out of his guys. You look at the offensive lines he had there (at Georgia), me, Clint Boling. We weren't five stars. We were three-star guys who were able to compete, earn his trust, and get out there and play a lot of meaningful snaps. Me and him (Boling) both started over 40-something games in the SEC. He's going to play guys who get after it, tough guys that want to win football games. Being able to get that talent at Georgia, they're going to win a lot of games. Those guys are going to get a rude awakening when they come to practice. His intensity and the way he attacks every day."

Finally, Jones touched on what it was like to be recruited by Searels.

"I was an easy sell," Jones said. "I wanted to be at Georgia. The relationship he built with me right away, he was a guy I trusted and a guy I wanted to work for. You gotta think, Kirby Smart was my recruiter on the other end at Alabama. Those were my two top teams and you know where I ended up—at Georgia. So you got to give Coach Searels some credit, he beat out the big dawgs. We always give him (Kirby) a hard time about it. I talk to Kirby all the time and say man, I lived 20 minutes from Tuscaloosa and went to Georgia. So you must not be that good of a recruiter."