It's official. Georgia junior linebacker Jarvis Jones will leave the Bulldogs a year early to apply for the NFL Draft.
UGASports.com first reported his decision Friday morning, which University of Georgia sports information director Claude Felton confirmed in an email to beat writers later in the evening.
"This has been a difficult decision, and one that I have talked over with my family and coaches," said Jones. "I want to thank my family, teammates, coaches and support staff and the Bulldog Nation for everything over the last three years," Jones said in a statement. "I will always appreciate the chance Georgia gave me after my injury at Southern Cal. There is nothing like the Bulldog fans and I will forever be proud to wear the 'G'. I think this decision comes at the right time for me and my family and I look forward to seeing what the next level holds for me. Go Dogs!"
A finalist for the 2013 Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski, Butkus and Lott awards, Jones' decision comes three days after the Bulldogs defeated Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl 45-31.
Friday, a source told UGASports that Jones would begin training for the NFL Combine and the Draft in Orlando.
A 6-3, 241-pound native of Columbus, Ga., Jones played in 26 games over his two seasons with Georgia, starting all of them. He finished his career with 28 sacks in that span (1.08/game), which is tied for third in school history. Jones also recorded 44 tackles for loss of 235 yards, 155 total tackles, nine forced fumbles and an interception during his time as a Bulldog.
He was a consensus First Team All-American, finished this season leading the nation in sacks (14.5 for loss of 103 yards) and tackles for loss (24.5 for loss of 132 yards) and forced fumbles (seven). He was third on the Bulldogs with 85 stops and added an interception and two fumble recoveries in 12 games played this season (Jones was injured for two of Georgia's 14 games).
Jones also set the single season record for sacks (14.5) after collecting a pair Tuesday against the Cornhuskers.
Jones came to Georgia after transferring from Southern California in 2010. He was a consensus First Team All-American in 2011 after leading the SEC in sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (19.5) and piling up 70 tackles in 14 games.
Jones joins fellow Bulldog linebacker Alec Ogletree, who announced his decision to turn pro after the Capital One. The Bulldogs are still awaiting word from quarterback Aaron Murray and nose tackle Kwame Geathers regarding their respective decisions.
The 2013 NFL Draft begins on April 25 and runs through the 27th.
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