In an interview with UGASports, Jarvis Jones answered the question Bulldog fans have been dying to know ever since the former Southern Cal player announced he would be enrolling at Georgia - would he be able play this fall?
The answer is no.
"I am going to redshirt this year, which I feel will better prepare me by allowing me to learn the system," said Jones, who will not petition the NCAA for immediate eligibility. "That will allow me to get in shape and be ready to play."
The former Carver standout announced he would be coming to Athens after Georgia team doctors cleared him following the neck injury he suffered last year while playing for the Trojans against Oregon, which forced him to miss the last five games.
Southern Cal doctors had ruled that Jones would not be able play, despite subsequent second and third opinions which declared that he could resume his football career. Jones was subsequently granted a medical release by head coach Lane Kiffin.
Jones said there are absolutely no concerns regarding his injury.
"I think God put some good people in high places to examine me well enough to make sure I am healthy to be a part of this physical sport," Jones said. "I am 100 percent healthy now and I have been for quite some time."
Jones said he chose the Bulldogs over Florida State.
"Me and Coach (Carver coach Del) McGee basically just looked at the schools that offered me and I personally didn't think about it as who had this and who had that," he said. "I just wanted to be somewhere that I can play and be developed and have support after football because football doesn't last forever."
Credit Bulldog defensive coordinator Todd Grantham for getting Jones to come on board.
One of the things that originally attracted Jones to Southern Cal was the fact he would be coached by former NFL linebacker Ken Norton Jr., whose pro experience was something the linebacker felt he couldn't get anywhere else.
Grantham, Jones said, will afford him the same opportunities for growth.
"Coach Grantham knows his stuff and he has a plan that I would like to buy into. I think he can be the one to develop me into a better player overall," Jones said. ""The things we talked about and went over were the same things Coach Norton taught at Southern Cal so I knew then I wanted to be a part of what Coach Todd Grantham was doing."
Jones made it clear why he didn't sign with Georgia right out of high school.
"Coming out of high school I think I would have done well at Georgia but I don't think I would've got developed the way I plan to," said Jones. "I really didn't think UGA would offer me again but they knew the reason why I didn't come out of high school."
Jones joked that he doesn't yet know what number he will wear with the Bulldogs.
"I don't know what number I am wearing just yet," he said. "But I will tell you it is going to be a big seller I hope (laughing)."
Jones said he knows a lot of fans are wondering what his presence will do regarding former Carver teammates Isaiah Crowell and Gabriel Wright, two of the country's highest-recruited players at running back and defensive tackle, respectively.
While Jones would obviously like the pair to join him, he said he won't place any pressure on the pair to make that happen.
"I think Isaiah and Gabe would be a big help here but it is their decision to make," he said. "I will not influence them in any way to come here if it's not in their hearts."
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