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January 14, 2009

Love eager to get to Athens

If a cornerback has great size, (6-foot-1, 185-pounds), and speed, (4.4 in the 40), people are sure to take notice. And if the player also has offers from Penn State, Tennessee, and Florida, the spotlight is usually on them. And when said prospect commits to a nationally renowned team like the University of Georgia, people are sure to take notice. While there have been stories written regarding Jordan Love's recruitment, there has been little fanfare of his abilities.

"I feel like I was underrated my junior year before I moved to Virginia. They had a lot of seniors hyped up, so I did not get the exposure that some guys ahead of me may have," said the three-star cornerback.

The Deep Run star made the most of his senior season, but also concedes his lack of stats was a good thing. This may have contributed to his lack of ascent in the rankings.

"I had 45 tackles and three pass deflections. I had three punts returned for a touchdown and one kickoff return for a touchdown," Love said. "I played cornerback, safety, running back, wide receiver, and kickoff and punt returner.

Looking at my numbers, they didn't throw to my side at all. They only completed six passes on my side. I really feel I'm a top ten player in Virginia and at my position," the Georgia Commit told UGASports.

Jordan made the decision to commit to the Bulldogs before his senior season even began. While that may hurt his exposure and publicity, Love actually preferred it that way.

"It has been more relaxing, with no scheduling of visits, or reporters everywhere. I can focus on getting stronger and faster. The other schools knew I was solid, so they left me alone as well," said the Deep Run standout.

While Jordan may have sideswiped the media pressure, there is still the high standards to which the Southeastern Conference is held. Cornerbacks have to be able to do it all, keep up with the fastest receivers, beat the tall tight ends on the jump ball, and come up and tackle the 200-plus pound running backs. This is where Jordan believes he can excel in Athens.

"I have a great size advantage over the smaller corners, but at the same time, I have good footwork as well. My hips and speed allow me to play like the smaller guys as well. I feel like I can contribute next year, maybe take over for Allen now that he is gone. The coaches think I can be a great corner, but if they need me at safety, I will play where they want me to," Love said.

There is a big jump from playing high school ball to seeing the field in at a major College like Georgia. The speed of the game is what most players have difficulty with, and the fact that everyone is strong as well. Love plans to put in the extra time and effort to ensure he is ready

"I am lifting all the time; I plan to show up at 6-foot-1, 195-pounds. I have a friend of the family who is an NFL Cornerbacks trainer; he is training me during spring break. My sister's boyfriend is former Houston Texan Jerome Mathis, and he is helping me with my speed training as well," Jordan explained.

While he may live away from most of the incoming Bulldogs, he has kept in close touch with most of his incoming class.

"I talk to Branden, Gilliard, Chase, and Abry all the time. We are going to be a great defense together," a confident Love quipped.

The Coaching staff knows how valuable Love is to their class, and they let him know.

"They came and saw me last week. Coach Martinez said they were really checking the kids to make sure they were qualified. But he knew I already was, he just wanted to show me how excited he was to have me coming in," an equally excited Love proclaimed.

When recruits commit to an out of state school, sometimes there is backlash or questioning of why the player did not choose a school closer to home. That was not the case for Love.

"The family and people I know in town are pumped, they have not had a true Virginian go to UGA and they are excited to see me start the tradition. I hope to graduate with a degree in sports management, and hopefully play in the NFL," the rangy defensive back said.



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