ORLANDO, Fla. — Georgia will have to try to slow down Nebraska’s rushing attack without one of its key pieces on defense.
Nose guard John Jenkins won’t play in the Capital One Bowl because of an “academic-related” issue, ending his college career, coach Mark Richt said.
“He will not be at the bowl,” Richt said Wednesday afternoon as the team arrived at the Renaissance Orlando Hotel.
Richt said there were no other academic casualties for the bowl.
Jenkins was a second-team All-SEC selection by the coaches and the media. He is eighth on the Bulldogs with 50 tackles and fourth on the team with 15 quarterback hurries.
“I think John Jenkins has been awesome for Georgia,” Richt said. “I’m really proud of everything he’s accomplished for us. Just really want to wish him the very best. He’s been a blessing for our program.”
Nebraska is eighth in the nation in rushing at 254.5 yards per game.
The 6-foot-3, 358-pound Jenkins was among Georgia players that were made available for interviews on the first day of bowl practices, but never took part in any of the on-campus practices.
Georgia had listed him as out with a concussion.
Jenkins played two seasons for Georgia, starting every game this season and 20 games total after arriving from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
Junior Kwame Geathers will replace Jenkins in the starting lineup.
Richt said Jenkins’ loss could be softened if defensive end Abry Jones is able to return from an ankle injury.
“When we left town, we were expecting him to be able to be in position to play,” Richt said. “What type of condition he’ll be in and how many plays will he be able to play will be another story. It might create more of an opportunity for a guy like Mike Thornton and Ray Drew. …Sterling Bailey has practiced well so he might get some reps as well.”
Jenkins next game will be in the Senior Bowl next month in Mobile. The all-star game announced on Wednesday that Jenkins has accepted an invitation to the game.
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