Jarvis Jones‚Äô performance against Florida had Georgia coach Mark Richt Tuesday taking his praise for the junior outside linebacker to a new level from earlier in the season.
After his dominant showing against Missouri on Sept. 8, Richt said Jones ‚Äúmay be the best defensive player in America.‚Äù
He went further Tuesday after initially repeating that first evaluation.
‚ÄúI can‚Äôt think of a better player than Jarvis in the whole United States of America,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs the best.‚Äù
Jones (8 ¬Ω sacks) was asked if he told former Bulldog defensive end David Pollack (14 sacks) that he‚Äôs coming after his single-season sack record.
‚ÄúI think he knows,‚Äù said Jones, second in the nation in sacks. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm very humble about it. Just keep working towards it. ‚Ä¶I‚Äôm pushing for it. I‚Äôm coming.‚Äù
Jones isn‚Äôt getting any love on The Heisman Pundit/CBS Sports.com Heisman Straw Poll. He‚Äôs not among the eight players listed.
Kansas State‚Äôs Collin Blein is first with 31 points and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te‚Äôo is second with 13.
Jones also isn‚Äôt listed among the 12 players that show up in ESPN‚Äôs Experts‚Äô Poll for its Heisman Watch.
‚ÄúI know the linebacker at Notre Dame is a great player as well,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúThey may be equally great. They‚Äôre both so important to their defensive side of the ball and to their team. Jarvis is a pretty dynamic player to have the pass rush ability, the ability to drop back and make the pick or be the guy that mirrors a quarterback who‚Äôs athletic or be the guy that stops the run two, three yards back in the backfield. Just stones somebody that‚Äôs trying to block him and makes the play right there.‚Äù
Jones leads in the nation in tackles for loss (he has 14) and forced fumbles (he has five).
He said he learned from watching LSU‚Äôs Tyrann Mathieu, who led the SEC last year in forced fumbles: ‚ÄúHe was always going for the ball.‚Äù
Jones picked up another honor on Tuesday when he was named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski national defensive player of the week after his 13 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and two recovered fumbles againstFlorida.
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