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Steelers select OLB Jarvis Jones in 1st round

Posted Apr 25, 2013

2013 NFL DRAFT - Steelers First Round Selection

JARVIS JONES
Outside Linebacker
University of Georgia Bulldogs
6-2 - 245
Columbus, Georgia
University of Southern California
George Washington Carver High School
1st Round – 17th Overall

CAREER NOTES
Jones appeared in 34 games, including eight at the University of Southern California…Started all 26 games he appeared in at Georgia…Recorded 168 tackles (96 solos) for his entire career, including 155 tackles (91 solos) as a Bulldog…At Georgia, he posted 28.0 sacks, tying Jimmy Payne (1978-82) for third in school history…Registered 45.5 stops for loss, generating 44.0 hits for minus 235 yards during his playing days at Georgia…Caused nine fumbles, ninth-best among active NCAA FBS players…He also recovered two fumbles…Recorded 88 quarterback pressures as a Bulldog, as he broke up five passes and intercepted another.

2012 SEASON
Jones earned All-American first-team honors from The NFL Draft Report, Walter Camp, Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association, Sporting News and Phil Steele…Named a finalist for the Lombardi Trophy, Butkus Award, Bednarik Trophy and Nagurski Award along with the LOTT Impact Trophy, the Bulldogs' permanent captain was the recipient of the Vince Dooley Most Valuable Player of the Year Award and named one of team's Most Valuable Defensive Players…Unanimous first-team All-Southeastern Conference choice…Started 12 games at outside linebacker, ranking third on the team with 85 tackles…Led the SEC and placed second in the nation with an average of 1.21 quarterback sacks per game, as his 14.5 sacks for minus 103 yards broke the previous school season-record of 14 by David Pollack in 2002…Had four tackles and a sack in Georgia's 35-7 loss at South Carolina…Jones showed his versatility in a 42-10 win over Georgia Tech recording nine tackles and 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage…Closed out his career with eight tackles (5 solos), two sacks for minus 15 yards, a pressure and a pass break-up in a 45-31 victory over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.

2011 SEASON
In his first season wearing a Georgia Bulldogs uniform, Jones was a finalist for the Butkus Award\ and winner of the CFPA Elite Linebacker Trophy…Added first-team All-American honors from The NFL Draft Report, Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association, Walter Camp, ESPN.com, Phil Steele and Sports Illustrated…The unanimous All-SEC first-team choice was named the Atlanta Sports Awards Collegiate Player of the Year and elected one of the team's defensive captains…Recipient of the team's Most Valuable Defensive Player Award, as he started all 14 games at strong-side outside linebacker, ranking second in the league and tied for fifth in the nation with an average of 0.96 sacks per game…Led the SEC and placed 16th in the FBS with an average of 1.39 stops-for-loss per game…Ranked second on the team with 70 tackles, as his 13.5 sacks for minus 90 yards is the third-best season total by a Bulldog, topped by his school record 14.5 sacks in 2012 and David Pollack’s 14 in 2002…Had 19.5 stops for losses of 103 yards and made 49 of the team’s 158 quarterback pressures…Posted eight tackles, including a sack at Georgia Tech…Recorded seven tackles with 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a pass break-up vs. Kentucky….Added five tackles, including two sacks, vs. Auburn…Named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Payer of the Week, Walter Camp Award Defensive Player of the Week, CFPA National Defensive Player of the Week, SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week and the Rivals.com SEC Player of the Week after he recorded five tackles, including four sacks, the second most in school history for a single game vs. Florida, as he also forced a fumble….Produced five tackles, including 3.5 for a loss at Tennessee…Registered five tackles, including two sacks vs. Mississippi State…In the Boise State clash, had a season high 11 tackles, including 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage.

2010 SEASON
Jones red-shirted at the University of Georgia under NCAA transfer rules after being granted a release from the University of Southern California…Jones attended school as a recipient of the Paul and June Martin Football Scholarship while also performing with the scout team.

2009 SEASON
Jones saw significant action as a backup outside linebacker and key special team coverage unit member at the University of Southern California...Appeared in the first eight games recording 13 tackles (5 solos), including 1.5 stops for losses of two yards…Had a season-high five tackles vs. San Jose State.

HIGH SCHOOL
Jones attended George Washington Carver (Columbus, Ga.) High School, playing football for head coach Dell McGee…Received a four-star prospect grade from Scout.com, as that recruiting service regarded him as the third-best strong-side linebacker in the nation… Was also a four-star pick by Rivals.com, as they regarded him as the nation’s fourth-best weak-side defensive end, placing him seventh overall on the Rivals100 list and third on the Georgia Top 75 chart…After playing tight end in his first two seasons, Jones moved to linebacker before his junior season in 2007…That year, he was named to the Rivals.com All-American first team, earned All-State Class AAA Defensive MVP and Columbus Ledger-Enquirer All-City Defensive MVP honors after posting 157 tackles, 26 tackles for a loss, four sacks and two interceptions to help Carver win the 2007 Georgia state AAA title…Was the 2008 Super Prep, Prep Star, USA Today and ESPN All-American…Also earned ESPN 150, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Dream Team, Sporting News Top 100, Super Prep All-Dixie, Prep Star All-Southeast, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11, All-State Class AAA first team and Columbus Ledger-Enquirer All-City Defensive MVP as a senior…That year, Jones recorded 77 tackles, with four tackles for a loss, four interceptions and two forced fumbles, despite being sidelined late in the season for four games with a broken thumb…Concluded his gridiron career by playing in the U.S. Army All-American Game…Lettered in basketball, earning 2008 All-State honors from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Georgia Sports Writers Association…Also did well academically, graduating with a 2.9 grade point average.

PERSONAL
Human Development & Family Science…Born 10/13/89 in Richland, Georgia…Resides in Columbus, Georgia.


* AUDIO: Jarvis Jones Conference Call


Jarvis Jones Conference Call Transcript

Re: Confident that he wouldn’t fall past the 17th pick:

I just had a great visit and I talked to Coach Tomlin at my pro day. I was very confident and they sounded pretty legit to me. He was talking about how he liked my game and how I could fit in right away, and do what I’m supposed to do. Just come in and play, they needed an outside linebacker. I’m just so happy to be a part of this organization. I know they have a great defense, and they always have been known for their defense. That’s something they take pride in and are very passionate about. I’m just so happy to be a part of this organization.

Re: Comparing himself to James Harrison:

I’ve got a lot of work to do to get to James Harrison. The guy is powerful, has speed and he is a pro. I’m trying to get on the level he’s at. I’ve got a lot of work to do. He’s one of the guys I look up to as far as trying to learn how to better my game and better my craft. He’s a great player, and I love him and the way he plays. As for me, how would I compare my game to his? I think we both play relentlessly. You can tell we’re both passionate about this game in the way we play. We’re ball hawks, we’re impact players and we make plays when they need to be made.

I know you have been working out with Ike Taylor the past couple months. What did he have to say about the Steelers organization to you?

Ike is one of my best mentors and we train together. He just talked about how great the program is and what their defense means up there. It means a whole lot. They take pride in what they do. Everybody knows the Steel Curtain. It’s their thing, the defense in Pittsburgh. I’m just so happy to work hard for this organization.

What, if any questions did the Steelers have for you about your health, and how did the doctors confidently convey to them that you thought you were good enough medically to be drafted this high?

They did not have any questions at all. I was fine at the combine. The doctor had cleared me. After I left the combine I was cleared. I did not have to go back to get re-checked. All that was over with. Everyone pretty much stopped questioning me about my spine.

Do you think your combine time cost you falling down in this draft?

At the end of the day, I don’t know. I think I just made a great fit with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I am loving it. The combine stuff is over with now. I’m in the zone right now, and I’m enjoying it. I’m just trying to stay on the positives and enjoy it and get to work.


* VIDEO: Coach Mike Tomlin and General Manager Kevin Colbert on OLB Jarvis Jones


Coach Mike Tomlin and General Manager Kevin Colbert Transcript

General Manager Kevin Colbert: Good evening everybody. Once again, we’re very pleased to have a player like Jarvis Jones available for us at the 17th pick. He definitely was one of the guys that I talked about the other day as being a special player in this draft. He’s a solid kid. He’s a great player. He’s productive at a major college level. In fact, he’s been dominant at the major college level. He plays the run, he chases the ball, and most important he gets after the passer, a highly productive pass rusher in one of the best conferences in the country. It’s really just a great honor to have this kid joining our team. We’re really excited about it.

Head Coach Mike Tomlin: I share those thoughts and feelings with Kevin in regards to the excitement. It really was a fun and easy evaluation. When you look at the outside linebackers in the 3-4 defenses, generally there is some projection and so forth involved in the evaluation. This was an easy evaluation from that standpoint. He plays in a very similar scheme, he’s asked to do things in a manner in which he’ll be asked to do it here in Pittsburgh, very little guesswork in that regard made it a fun evaluation and made it a comfortable evaluation. He excelled in what they asked him to do and he’ll be asked to do similar things here. So, all in all, we’re just very thankful and very excited to have Jarvis.

Was this one of those scenarios where you guys were surprised he fell to you?

KC: Not so much surprised. I didn’t know if he would make it because he was one of the guys that we thought was special. Again, with the 3-4 defense, it kind of cuts the market in half as to who is looking for this type of player. So, we knew there was a chance, we were hoping there was a chance, that’s certainly the truth. Jarvis didn’t work out at the combine. When he worked out at his pro day and he ran the 4.9 we were happy because we knew that we had a chance. We didn’t even talk to Jarvis at the combine because we didn’t think there was any chance that he’d get to us. When he ran the 4.9, the first thing I did was go over and see his agent and set up the visit because I knew that we had a chance. Then he continued with the workout and it was off the charts impressive. It just verified what we thought of him in college. This kid, when you watch him play, I don’t care what he runs. He’s a football player in every phase of the game and that was what was really exciting. When the time wasn’t quite what others were looking for, we were excited.

MT: When Kevin talked earlier about acknowledging six to eight special guys or guys with special characteristics, he was in that group. So, to get him at 17, obviously, we’re excited.

Did your medical staff check him out during his visits?
MT: Certainly.

KC: Absolutely. There was no problem. The kid has played two seasons without an issue at the University of Georgia. Of course, he has to go through a physical and just to be sure we made another check when he came in. Certainly we’re very comfortable with his medical status or we wouldn’t have made that pick.

Re: How his playing style fits:
MT: He plays the game with a certain disposition that we value, a certain demeanor that we value. Whether he’s making a tackle or confronting a block, he does it in a manner that we appreciate. He’ll fit in great with our group.

Re: His composure:
MT: He’s been through a lot. He’s been to the West coast and back. He’s dealt with an injury that could’ve potentially put his career in question. He’s been through a lot. Kevin and I remarked at his pro day that he moved around then like a veteran player, he did. That doesn’t mean that he’s not a rookie, he’s going to  be a rookie and he’ll go through the same thing rookies go through. We’re not going to take anything for granted in terms of his growth and development. He did have a mature demeanor around him and it’s probably because of his life experiences.

Re: His fit in this defense:
MT: There’s been a few times where he put his hand on the ground, but predominantly he’s a two-point stance player. He also plays a little bit of rover for them, where he’ll stack and play at the linebacker level and in some sub package stuff, like we’ve done with our outside linebackers in the past. That’s what I was referring to earlier when I said it was an easy and comfortable evaluation.


* VIDEO: Jarvis Jones Press Conference



 Jarvis Jones Press Conference Transcript

Team President Art Rooney II: Good evening everyone. We are pleased tonight to welcome to Pittsburgh and introduce to you our first-round draft choice, Jarvis Jones. Jarvis had a distinguished career at the University of Georgia. He started all 26 games that he played at Georgia. He had 28 sacks, the third-most in school history. Last season he set the Georgia Bulldogs single season record with 14.5 sacks. We are excited to welcome Jarvis to Pittsburgh. First, I’d like to present to you your first Steelers jersey.

Steelers First-Round Pick Jarvis Jones: First of all, let me thank these gentlemen for making the decision they made and for making me a Steeler. It was a wonderful decision. I’m glad to be here. I can already tell I’m falling in love with this place. It is a wonderful place to play. I could feel the intensity when I came on my visit a couple weeks ago. I already love it. I have been watching the Steelers for quite some time, always watching the linebackers trying to learn and trying to get better. Being in the Black and Gold means a whole lot to me. I’m trying to take full advantage of my opportunity. I don’t know what to say. I’m excited. Everything is just falling into place for me right now. I want to thank the Steelers Nation as well. They did a great job of pulling me up and keeping me in there. I’m happy the coaches made a great decision. I’m thankful to be in Pittsburgh, and I’m loving this place right now.

What was your first impression of this organization?
It’s a wonderful place. They are serious about football right here. Every year they are looking to compete for a Super Bowl. That means a whole lot to me being a player and being a competitor. I love this game, and I’m very passionate about this game. I want to win. That’s something they take very seriously around here, and I recognized that really quickly.

You were 245 pounds at the combine, was that the weight you played at?
I played around 245-250.

What kind of plans do you have for the NFL?
I don’t really have any. I really haven’t sat down and talked to the coaches yet. Wherever they want me to play at, that is where I will play. I think the biggest I have ever been is around 255 lbs. so I can put on some weight and play with it.

What do you credit your development to?
I think just being tough, staying prayed up and having confidence in myself and believing, as well as having great support from my family, my friends and just staying humble throughout the whole experience. It definitely matured me and made me the person I am today.

How did the thing with Subway come along? 
I think my agent did a great job on the marketing. That was a wonderful deal. Subway for life. I get to eat Subway forever. [Laughs] I love Subway. Actually we have a Subway right down the street from the facility, so I used to eat Subway a lot. I would get a sub before meetings and try to stay healthy, get my energy for practice.  

What did you think of the likeness?
It was a wonderful sculpture. Great art. He put a lot of hard work in. I think he said he was working on it for a couple of weeks. It was a lot of stuff that went into it. I think he said my hair was five pounds. They did a great job. I love it and it was a great sculpture.   

Who would you compare yourself to?
I wouldn’t compare myself to anybody. I think I have a star of my own. I just want to come in here and give everything I got. Bring effort, great character, be coachable and do what my coaches and teammates ask me to do and that’s to give everything I got. Come here every day ready to work and sacrifice everything to be great.

You played against Michigan State. What do you think of Bell?
Big, strong physical guy. Guy that can take the route. They beat us in double overtime. He’s one of the running backs that I definitely respect and I love his game and he’s going to have a bright future. 

Re: Bell weighs about the same as you:
He’s huge. We were saying the same thing when we got the scouting report on him a couple of years ago. But when you’re built like that and can move like that, you’ve got a bright future. I definitely know that being teammates now, we just have to come in and get the ball rolling.

You’re replacing James Harrison. Do you welcome that challenge? 
That’s big shoes to fill. I’m just going to come in here and do what my coach is asking me to do and do what I’m capable of doing. James Harrison is a great guy, a great pass rusher, a great teammate obviously. Everybody knows who he is. He was a Pro [Bowler] and I’m trying to get on that level and trying to make a name for myself. I’m just coming in here and doing everything I’ve been doing, just continue to sharpen my skills and be a great teammate.

Your defense coordinator is Dick LeBeau. How much did you spend with him so far and what’s your impression of him?
Everybody loves Coach LeBeau. I talked to him a few times and he’s a special guy. He loves this game. He’s passionate about it. He loves pass rushers too. He loves linebackers and the whole Steeler nation can say that about linebackers. I’m just so excited to be a part of it and for a legendary coach like himself to coach and mentor me. 

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