Linebacker Jarvis Jones is officially listed as questionable for Saturday night's game at Kentucky, so freshman Jordan Jenkins is getting ready - just in case.
"I've been thinking on it just in case he doesn't play, or if he plays hurt a little bit," Jenkins said after practice Wednesday. "I don't know which it's going to be but I'm trying to get ready. If he is out, I'm going to hurry up and get some sacks to get up to his level to get past him before he gets back."
Jenkins was only joking, although with three sacks, he's just 2.5 behind Jones for the team lead.
"I like him. He's very disciplined in what he does," head coach Mark Richt said. "He's one of those kids when you teach him something he tries to do it exactly the way it is taught. He's got a ton of reps for e freshman and he's taken full advantage of them. He's got all the attributes you want to have from a great rush guy."
If Jenkins does get the start, it will mark the second of his young career.
The former Harris County standout also opened Georgia's game against Florida Atlantic after Jones suffered a groin injury the previous week at Missouri.
"I think having that start against Florida Atlantic helped me because I know what to expect. I won't be nervous and I won't be caught up in the lights," Jenkins said. "The last game I started I did alright, but I didn't do anything exceptional. This game, if I do start, I'm going to come out from the get-go, go full speed and be ready to get some things going."
If not, Jenkins laughed that he'll be sure to hear about it from Jones.
"I don't ever get any congratulatory stuff from Jarvis. I almost called him Coach Jarvis for a second," smiled Jenkins, who rooms with Jones on the road. "I always do everything for him. When I get to the hotel, the AC will be locked down and I'll ask him to turn the air down and he'll be like 'You got legs, you get up freshman.' Somebody knocks on the door for roll call and I've got to get up from the far side of the room to open the door. But I love him, its brotherly love. I'll take a little bit of it."
Richt wouldn't budge when asked about Jones and whether or not he would play against the Wildcats.
"I'm sure you understand I really don't want the whole world to know what's going on, either because somebody has to play us as well and decide whether or not they have to prepare for him or not plan for him," Richt said. "That's why I'm not going to say anything."
There was some good news.
Running back Ken Malcome returned to practice after sitting out Tuesday with an illness, believed to be the flu.
McGowan denies "fair catch" edict
Rhett McGowan rolled his eyes when asked if he's been told to fair catch every punt he receives.
In fact, such a notion could not be further from the truth.
"Yeah, I've heard that 'buzz', but when I'm back there it's all about making smart decisions and if I've got room, they're trusting me to make the right decisions," said McGowan, who has returned two punts for 42 yards. "If I feel I've got room I'm going to return it. I want to return. I don't want to call for a fair catch, but sometimes that's what you have to do."
This and that
Georgia practiced for 90 minutes Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's game. "We had very few missed assignments with the number one unit, a few with the number twos, and we'll do it again tomorrow," said Richt. "We're working on getting ready to play fast."
Although Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have received most of the attention, Richt said he's been pleased with all of the Bulldogs' freshmen. "The learning curve for them is normal, and it helps when you get reps like Jordan and the tailbacks (Gurley, Marshall) and (John) Theus," said Richt. "They have had the opportunity to learn, and they are better for it, but also they feel like I better learn it because I'm playing and people are counting on me. Then you have a guy like Faton (Bauta), and he is getting work in practice and through film study and meetings and has to get experience that way. I still appreciate his work ethic."
Linebacker Alec Ogletree said he hasn't even considered leaving Georgia for the NFL after this year.
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