Georgia has suffered a mountain-sized defensive hit, both literally and figuratively, ahead of its postseason matchup with Nebraska.
Wednesday evening, as the Bulldogs began on-site prep work in orlando, UGA head coach Mark Richt announced that starting nose tackle John Jenkins will not play in the Capital One Bowl New Year’s Day. Richt stated that academic-related issues are behind the 6-3, 358-pound defensive lineman being sidelined for the Big Ten-vs-SEC bowl game.
Going up against a squad as run-heavy as the Cornhuskers — NU is currently eighth in the country at 254.5 yards per game — it’s a significant on-field loss for the Bulldogs.
Jenkins had started all 13 games this season, and was second among defensive linemen in tackles with 50. He added two tackles for loss and one sack in his role as UGA’s middle-of-the-line anchor. As Jenkins is a senior, his football career in Athens is over as well.
Junior Kwame Geathers is listed as the No. 2 NT behind Jenkins on the depth chart headed into UGA’s bowl preparations.
Despite losing one of his most talented defensive linemen, Richt had nothing but praise for the now-former player.
“I think John Jenkins has been awesome for Georgia,” Richt said in quotes distributed by the school. “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.”