Reshad Jones declared for the NFL draft today. Although fans are sometimes quick to criticize a player turning pro early, whether because they think it a bad decision or are simply dismayed that a player would choose to move on to the NFL, you can't really blame Reshad. He's already graduated and reportedly got a good enough evaluation from the NFL advisory committee. Safeties with his size and speed usually do get good reviews from the pros. With rumors of a salary cap in the NFL soon, I'd expect a lot of underclassmen to jump to the pros with Reshad.
Jones came to UGA as the No. 1 safety recruit in the country. He redshirted a year and started all but one game from 2008 to the Independence Bowl. Many will remember him solely for the nudge he delivered to Roddy Jones as he tightroped the sideline for a game clinching TD for Tech in 2008. That is not entirely fair. Jones played well this year, although not good enough to automatically assume he would be going pro. He was second on the team in tackles and led the team with four INTs. He also had a fantastic pick against Tech this year in what might have been his best game as a Bulldog. We wish him well.
Bacarri Rambo has to be the odds on favorite to replace Jones next year based on his play this season. The oft-injured Quintin Banks will likely back Rambo up if he gets healthy. Yes, we also have a commitment from the No. 3 safety in the country this year, Alec Ogletree, but I'm not relying on a true freshman to come in and beat out Rambo for a starting slot, no matter how many stars are beside his name.