November 23, 2009

Tech play still haunts Jones

It's a play safety Reshad Jones will remember for the rest of his life.

Unfortunately for the Atlanta junior, so does the rest of the Bulldog Nation.

In last year's game against Georgia Tech, the Bulldogs found themselves down by only three at 38-35 after Knowshon Moreno's 32-yard run with 10:23 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Georgia's defense needed a big play to give the offense another chance. But with the football at Yellow Jacket 46, quarterback Josh Nesbitt pitched the ball right to halfback Roddy Jones.

Jones quickly broke contain and zoomed down the right sideline. Enter Reshad Jones, who came streaking across the field and appeared to be in prime position to make a touchdown-saving play. But instead of wrapping up, the Bulldog player tried to bump the Yellow Jacket out of bounds.

That wasn't a good idea.

Roddy Jones shrugged off the hit, maintained his balance and scooted down the sideline to complete the 54-yard scoring play. Georgia Tech held a 45-35 lead and Reshad Jones has spent the past year kicking himself for the tackle that never occurred.

Saturday in Atlanta, Jones is anxious to try and make amends.

"I do remember that play. He (Roddy Jones) was running a tightrope. I thought he was about to go out of bounds, but I was afraid of getting a flag to I was just going to push him to try and make sure he was out," Jones said. "Obviously, he wasn't out."

The play has haunted Jones ever since.

"Kind of, a little bit," said Jones, when asked if he thought the play was blown out of proportion by the media covering the team.

Regardless, Jones said the play taught him a lesson that he fully intends not to let that happen again Saturday if the same opportunity presents itself.

"I've just got to make sure I wrap up every play, every time," he said. "It doesn't matter if a guy is tight-roping the field or not, I've just got to make the tackle."

Head coach Mark Richt said he's had no complaints with that aspect of Jones' game to date.

In fact, Richt said he's been very pleased.

"Reshad has actually been our best tackler on the perimeter," Richt said. "I've really been impressed with him, of course (Saturday) we're going to have to get off blocks to make tackles; that's always the challenge when you face that of offense.

"We can't have those same types of errors. We can't have guys missing tackles once they get there. We've got to beat blocks and make plays in that regard."

Jones said he'll be ready, for what could be the final regular-season game of his career.

As a redshirt sophomore, Jones came an inch of applying for the NFL draft before changing his mind.

"Right now I'm probably about 50-50," said Jones, who graduates in December with a degree in Housing. "I'm not sure about the answer right now, but it is something that I am considering."

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