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August 27, 2008

Freshman of Impact: Ben Jones

No. 3 Ben JonesA video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.
Position: Offensive lineman
Size: 6-3, 300
High School: Bibb County High (Centreville, Ala.)
Rivals rating: Three stars

There was something about freshman offensive lineman Ben Jones that head coach Mark Richt liked from the very beginning.
On National Signing Day, Richt commented how Jones' fire, his internal motor, was something that jumped out at him when he first started watching the Alabama native on film. Jones, who enrolled in January, didn't disappoint during spring drills. In fact, Jones was so impressive that Richt gave hints that the 300 pounder would get a look at center in preseason. As UGASports continues its look at 10 freshmen who could make the biggest impact this fall, we take a look at Jones whose ability, toughness and knowledge of the position make him a prime candidate for extensive playing time this fall.

Who is in front of him: Redshirt sophomore Chris Davis is currently atop the depth chart at center with Jones already listed at No. 2 ahead of redshirt sophomore Kevin Perez. Jones could also see time at either guard position.

Climbing the depth chart: Richt hasn't ruled out Jones winning the starting center job with a strong preseason. Although that might seem like a longshot, nobody should put anything past Jones whose grittiness, determination and drive have him on a fast track for success. Even if he fails to beat out Davis for the starting spot at center, Richt has said that his offensive line will consist of the best five players. Even on limited basis, Jones would seem to fit that bill.

What will make it tough: If Davis does hold onto the starting center spot, Jones could well see time at guard, but the Bulldogs also have a number of other players at that position, including Clint Boling, Justin Anderson, Vince Vance, Tanner Strickland, Chris Little and Ben Harden. That fact alone could limit the plays that Jones eventually sees.

UGASports' take: "Ben's fun to watch practice because he exhibits that same fire that David Pollack used to display and that Knowshon Moreno does when he pops up and runs back to the huddle after being tackled. He's got a little mean streak, too, but that's good for an offensive lineman. Jones will be an All-SEC performer before his career is done."

The Top 10 No. 10 Linebacker Marcus Dowtin
No. 9 Offensive lineman Cordy Glenn
No. 8 Defensive back Brandon Boykin
No. 7 Defensive tackle A.J. Harmon
No. 6 Running back Richard Samuel
No. 5 Linebacker Akeem Hebron
No. 4 Wide receiver Tavarres King
No. 3 Offensive lineman Ben Jones
No. 2 TBA
No. 1 - TBA



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