John Jenkins Ruled Ineligible for the Georgia Bulldogs in Capital One Bowl

David AldridgeFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2012

TMAPA, FL - JANUARY 02: Nose guard John Jenkins #6 of the Georgia Bulldogs intercepts a pass against the Michigan State Spartans in the Outback Bowl January 2, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Florida. The Spartans won 33 - 30. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

One of Georgia's biggest pieces will be missing when the team takes on Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. According to Seth Emerson of The Macon Telegraph, Georgia's starting nose tackle, John Jenkins, has been ruled academically ineligible for the team's bowl game on January 1.

Jenkins, a 358-pound senior from Meridien, CT, has been considered a key player in Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense and is projected as a first round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Jenkins' size and athleticism have provided Georgia the ability to play him at the nose tackle and defensive end positions.

During his senior season, Jenkins racked up 50 tackles, 14 quarterback hurries and one sack. He was recently named to the All SEC Second Team.

With Jenkins being ruled ineligible, the Bulldogs will likely turn to Kwame Geathers, a redshirt junior. At 355 pounds, Geathers brings similar size and athletic ability to Georgia's defensive front and has plenty of game experience. Despite being listed as Jenkins's backup at nose tackle, Geathers has started three games at defensive end this season.

Geathers will look to build on the strong performance he had in the SEC Championship game when he had six tackles against Alabama, including one sack. He will be expected to play a major role in helping the Bulldog defense stop Nebraska's potent rushing attack, which averages 254 yards per game.

And for Georgia fans, their last memory of John Jenkins in a Bulldog uniform will have to be when they saw him in the SEC Championship game.