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Friday, April 26, 2013 - 6:18am

NFL Draft Showcasing Georgia Talent

Two players from the state of Georgia made it into the national spotlight Thursday night as they were chosen in the NFL Draft.

University of Georgia standout Jarvis Jones was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fellow linebacker Alec Ogletree was drafted by the St. Louis Rams.

GPB Sports Director Mark Harmon said those selections put UGA’s program in the national spotlight.

“They’ll garner a lot of attention and that, you know, trickles down to the program,” explained Harmon. “That means, hey Georgia’s doing something right with the players that they’re recruiting, the players that they’re coaching up. They’re getting them ready for a career in the NFL. A lot of high school players will take notice of this and say, ‘Hey, if it worked for Alec Ogletree, if it worked for Jarvis Jones, maybe it’ll work for me.’”

Harmon said the attention from the NFL Draft could also influence more athletes in the state to pursue higher education.

“There’s a lot of talent in the state of Georgia at the high school level and maybe they’re not quite talented enough to play at Georgia Tech or at Georgia, but there’s a lot of opportunities,” Harmon said. “Kennesaw State is starting up a program. You know, Mercer is starting up a program. Georgia State just recently started up a program. Hey, that’s all college scholarships. That’s all college degrees on the line. That’s a lot of education and football at the next level, that’s all good.”

UGA has a total of 15 NFL hopefuls this year. Georgia Tech has as many as six and Georgia Southern has four.

The NFL Draft began Thursday night and continues through Saturday.