Senior Bowl Profile: Jake Ganus

Posted Jan 29, 2016

Georgia linebacker Jake Ganus knows the value of hard work and is taking advantage of his Senior Bowl opportunity.

MOBILE, Ala. -- For former Georgia linebacker Jake Ganus, the road making an NFL roster wasn’t originally going through Mobile, Ala.

Bulldog teammate and fellow linebacker Jordan Jenkins, who’s present at the Senior Bowl this week, said Ganus was in touch with him as the rosters were released.

“He texted me when the roster went out and said he didn’t make it,” Jenkins said. “I was like don’t worry, just keep grinding and the chips will fall in your favor soon.”

Jenkins’ prediction was spot on as Ganus received his invite about a week ago. He said he was an alternate, but wasn’t sure when a call would come.

“It caught me a little bit by surprise,” Ganus said. “It was exciting and it was something I wanted to do. To get that opportunity is big for me.”

Ganus, a Birmingham, Ala. native, played quarterback in high school, eclipsing the 1000-yard mark in both rushing and passing his senior year. He continued his career at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as a linebacker and earned a starting job as a freshman in 2012. He led the Blazers in tackles for two straight seasons, but had to transfer as a senior when UAB cut its football program. He ultimately elected to go to Georgia.

“It was a little rough transition at first,” Ganus said. “Once I got there, fit in, and started leading I found my role and it became a lot easier.”

Any thoughts of a tough transition disappeared as he started 12 games and led the Bulldogs with 102 tackles. He proved to himself and others that he could play on the Southeastern Conference stage. The Senior Bowl is just another challenge that Ganus is attacking the same way he’s faced others in the past.

“If you had to describe me it would just be that I’m a ball player,” Ganus said. “I just want to show them that I can do that against the best. These are the best players in the country and it’s something I’ve always done. So I want to keep showing them that I can play.”

This year’s South roster features a number of strong SEC linebackers, many of whom Ganus faced last season. He knows he will have to compete hard to stand out and he said he will rely on his strengths to do so.

“I have to be a smart and savvy football player,” Ganus said. “I know I’m able to learn defenses really quick and pick up things the offense does. It’s the main reason I’ve been successful.”

The former Bulldog is also taking advantage of the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff that’s leading the South squad this week leading up to the game on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s awesome just getting coaching from them and hearing what they have to say and picking their brains as much as I can. It’s really good stuff.”
Ganus’ performance on the field last season spoke volumes for the type of football player he is. The Georgia program went a step further to show the type of teammate he is by honoring the linebacker as the team MVP and overall captain. He is in Mobile this week to prove that he can be that type of player and person for an NFL team next season.

“I want to show that I belong here with the best and that I don’t shy away from anybody or any competition,” Ganus said. “I think I’ve always been the underdog, but I’ve always found a way to the top through hard work and that’s what I’m going to continue to do. Hopefully I can continue to have success.”