Ledbetter is a Dawg

Georgia will add an important scholarship player on Tuesday.

Joseph Ledbetter, the older brother of 2015 four-star Alabama commit Jonathan Ledbetter, is enrolling at Georgia this week, and without any holdup, will participate as a scholarship football player during Georgia’s first practice on Friday.

“I am finishing up the process right now,” Ledbetter said. “We have to finish up a couple of things, and I will be in tomorrow.”

Ledbetter is transferring from Pfeiffer University, where he played basketball for two years at the NCAA Division II school. He said he planned on moving from basketball to football this fall, but didn’t know if he would wind up at Georgia.

“I worked hard, so I didn’t think I would get a full ride to Georgia,” Ledbetter said. “Basketball and football conditioning is totally different. I have been preparing my body differently to deal with the different things that football has that basketball doesn’t like muscle endurance. I am not quite where I want to be, and I still have hard work to do.

“At Dawg Night the coaches didn’t say anything to me (about enrolling),” Ledbetter said. “I just went and did the camp. I was talking to Coach Richt earlier in the summer, and he mentioned it to me. He said to come up and watch the camp. I asked if I could attend the camp, and he looked into it, and I went out there, and I did what I had been practicing all summer.”

And so Ledbetter participated in Dawg Night, and that turned out to be his path to Georgia. He said he didn’t know what to expect after focusing on basketball for two seasons. Ledbetter spent the previous summer months running through drills as a tight end and focusing his workouts for skills necessary on the football field.

"I was really nervous about the camp," he said. "There was a lot of similar stuff I had been doing. I was more prepared than I thought I would have been for the camp."

Naturally the idea of playing with his younger brother has come up. Jonathan Ledbetter stars for Tucker High in DeKalb and is considered one of the top defensive lineman in the state. The elder Ledbetter doesn’t want to pressure his brother about his college decision.

“I actually talked to my brother and Coach Richt about that,” he said. “I told him that, yes, it would be nice to go to the same college, but that he has to do what’s best for him. If Georgia is not the best place for him — then I don’t want him to go to Georgia. But it would be great to be at Georgia with me, but I am going to tell him to figure out what is the best place for you. I don’t want him to go somewhere just because I am going there. That’s going to determine where you go from there.”

The older Ledbetter nearly wound up going to Alabama — at least that's what he initially thought.

"After every game the other basketball coaches kept coming up to me after games and said that I should play football," he said. "I thought it was a joke at first. I looked into playing at Alabama, and I started talking with the coaches. That’s how it started off. I was accepted to Alabama in May. That’s where I really thought I would go is there as a walk-on. Thankfully I got a chance to get a scholarship."

Georgia starts practice on Friday in Athens.

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