By Bill Huber
Posted Apr 1, 2010
Geathers Ready For Jump(y) To The NFL
Report publisher Bill Huber talked to Central Florida's
Jarvis Geathers and his father, former NFL star Jumpy
Geathers. Jarvis Geathers tallied 11 sacks as a senior
but has been sidelined through the draft process with a
The Mannings might be the NFL’s so-called first family,
but the Geathers have them outnumbered.
Jumpy Geathers recorded 62 sacks as a defensive end for
the New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins, Atlanta
Falcons and Denver Broncos from 1984 through 1996.
Geathers’ brother, Robert, was a third-round draft pick
by the Buffalo Bills in 1981, but his career ended
before it started because of injury.
The next generation already is making its mark. Robert
Geathers Jr. has 26.5 sacks in six seasons with the
Cincinnati Bengals, who drafted him in the fourth round
in 2004. Jumpy’s son, Jeremy, entered the NFL as an
undrafted free agent out of UNLV in 2008. He is playing
for Spokane of the Arena Football League and is looking
for another shot at the NFL. And this year’s draft class
features Jumpy’s other son, Jarvis, a productive
defensive end from Central Florida. Robert Geathers
Sr.’s other son, the 6-foot-8 Clifton, left South
Carolina a year early and is a late-round prospect.
“It’s the same bloodline, brothers and stuff,” Jumpy
Geathers told Packer Report. “Same bloodline. That’s
what we do. We play sports and we teach them to do the
best that they can do. The older we get, the better we
get. The whole family, from my brothers’ kids to my
other nephews, it’s competition. Even basketball — we’ve
got a 7-foot basketball player. Everybody’s trying to
outdo the other one. If you’re just sitting around and
just being a big guy, you ain’t doing nothing. You don’t
want to be that guy.”
Jarvis Geathers posted 11 sacks during his senior season
and was named to the all-Conference USA first team.
Among those sacks were two in the fourth quarter that
forced turnovers and clinched the Golden Knights’
early-season victory over Buffalo.
A torn quad, which he called a five- or six-month
injury, has kept him from offseason workouts and will
keep him out until perhaps June minicamps.
“Some teams probably are looking away because I’ve got
the injury but some of them are still looking at me,” he
told Packer Report. “If you watch my film, you can see
that I’m a player and I’m ready to play ball.”
His last name will help him either get drafted or be
signed as a priority free agent not long after the
draft. He’ll sink or swim, however, based on whether he
“He’s got the will power,” said Jumpy Geathers, who’s
working in real estate and has coached junior varsity
girls basketball for the last six years. “I think he’s a
little better than me in a couple of ways. For his size,
if you look at the film, those big guys don’t move him.
I don’t understand that, because I played at 295 and I
couldn’t do what he’s doing at that size. His will is
out of this world. It’s amazing.”
Father and son laugh when it’s pointed out that Jarvis
has more speed than Jumpy.
“He’s quicker than me now!” the 50-year-old Jumpy said.
Jarvis said he began playing football in third grade,
starting as a fullback and middle linebacker. He was
first-team all-state at Andrews (S.C.) High School, and
spent two seasons at River College in Quincy, Calif.,
before arriving at UCF in 2008.
“My dad, he taught all of us our pass-rush moves and our
basic fundamentals of playing at the end position from
the beginning — from the stance and your first step and
your get-off,” Jarvis said.
At 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds, Jarvis’ best position in the
NFL probably would be as an outside linebacker in a 3-4
defense. It’s a position that he’d embrace. Outside
linebackers make their money by sacking the quarterback,
and that was his strength at UCF.
“There’s nothing better than that,” he said. “That’s why
I play. Every time I get to hit a quarterback, it’s an
Asked about his bread-and-butter move, he added: “It
depends on what the offensive lineman does. I can speed,
I can bull, I can come back inside. It’s really a
reaction, like a natural instinct.”
Jumpy said it would be a “dream come true” to see his
son be drafted. The injury could be an obstacle.
“He has a quick first step, uses his long arms and
change-of-direction ability to get off blocks and
displays a burst of closing speed in pursuit,” Scout.com
draft analyst Chris Steuber said. “He lacks the
upper-body strength to contend at the line of scrimmage
and must improve his overall technique, if a team
decides to use him at defensive end. He's a hard worker,
possesses a strong motor and has upside as a pass
rusher. But durability is an issue and his size will
likely keep him from being drafted.”
Regardless of whether he’s drafted, Jarvis will get his
chance. Last year, the Packers’ Clay Matthews — with a
famous dad by the same name — entered the NFL hoping to
make a name for himself. Matthews wound up with 10 sacks
and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Like Matthews, Jarvis
embraces his link to his father but wants to set his own
“You want to be known as Jarvis Geathers and not the son
of Jumpy,” Jarvis said. “It’s good to be known as the
son of Jumpy Geathers, don’t get me wrong, but you want
to be known as your own name and stick out there like,
‘This is what he did. He was a great player.’”
Calvin Robinson, Esq.