Thursday, April 26, 2012

Janoris Jenkins Speaks Out

Janoris Jenkins has awesome talent as an athlete, but multiples decisions in his private life have caused speculations and may hurt his pick in the draft. Jenkins attended Pahokee High School, where he was recognized as a first-team Class 2B all-state selection and a Parade magazine All-American as a senior in 2008. Rated a four-star recruit by, Jenkins was listed as the sixth-best cornerback prospect in the nation when the Gators picked him up.

Now with the draft right around the corner, many teams seem to be veering away from picking Jenkins in the first round. Jenkins, the father of  four children from three different mothers, is quick to point out that is a good father and his fatherhood never got in the way of his abilities to play college football for the Gators.

What did get in his way however were bar fights and arrests for marijuana use. On June 1, 2009, Jenkins was arrested near a bar by Gainesville Police for fighting and resisting arrest after punching a man in the head around 2 AM. Police were forced to use a taser on Jenkins after fighting escalated. When asked why the fight started, Jenkins told police it was because he thought someone was going to steal the gold chain around his neck. On April 23, 2011, Jenkins was cited by a Gainesville police officer and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession. He was cited for the same violation in January 2011, and paid a $316 fine. He was arrested in May 2009 during a downtown Gainesville fight that resulted in probation and community service. On April 26, 2011, he was dismissed by the Florida Gators football team, due to his second drug related arrest in 3 months. He played his senior year at North Alabama.

Lets face it many college students delve into smoking a little pot. The biggest problem with the marijuana use, is that Jenkins got caught not once, but twice, including after new Florida coach Will Muschamp came in and made clear that he wasn’t going to tolerate the off-field arrests that previous coach Urban Meyer had tolerated. But are these mistakes enough to hurt Jenkins in the draft?

Jenkins speed and agility make him a natural cover corner. As a Gator he became just the second true freshman in school history to start at cornerback on opening day raking in four tackles against Hawaii, and finished his freshman year just as strong with five tackles in the BCS National Championship Game against Oklahoma. His sophomore year Jenkins started all 13 games he appeared in and totaled 38 tackles on the season, including 33 solo hits. His Junior season Janoris Jenkins was named First-Team All-SEC pick by the AP and Second-Team All-SEC selection by the coaches’. A starter on the kickoff and punt coverage teams, his 67-yard interception return for a touchdown vs. Miami University is the fourth-longest in the SEC in 2010. Thirty-two of his 44 tackles were solo and he had one sack and six tackles for loss that season. Despite an 'average' build at 5-10, 193 pounds, he's willing in run support and has shown great toughness playing through pain. As such, he's a first round caliber prospect.

A true Gator, despite playing his senior year for a Bowden, we wish Janoris Jenkins good luck in the draft and hope the negative experiences are part of past! As Jenkins is quoted as saying "Whoever gets me is going to get a blessing, I’m a great guy.”

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