Throughout the 2010 college football season I wrote positive reviews about cornerback Janoris Jenkins. He stood out on a transitioning Florida Gators team, performing against the most talented receivers college football had to offer. In November I highlighted his ‘three strikes’ against Alabama’s Julio Jones, Georgia’s AJ Green and South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery. All three had their least productive games in 2010 when covered by Jenkins.
Unfortunately it looks like a different ‘strike three’ has put Jenkins’ career in serious jeopardy.
I graded him in the top-15 and fully expected him to declare for the 2011 draft. It was some surprise that he chose not to, but perhaps the reasoning is now clearer. He recently had his third arrest during his time in Florida, two of those arrests are marijuana-related and all on misdemeanour charges. Tom Fornelli reported the following for CBS:
“Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins has once again been busted by Gainesville police for marijuana possession. Barely more than a month after Jenkins appeared in a courtroom to deal with an arrest for marijuana possession, Jenkins was caught with a joint in his car early Saturday morning. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Jenkins had been smoking a cigar in a car parked in a parking lot. When Jenkins saw the police, he put the cigar down, got out of the car and walked away. The police then found the cigar in the center console of the car and found that it was not filled with tobacco. According to the Gainesville police department, Jenkins was given a notice to appear in court for possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.”
New Gators coach Will Muschamp wasted little time kicking him off the team in the most modern of ways – announcing the decision on Twitter.
Jenkins could’ve entered the 2011 supplemental draft but I understand no team would’ve taken him. It’s since been revealed he’ll transfer to Division II outfit North Alabama. If the 22-year-old can get his head down and stay out of trouble, he should dominate at that level of football. I’m not convinced there’s any way he can get back into first round contention due to the off-field concerns, but he’s still a player with amazing talent.
He’s very much a competitive playmaker with eight career interceptions. Despite not being the biggest or most physical cornerback (5-11, 190lbs) he plays above those limitations as witnessed against the likes of Jones, Green and Jeffery. In terms of coverage, he’s as good as it gets and has fluid hips, excellent recovery speed, a competitive streak to challenge for the ball and instinct. He could return kicks at North Alabama and put points on the board regularly.
Matthew Elder has highlighted some of the key matchups Jenkins will face next year in this excellent piece for the Examiner. Elder suggests games against Central Oklahoma, Abilene Christian and Delta State will be crucial in his attempts to get back into draft contention.
One more off the field incident and it could be game over. If Janoris Jenkins can use his departure from Florida as a major wake up call and get his head into football, there’s still no reason why he can’t get into the NFL and make a name for himself.