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2011 Football Roster

Jelani Jenkins


6' 0"
Olney, Md.
230 lbs.
Our Lady Good Counsel
Jelani Jenkins


Appeared in 36 games, including 31 starts, and recorded 182 tackles, 109 solo and 16.5 for loss, 6.0 sacks, seven pass breakups, three interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery…Three year letter-winner for the Gators…Declared for the 2013 NFL Draft.



2012 Butkus Award Preseason Watch List…Coaches’ Preseason All-SEC Third Team…Rotary Lombardi Award Preseason Watch List…2012 Phil Steele Preseason Second-Team Defense…2012 Athlon Preseason Second-Team Defense…Selected to the 2010 SEC All-Freshman Team…Named Fourth-Team All-SEC in Phil Steele’s 2010 Postseason Awards…Also earned a place on the 2010 SEC Academic Honor Roll.



Started the first two games of the year at the Will linebacker position before injuring his thumb, forcing him to miss three of the next four games…Returned full strength against South Carolina and started six more games…Despite only playing in nine games, Jenkins still finished ninth on the team in tackles (29), 19 were unassisted…Pulled down 5.0 tackles for loss on the year, 2.0 were sacks on the quarterback, good for a tie of fifth on the team… Recorded a season-high seven tackles against Louisiana, all unassisted, and was a team-high…Pulled in one interception against Florida State and returned it 14 yards…Tallied seven tackles,  tying his season-high, against Missouri, which included four solo stops and one sack for 11 yards…Finished the year with two quarterback hurries, one against Missouri and one against Jacksonville State…Also, returned a blocked punt 36 yards for touchdown with :02 remaining to defeat Louisiana.



Started 12 games at weakside linebacker, missing the Vanderbilt game due to injury…Finished the season third on the team in tackles (75) and second in breakups (6), adding 6.0 TFL (37 yards), 2.0 sacks (20 yards), three QB hurries, a forced fumble and a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown…Phil Steele’s Preseason All-SEC Second Team (LB)…Athlon Sports Preseason All-SEC Second Team (LB)…SEC Coaches’ Preseason All-SEC Third Team (LB)…Butkus Award Watch List (LB)…Led the team in tackles three times (FAU, Alabama, Florida State)…Recorded four tackles against Ohio State in the Gator Bowl…Tied his career high with a team-leading 11 tackles against Florida State, notching 2.0 tackles for a team-season-best loss of 21 yards including an 11-yard sack…Recorded 10 tackles against Furman, forced a fumble, and returned his first interception of the season 75 yards for a touchdown…Had four tackles and a pass breakup at South Carolina…Notched five tackles, one for a 2-yard loss, against Georgia…Registered seven tackles at Auburn, with a 2-yard TFL and a pass breakup…Recorded eight tackles at LSU…Notched a team-best nine tackles, one TFL, against Alabama…Had four tackles at Kentucky…Registered six tackles, including a 9-yard sack, a two pass breakups against Tennessee…Recorded two tackles and a pass breakup against UAB…Led the team with five tackles and added a pass breakup in the season opener against FAU.



Appeared in all 13 games, starting 11 (all but Tennessee and Alabama) at middle or weakside linebacker…Selected to the Freshman All-SEC Team…Named Fourth-Team All-SEC in Phil Steele’s Postseason Awards…Also earned a place on the 2010 SEC Academic Honor Roll…His 76 tackles on the season ranked second on UF’s defense and was the most among SEC freshmen and 21st overall in the SEC…His 51 tackles in SEC games ranked second on the Gators…Had at least six tackles in eight of Florida’s 13 games and at least eight tackles four times…Started six games at weakside linebacker and five games at middle linebacker…Credited with three tackles and a TFL vs. Penn State in the 2011 Outback Bowl…Paced the Gators at Florida State with nine tackles…Came up with four tackles in the victory over Appalachian State…Recorded a career-high 11 tackles and added one sack and two TFL vs. South Carolina which marked the first double-digit tackle game of his career…Graded out as a Champion at Vanderbilt as he led the Gators with eight tackles…Graded out as a Champion for his play vs. Georgia…Had four tackles (three solo) vs. Georgia and recorded the first pass break-up of his career, along with scooping up an Aaron Murray fumble and returning it 10 yards to set up Florida’s second touchdown of the game…Tipped pass by UGA’s Murray in overtime that was picked off by Will Hill…Made two tackles vs. Mississippi State…Registered six tackles and his first career interception which he returned 47 yards vs. LSU…Collected six tackles and added a quarterback hurry at Alabama…Set a then career-high with eight tackles, including a TFL, vs. Kentucky and graded out as a Champion…Earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for his performance against Tennessee and graded out as a Champion…Had six tackles at Tennessee and recorded his first career sack, which was initially ruled a safety until overturned by instant replay…Collected six tackles vs. USF…Notched three tackles in the season opener vs. Miami University, when he made his first career start at weakside linebacker.



Dressed for all 14 games for the Gators, seeing action vs. Charleston Southern and Kentucky…Notched two tackles, including one for a loss, in his collegiate debut against Charleston Southern…Named to the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll in Spring 2010.



Earned first-team Washington-Post All-Met honors and was first-team all-state in Maryland…Played in the Under Armour All-America Game…Highest-rated outside linebacker by and the 10th-best player overall…Selected as a first-team 2008 EA Sports All-American…Named the Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year in both 2007 and 2008…Rushed for 22 touchdowns on 87 carries during his senior season and made 70 tackles on defense…First player in the 71-year history of the District’s Pigskin Club to earn both Defensive Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors…Traveled to Los Angeles as one of five national finalists for the Watkins Award, awarded annually to the “Premier African-American Male Scholar Athlete”…Registered 60 tackles, four sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and recovered two fumbles as a junior on defense…Rushed for 791 yards and 16 touchdowns that season…A standout sprinter in track, he has recorded a 4.4 40-yard dash…Chose Florida over Notre Dame, Penn State, USC and Stanford…Coached by Bob Milloy.



Tackles: 11 (2x, last Florida State, 2011)

QB Sacks: 1 (6x, last vs. Missouri, 2012)

Forced Fumbles: 1 (Furman, 2011)

Interceptions: 1 (3x, last at Florida State, 2012)


























































What they’re saying…

 “A redshirt junior, Jenkins has made up for time lost to a broken thumb and strained hamstring. Jenkins has 14 tackles (11 solo) the past two games and will go down in Gators' lore for his 36-yard touchdown return of a blocked punt during last week's come-back win against Louisiana-Lafayette. Like Elam, Jenkins (6-0, 237) anticipates plays and arrives with authority. ‘He has anticipation of when the ball is going to arrive or how to get my body in the right spot to make the hit,’ Quinn said.” (11/15/12)
Edgar Thompson, Orlando Sentinel


(On Jenkins playing his second full game of the season against South Carolina): "He came back and that was a big help to our defense. Just him being out there, able to echo the calls a lot more. Getting the checks that we need to a lot faster for us to get our pre-snap reads a lot earlier than we can. It's a big help." (10/23/12)
Jon Bostic, UF linebacker


(On playing with a cast): "At first it was weird but I kind of got used to it. I'm not able to grab as good as I want to, but it's one of those things you've just got to deal with. As long as I'm on the field and able to contribute, I'm happy. As long as I'm not hurting the team, I'm happy being out there playing with a cast on." (10/22/12)
Jelani Jenkins, UF linebacker


“He is probably Florida's most physically gifted linebacker. He has tremendous speed and while he lines up outside, he can play multiple positions and covers a lot of defensive ground. The next step in his game is to become more of a pass-rushing threat.” (7/17/12)

Edward Aschoff and Chris Low,


“They’ve (Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins) grown up so much. They’re able to call out the huddle and lead guys, where it used to be a defensive lineman like me, or Jaye Howard, or William Green. Now they can call us up now and say what they feel is right. They’re two great athletes. They work hard every day in practice at their craft and it’s really paying off for them right now.” (9/27/11)

Omar Hunter, UF defensive tackle


“I’m probably a lot better at being a leader now. Last year helped me because it gave me a lot of experience. I was probably one of the youngest guys on the defense playing with guys like Ahmad Black counting on me to make the calls. Now that there are guys younger than me, I’m kind of used to being in that leadership role.” (8/18/11)

Jelani Jenkins, UF linebacker


“He’s an absolutely fantastic football player. With Jelani, you’ll never have to worry about a character issue. He’s a gentleman, he’s quiet and humble. He was a good student and a high character guy. It was a pleasure coaching him.” (8/2/11)

Bob Miloy, Good Counsel Head Football Coach (Jelani’s high school coach)


“He must have fallen down about 100 times. It didn’t matter how many times he fell, he brushed his little legs off and kept getting back up. To me, that spoke to his character and determination.” (8/2/11)

Maurice Jenkins, father of Jelani Jenkins, on Jenkins as a child at the local skating rink


“He’s aggressive, likes to hit, and can really run. In Will Muschamp’s linebacker-friendly defense, Jenkins has the talent to develop into a star.”  (6/2/11)

Robbie Andreu, Gainesville Sun


"I play my heart out every time I play. My coaches push me every week, tell me I have to play aggressive and big because I’m not that tall. I just go out and work on my weaknesses and just keep getting better and better as the season go on.” (11/10/10)

Jelani Jenkins, UF linebacker


“Jelani Jenkins is really coming into his own right now as an SEC linebacker.” (11/7/10)

Urban Meyer, former UF Head Coach


“Anytime you have a guy that plays multiple positions, it's good for your defense. At the point, if something happens, you always put your next best player on the field. And if that means a guy comes in and he has to slide over to a different position, he can do it. So that's always a great asset.” (8/14/10)

Teryl Austin, former UF Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks Coach


"I never rank players or teams, but obviously Jelani is one of the best players I've ever coached. He's very gifted physically. He's got great speed and he's very, very intelligent. He understands what's going on out there. It was a pleasure to coach him." (8/25/10)

Bob Milloy, Jelani’s High School Coach


“Jelani's a very, very talented football player. Loves football. Practices well -- [he's] having a great camp. Competes really well. Athletically and speed wise he almost moves like a DB. He's really, really athletic and fast. We also like that inside too. He can really run to the ball and he's physical as well. … He's very productive. He makes a lot of plays. Jelani really runs well.” (8/16/10)

D.J. Durkin, UF Linebackers Coach/Special Teams Coach


“I’m really excited about watching Jelani develop. There are guys who are great athletes who are willing to let that carry them, but he isn’t that way. He knows there are areas he has needed to work on. He has done that and continues to do so. He’s a quick study.” (8/14/10)

Teryl Austin, former UF Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks Coach


“He gets better and better all of the time. And he really wants to keep working. You can tell being around him that Jelani has it in him to really make everyone take notice.” (8/14/10)

Lorenzo Edwards, former UF linebacker


“The fastest linebacker of all appears to be redshirt freshman Jelani Jenkins.” (4/1/10)

Robbie Andreu, Gainesville Sun


“He’s a guy who is going to be on the field as much as possible. He has dynamic speed and is an explosive-type player that we need to get out there. He’s making a lot of plays and seeing things really well right now. He’s a guy we’re going to try and have on the field as much as possible.” (4/1/10)

D.J. Durkin, UF Linebackers Coach/Special Teams Coach


"He didn't ask how many linebackers we had. He just said 'I want to play,' sort of a lot like when Tim Tebow was recruited." (8/12/09)

Urban Meyer, former UF Head Coach on recruiting Jenkins


"He had to go to the (Baltimore) Ravens' stadium to take some pictures for the all-state team, and he just said, ‘I can't go, I've missed this class twice now and I can't miss it again.’ He's got a 3.9 GPA, he’s graduating in three months, and I'm thinking, 'Who the hell cares?' But he refused to go because he didn't want to miss class." (8/12/09)

Bob Milloy, Our Lady of Good Counsel Head Coach


"I will be disappointed if he is not a captain for us someday. He comes from an unbelievable family, and he is exactly what we are looking for." (8/12/09)

Urban Meyer, former UF Head Coach


“Jenkins runs the 40-yard dash in just over 4.4 seconds. Unlike a lot of guys, that speed doesn't seem diminished when he puts on pads. And unlike a lot of other speedsters, Jenkins complements his wheels with a healthy passion for contact.” (2/4/09)

Barker Davis, Washington Post


"Jenkins is not afraid of competition and that showed with his commitment to Florida. He is a pleasure to be around and a heck of a linebacker. He's a bullet to the ballcarrier when he has them in his sights and he brings us that speed that we are always looking for on defense."

Charlie Strong, Louisville Head Coach and former UF Defensive Coordinator/ Linebackers Coach


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