Jenkins was a freshman All-American at Florida in 2008, but he was kicked off the team by coach Will Muschamp last April. His rap sheet at Florida included three arrests, failed drug tests, and he also has four children with three women. A report last week said Jenkins continued to smoke weed after enrolling at North Alabama, but he denied that was the case in a separate interview.
“I wasn’t smoking marijuana at North Alabama,” Jenkins told Scout.com’s Aaron Wilson. “If anybody wants to know, they can give my coaches a call. I wasn’t partying. They’ve been saying a lot of things about me that aren’t true without getting my side of the story. It’s been a humbling experience.
“You’ve got to be a man, you’ve got to be honest and straightforward. I’ve matured. My past is my past. People can judge me for how far I’ve come. I want to know why all of a sudden this is out there about me. Why didn’t it come out after the combine when I was straightforward with the scouts? The timing is very interesting to me,” he said.
Jenkins’ defensive coordinator at North Alabama, Tony Pecoraro, told Wilson that Jenkins passed random drug tests and did everything they asked him to do.
“I can’t say enough good things about him,” Pecoraro said.
Some teams probably have taken Jenkins off their draft board, but someone will take a chance on him; all talented players get a shot, and Jenkins is talented.
Many of the athletes with “character issues” turn out to be good players on the field, but if they’ve been in that much trouble in college, chances are their problems will continue in the pros (think Pacman Jones, Randy Moss, Aqib Talib, etc). That’s why when you draft a player with a troubled past, you have to be willing to live with the player potentially embarrassing the organization with off-field actions, and possibly getting suspended. The reward often outweighs the risk, and that will probably be the case with Jenkins.
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