In the first of what will be myriad announcements from now until mid-January, one of the top players at his position has decided to take his talents to the professional ranks.
Florida State defensive end Brandon Jenkins confirmed Monday that he will forego an attempt at a medical redshirt and will make himself available for the April NFL draft. Jenkins’ decision comes two-and-a-half months after he suffered a foot injury that prematurely ended his true senior season.
The fact that Jenkins missed all but one game very likely would’ve assured the lineman he would’ve received a fifth year from the NCAA in 2013. Instead, Jenkins will play his first year at the NFL level next season.
“I think it’s time,” Jenkins said in quotes distributed by the school. “It’s been great. I love FSU. I love everybody. I bleed Garnet and Gold. It was a tough decision (and) I feel like my time has been good, but I will enter the draft.
After playing in 12 games as a true freshman in 2009, Jenkins had started 28 straight games over two-plus seasons. He was a first-team All-ACC selection in 2010 and a second-team pick in 2011.
In 40 career games, Jenkins was credited with 22.5 sacks and 37.5 tackles for loss.
“I am very supportive of Brandon’s decision,” head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We had a great talk. It is best for him to go and become an NFL football player, which he most definitely will. We were very blessed to have had him here at Florida State. He’s one of the great players in Florida State history, but not only that, he’s one of the great people in Florida State history. He represented our team and our school with great dignity. I wish him nothing but the best and it was a pleasure to be able to coach him.”
FSU noted that Jenkins’ rehab from the Lisfranc injury should allow him to participate in all of the pre-draft evaluations, including the Indianapolis Combine.