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Florida loses Jelani Jenkins to the NFL

Jelani Jenkins, Kenny Miles AP

For the fourth time since the calendar flipped from 2012 to 2013, Florida has lost an underclassmen to the professional ranks.

The latest to leave early is linebacker  Jelani Jenkins, who the Gators announced Monday afternoon has decided to forego his final year of eligibility and declare for the 2013 NFL Draft.  Jenkins joins tight end Jordan Reedsafety Matt Elam and defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd as Gators who have left collegiate eligibility on the table.

“Jelani informed me that he wishes to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL,” said UF head coach Will Muschamp in a statement. “We wish him the best of luck and encourage him to return to Florida and complete his degree.”

Because of a foot injury, Jenkins played in just nine games this season, starting eight of those contests.  One of the games Jenkins missed was the Sugar Bowl after undergoing surgery to repair the damage in his foot.

All told, Jenkins played in 36 games at UF, including 31 starts, and totaled 182 tackles, 16.5 tackles-for-loss, six sacks and three interceptions.

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13 Responses to “Florida loses Jelani Jenkins to the NFL”
  1. mydixienormus says: Jan 7, 2013 3:03 PM

    Maybe he just didn’t want to play for a coach that can’t prepare his team for a BCS bowl game????

    Must be tough being a Florida fan. Given so much false hope throughout the season only to be destroyed in the bowl game.

  2. 1chilla says: Jan 7, 2013 3:13 PM

    I was hoping jelani was stayn he had bad year cause of injuries he could use next year to get his stock upbut wish him the best go gators

  3. canehouse says: Jan 7, 2013 3:40 PM

    Get paid and get a year closer to the second contract… That’s the mentality with kids these days. He will be late first to second rounder.

  4. gatorcheme says: Jan 7, 2013 3:42 PM

    Many NFL hopefuls have seen their careers end in injury while still at the college level. I would guess that Jenkins wants to get to the next level before injuries take him out for good.

  5. foreverlsu says: Jan 7, 2013 4:20 PM

    mydixienormus says:Jan 7, 2013 3:03 PM

    Maybe he just didn’t want to play for a coach that can’t prepare his team for a BCS bowl game????

    Must be tough being a Florida fan. Given so much false hope throughout the season only to be destroyed in the bowl game.
    _____________

    Who’s your team, mr. classy name? Funny to point fingers at Gators but really only a select few can laugh at Florida’s season. Don’t think the team or fanbase cared much about that game and it showed. Maybe you’ll understand one day that in the SEC, it’s either national championship or bust.

    Hate all you want on SEC but soon to be 6-3 in bowls and undisputed top conference …again!

  6. mydixienormus says: Jan 7, 2013 4:29 PM

    You are a LSU fan???

    Even funnier.

    Your QB couldn’t throw his way out of a wet paper bag in the bowl game!!!!!!

    You are choosing now to chest thump about the SEC?

    UGA barley beat Nebraska (A team that let WI score 70+ on them).

    South Carolina barely beat Michigan! The outback bowl was basically a home game for the gamecocks.

    Don’t worry, you can always hang your SEC hat on those Vandy and MS wins…

    Way to go buddy.

    Don’t forget you have teams like TN, AR, Auburn, KY, MO etc. stinking up the bottom of your conference.

  7. 410keith says: Jan 7, 2013 4:34 PM

    Roll tide!!!!!!!!

  8. foreverlsu says: Jan 7, 2013 4:39 PM

    Still won’t reveal who your team is, huh? Makes perfect sense to me.

    Yep, proud to be an LSU fan! Sent my congrats last week to an ACC school for beating LSU for the first time in 20 tries.

    Hang your hat on those SEC teams that just “barley” won but a win is a win.

    Here it is one more time for you since I know it hurts people like you…

    S-E-C!, S-E-C!, S-E-C!

  9. mydixienormus says: Jan 7, 2013 4:47 PM

    I am a Washington Husky fan. LSU kicked their ass this year. Nice win.

    The Huskies got beat by Boise State. Good game, but UW should not be getting beat by them this year.

    Next year is a must win 9-10 games season for UW or the coaching seat will get wicked hot for Steve Sarkisian. Of course he knows this.

  10. gatorcheme says: Jan 7, 2013 5:08 PM

    Some people just troll the boards to see how much hate they can stir up. There’s no interest from these individuals in actually discussing football–just haters hatin’.

    In response to said hater’s original post:

    Yep, Florida got schooled in the Sugar Bowl. Louisville played an excellent game. Bridgewater had probably the best game of the season. His receivers were also prepared and ready. Coach Strong is probably one of the better coaches in the game. I expect he’ll continue to have success.

    The Gators were disappointing in almost every aspect:
    1) Offense (we got away from what we’re good at–the run game).
    2) Defense (receivers beat us man-man. Zone worked like crap because Bridgewater was too accurate. We didn’t put up enough blitz packages, because we had too much respect for his mobility. Defense was pretty good at stopping everything else, though.)
    3) Clock management. Louisville kept the Gator offense off the field. Esp. in the first half.
    4) Poor discipline on the field from the Gators.
    5) Penalties, Penalties, Penalties: 14 for 106 yards.

    That said, what false hope? This was supposed to be a rebuild year for the Gators. We found ways to win throughout the season on games that maybe we shouldn’t have. We have had and continue to have good recruiting.

    Early checkouts to the NFL and transfers are common for teams that are loaded with talent.

    Nope, not tough at all to be a Gator. Our future is looking bright.

    Just keep hatin–or don’t–I don’t care. It doesn’t affect me or my team at all.

  11. dgbk says: Jan 7, 2013 5:21 PM

    i give u credit for saying who ur team is but didnt they go 7-6?? Lots of false hope with Sarkisian so u should know about that. when was the last time someone seriously thought washington was makin a BCS bowl? have fun playin in the tonka truck bowl next yr.

    as far as the article jenkins leavin surprises me a lil.

  12. mydixienormus says: Jan 7, 2013 6:03 PM

    It wasn’t false hope for UW. Everyone knew they would be mediocre mid-way through the season.

  13. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Jan 7, 2013 7:17 PM

    @mydixienormus
    What difference does it make that Nebraska barely got beat, and why does it matter if said team beat another team by 70 or so?
    A lost is a lost, and like wise.
    Is ND terrible bc Pitt took them to three over time.
    I guess that’s why they play the game huh?
    Otherwise bother? Let’s just do logical deduction and formulate who should the National Championship.
    Since USC signed eight or nine five stars all American they should be the logical choice for next year’s NC!! Yeah!!
    Let’s get ready for 2014 bc we have concluded the probable winner already.

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