Coming Off A Shutout

Jelani Jenkins helped lead the defensive charge in shutting out UAB last Saturday. While Jenkins is happy with their performance he knows there are several things that he and the Gator defense need to improve on before entering SEC play this weekend. "I think I can always get better, there are some things that I like and things that I don't like," Jenkins said.

Coming off a shutout is always encouraging for any defense, but Florida linebacker Jelani Jenkins knows tougher competition is on the horizon.

"We try to come out everyday and attack each opponent the same way," Jenkins said. "I mean, Tennessee, they probably have some more talent but we still like to play the best we can every week, it doesn't really matter what opponent we play."

While the Gator defense was able to shutout UAB, they didn't have any sacks, something Jenkins hopes to improve on this week.

"Not having any sacks is something that we need to get better, weren't happy about that but we did affect their quarterback and even got some hits on him as he was throwing the ball," Jenkins said. "Those are stats they don't really show too much but they add up and help us out in the long run."

While Jenkins and the rest of the Gator defense plans to prepare as much as possible for the Volunteers, Jenkins says it will be comforting having Sharrif Floyd back on the field come Saturday.

"Sharrif has amazing talent; he is a great person, player and leader. I am excited to have him back and I'm looking forward to it," Jenkins said. "He has great pass-rush ability. With him on the field, he makes everyone's job a lot easier. Especially against a great quarterback like Tennessee has, he makes it a lot easier."

Chemistry has been a hot topic surrounding this Florida team and Jelani Jenkins couldn't agree more. While he and Jon Bostic already share a special connection, Jenkins says the addition of Lerentee McCray at the linebacker position has been a positive thing for the Gator defense.

"Lerentee is a brother just like we are, its not any different moving him into the linebacker position, it's been a great adjustment," Jenkins said. "He comes in the room and he is in the same meetings we are and we all practice together, bounce ideas off each other. We play well together."

Jenkins is also impressed with the progress Hunter Joyer has made going into the 2011 season.

"I have a lot of respect for Joyer, he is a great player and he is strong. I remember first seeing him in the weight room benching 315 like it was easy, a lot of guys can't do that at all," Jenkins said. "He is a great player and I love having him on the other side, we get to practice against him, we are going against one of the best to prepare for the other teams."

When told Joyer set a record in high school for benching 500 pounds, it didn't surprise Jenkins at all. "I've seen him bench a lot of reps but I haven't seen him put that much weight on, usually that is kind of unsafe," Jenkins laughed. "I definitely see that he can do that, it doesn't shock me when you tell me that, but it's good to hear."

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