High on Confidence

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins has made quite an impression during his young Gator career. He's moved into a starting role after having a big game against Tennessee and he added his first career sack against LSU.

Jenkins' key to success is simple. Off the football field he stays humble, but on the field he's full of confidence.

"You have to have confidence to play any position," Jenkins said. "You have to believe in yourself. If you come in with high confidence and a chip on your shoulder and just do what you do you'll be fine."

Jenkins said playing with that proverbial chip on his shoulder is what has helped make him successful in his first season at Florida. As a true freshman, he knows opposing offenses are going to take shots at him, but he feeds of the fact that he knows that.

"There are some good receivers out there, but I go out with a chip on my shoulder," he said. "I'm a true freshman and I know they're going to try me, so I just go out and ball. … It makes me compete and try harder. I know I'm going to get tested a lot during my freshman year."

For a true freshman to move into a starting role is a rarity under Urban Meyer, but it's become commonplace at cornerback because of the previous lack of depth. But it wasn't a lack of depth that won Jenkins his starting job, and his experience can now prove as an example to other incoming freshman.

"I'm a good example," Jenkins said. "I came in the spring and worked hard, competed, and made plays during two-a-days. It paid off."

Jenkins admits he didn't think he would be starting, but he was confident enough to think he would see significant playing time as a freshman.

"I came here to make big plays and to help the defense out," he said. "The defense was struggling, and we have a lot of good corners."

Now that he's a starter and gaining lots of attention from fans and the media, Jenkins is trying to stay grounded and remember the things that got him into this position in the first place. He stays in constant touch with his former teammates and coaches from Pahokee to remember where he came from.

"I call my old high school coach so we can chat and enjoy," he said. "I call my dad and talk to some of my teammates. All my old high school teammates and coaches call or text before a game. It's important because they helped me get to where I am today. They coached me in high school real good. … My coach told me to stay humble. People get all high on themselves when they make plays and then all they want to do is make plays. He just tells me to stay humble."

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