Five-star Linebacker in the Mix?

One of the most dominating players in the nation is weakside linebacker Jelani Jenkins. Jenkins recently cut his list to 15 schools and the Gators are right in the mix.

At 6-0 and close to 220-pounds with 4.45 speed there isn't much the nation's No. 2 ranked weakside linebacker can't do. From Olney (MD) Our Lady Good Counsel High School, Jenkins not only excels on the defensive side of the ball but from the offensive side of the ball as well.

"What most don't realize is that Jelani can be an impact player on either side of the ball," Maurice Jenkins said. "He has 16 rushing touchdowns on the season and he only gets about 5-10 carries a game and is averaging close to a 100 yards a game. Some of the teams that are talking to us are saying they want to use him at times on the offensive side of the ball and have some plays for him.

Jenkins' father also had a chance to talk to the head coach of the Gators, Urban Meyer.

"I had a good talk with head coach Urban Meyer last night," he said. "I told him that Jelani has trimmed his list from 40 schools down to 15 and after a number of factors the Gators are in the mix."

Some of the factors the Jenkins family has looked at are diversity, amount of players in the National Football League and the academic rankings. When Mr. Jenkins and his son sat down and looked at these three categories they decided that the Gators are right there with a host of other schools.

"Florida looks pretty good and shot up the charts for us. The thing that Jelani wants to do know is focus on building a relationship with each position coach and look at early playing time."

In the next month or so the Jenkins' family may trim the list even further but for now 15 stand out -- Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Notre Dame, Penn State, Southern Cal, Stanford, Oregon, LSU, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Miami, Maryland, Boston College and Clemson.

Jenkins carries a 4.0 grade point average and is the team captain of the football team. While he is mainly focused on his academic work he is incredibly focused on leading his team to the state championship this year. A title that in year's past has eluded him by the narrowest of margins. They even practice on Saturdays, which doesn't allow for many visits, but when the season is over the focus will turn to recruiting and official visits, one of which the University of Florida will host.


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