Jenkins Felt Comfortable with the Gators

Five-star linebacker Jelani Jenkins decided to give his pledge to the Florida Gators and head coach Urban Meyer today in front of a national television audience. The 6-1, 205-pound superstar from Wheaton (MD) Our Lady of Good Counsel took time out during a post signing day celebration to talk about his decision.

It's hard sometimes when you so desperately want to get this kind of news out in the open, today he did.

"A lot of weight came off my shoulders today when I told everyone that I was going to be a Florida Gator," Jelani Jenkins said.

In today's world of recruiting it says something when families handle the recruiting process the way it should be handled. Jenkins and his father Maurice Jenkins did exactly that. They made a decision together as a family and they would never go back on their word like so many other recruits have done not only in past recruiting seasons but this year especially.

"I did it the right way and a lot of people were saying that they were real happy with that. I felt like Florida was the best fit for me without question and I am truly happy with my decision."

Some of the nation's top talent has taken notice who the crown team in college football has been the last several years and Jenkins is no different. With the Gators winning two of the last three BCS Championship games, head coach Urban Meyer knows how to win the big games and Jenkins wants to be a part of a team that will likely be picked to win it's third BCS title in four years.

"The Gators know how to win the big game and I want to be a part of that moving forward," Jenkins said.

Off the field, Jenkins liked what he saw as well.

"When I went down and met the players and coaches I felt real comfortable with Florida and the chance to play early," he said. "I want to study medicine and with the school being one of the top med schools in the nation, a lot of things were clicking for me."

As far as where Jenkins might start out when he arrives on campus is open for debate. One hint might be the weight that the Florida staff would like him to reach before arriving.

"The staff told me that they want me to 230-pounds when I get down there," Jenkins said. "I need to stay in shape and they have a plan for me and I will be ready to come in and play so I will be real excited"

Jenkins recorded 70 tackles during 2008, he was honored with Gatorade Player of the Year in Maryland for the second consecutive year. He was named Parade All-American, USA Today All-USA Team and selected to the Under Armour All-Star Game.

Jenkins registered 60 tackles, four sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and recovered two fumbles as a junior on defense. He also rushed for 791 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior. He earned first-team Washington Post All-Met honors.

Jenkins also carries a perfect 4.0 GPA in the classroom.

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