Another Great J-J Has Arrived

Last season it was Janoris Jenkins who impressed from day one of his freshman season and went on to make a huge impact on the Gator defense. Don't be at all surprised if another first year player with the initials "J-J" earns a lot of acclaim this fall.

Jelani Jenkins is a two time state player of the year in Maryland and looks like he'll be very tough to keep off the field in 2009. He won't step into the lineup right away like Janoris did a year ago, but look for him on special teams from the get go. The 6-1, 21o pound linebacker looks strong than his listed size might indicate and is physically the equal of several who have been on campus for multiple seasons.

Jenkins spoke with the media after his opening practice with the Gators and discussed a variety of things including the help he's getting from fellow rookie linebacker Jon Bostic who was here for spring practice.

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On his first practice:

"It was a lot harder than I thought (it would be). There were a lot of plays and that was my first time feeling college speed. I'm just going to have to adjust to it and get a lot better before the season."

On not coming in early:

"I thought this was a good time for me to enroll at the beginning of the summer. I got to finish my season and my full senior year so I was excited about that."

On the other freshmen who came in with him:

"I'm impressed with all of them. (There's) not one I'm particularly impressed with. We have a lot of speed with the guys we've brought in, especially on the defense with (Tackle) Gary Brown, (DB) and Josh Evans. On the offensive line we brought in five guys and they're all great players."

On Jon Bostic helping him with the transition:

"Yeah, he's been helping me out a lot telling me about what to look for and helping me out with the plays. Right now it's like a bunch of Spanish language to me, but I'm going to be rooming with him for two-a-days so we'll be putting together through a lot of stuff to help each other out."

On his goals for this season:

"I want to get significant playing time and learn from Brandon Spikes and (Ryan) Stamper and get better. I just want to follow in their shadows and learn how to lead this team in future years."

On trying to impress Coach Urban Meyer special teams:

"I understand how important he treats special teams. He treats them as more important than offense and defense. He has me putting in time on the pint and kickoff return."

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Jenkins will find it harder to crack the playing rotation than his unrelated teammate with the same last name did a year ago, but don't rule it out. He's obviously the fastest linebacker on the team, and it's just a matter of time before he learns how to put that speed to good use within the scheme of the Gator defense.


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