The SEC's 25 best players: No. 19

At No. 19 on our countdown is the top returning cover cornerback in the league next season.

No. 19: Janoris Jenkins, CB, Jr., Florida

2010 numbers/honors: Led Florida with eight pass breakups and also had three interceptions, including one he returned 67 yards for a touchdown. Finished seventh on the team with 44 total tackles, including six for loss. A first-team All-SEC selection by The Associated Press and second-team All-SEC selection by the coaches.

Preseason ranking: Ranked No. 15 on the 2010 preseason countdown.

Making the case for Jenkins: His interception numbers weren’t great because many teams simply didn’t throw his way, and when teams did throw his way, they usually didn’t have much success. The true numbers to consider when evaluating Jenkins’ season are the numbers some of the top receivers in this league didn’t put up against him. Georgia’s A.J. Green, South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery and Alabama’s Julio Jones averaged 38 yards receiving against Jenkins and had just one touchdown catch among them. The 5-11, 184-pound Jenkins is an explosive athlete and also returned punts for the Gators, ranking sixth in the league with an average of 8.3 yards per game. There’s no questioning Jenkins’ toughness, either. He played most of the season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He missed the Outback Bowl following surgery, and most thought he would turn pro. But Jenkins opted to come back for his senior season, his fourth as a starter in the Gators’ secondary.

The rundown

No. 20: Mississippi State LB Chris White

No. 21: LSU RB Stevan Ridley

No. 22: Mississippi State OT Derek Sherrod

No. 23: Alabama DE Marcell Dareus

No. 24: Kentucky LB Danny Trevathan

No. 25: Alabama LB Courtney Upshaw