2012 NFL draft profile: Janoris Jenkins

Updated: October 8, 2011, 2:13 PM ET
By Mike Huang

University of North Alabama head coach Terry Bowden knows a little something about fresh starts.

After a 10-year hiatus from coaching, Bowden returned to the sidelines last fall to lead Division II Northern Alabama to an 11-2 record and a Gulf South Conference championship. So it's little wonder that he would afford Janoris Jenkins a fresh start.

Since 2008, the 5-foot-10 cornerback had become a fixture on the Florida Gators defense, earning College Football News and Sporting News Freshman of the Year honors. During his career, Jenkins developed a reputation as a notorious ballhawk with a keen nose for being around the ball.

However, that nose also couldn't help but lead Jenkins into a trio of off-the-field incidents that eventually resulted in his dismissal from the Florida football program on April 26th. The incidents included two arrests within three months for misdemeanor marijuana possession. After toying with the idea of entering the NFL's supplemental draft, Jenkins found his way to Northern Alabama and Bowden's welcoming arms.

The early returns in 2011 have been good, with the Lions off to a 5-0 start and Jenkins already having been twice named GSC Special Teams Player of the Week. The first honor was bestowed after totaling 116 return yards against Glenville State, including an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown. Three weeks later, Jenkins earned his second honor after amassing 123 return yards against Southern Arkansas, including an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown. He also chipped in a blocked field goal, to boot.

This week, Jenkins appeared on Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board for the first time this season, debuting at No. 21.