A Forgotten Name Will Soon Be Remembered

On a recent Saturday, as millions gathered around tv’s, fixated on their smart phones, or scoured the internet watching the religion most of the nation knows as college football, I was taking a trek to catch some “small-time” college football.

Most people only associate college football with the big money BCS programs, but the FCS, DII and NAIA levels are often disregarded as programs put together to taking a “whoopin’” at homecoming or the opening week for these traditional powers.

Therefore any big-time talent/star/former BCS player should dominate this competition. But, that’s not often the case, that’s why you see players go to the NFL supplemental draft. If you show up and aren’t just mind blowing, then you’re shot at getting paid to play in the NFL drastically decreases.

Which takes us back to my journey to this “small-time” football. Janoris Jenkins the former all-SEC cornerback and in my personal opinion the the best college corner anywhere now plays at the University of North Alabama after being removed from the team at the University of Florida by new coach Will Muschamp, was the big draw for myself.

The last time I had ventured to see a player with that big of a name was to see former the former boastful LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux strut around looking physically imposing, but by no means left anyone there buzzing and ended up having to sign a free agent contract into the NFL as opposed to having the easy route of being drafted.

But, there was a reason Perrilloux was forced to play “small-time” football. He needed reps and he needed them to come as soon as possible. Perriloux had to show what he could do on a consistent level. Conversely, Jenkins easily could have been selected in the NFL’s supplemental draft, but he wants to be a first rounder, like so many he wants that guaranteed money, the recognition and most of all he wants to be able to show off his game. A shoulder injury and other factors helped make his decision to attend UNA as voiced by head coach Terry Bowden on the Wade Neely Morning Show.

I was intrigued with how Jenkins would look and by no means did he disappoint. UNA is a talented team which was currently ranked #2 in the nation in the DII rankings, but Jenkins was just in another class. Visiting Harding College (Ark.) from my recollection threw his way only one time, which subsequently resulted in an offensive pass interference. The guy was as close to being a blanket as you can be, essentially shutting down an entire half of the field.

In addition to his superb coverage, Jenkins actually tackled well for a corner, with his name being called over the PA system with much frequency. He remained slippery on blocks, doing well not to become engaged and being taken out of the play.

He didn’t stop there though, as Jenkins made his mark on special teams as well. As a gunner on the punt team, Jenkins constantly beat his man, forcing a fair catch every time the ball remained in play.

He also displayed some impressive return skills alongside his coverage ability. Jenkins was never able to take on to the house, or even gash the opposing team for a huge return, but he was very dangerous. He often would make at least two or three defenders miss before finally being wrestled down by some superb coverage.

When all was said and done, Jenkins left you feeling impressed. He gave you the notion that he was definitely someone you could expect to hear get called in April. And, get his name called sooner than later. Although, not as soon as he probably should, since he’s spending this year dominating “lesser” competition, despite having already proved his merit at the top level.

Wade Neely Morning Show interview with Terry Bowden: http://wadeon1420.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/terry-bowden-9-23-11.mp3

University of North Alabama Athletic Department: http://www.roarlions.com/

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