Florida Gators LB Jelani Jenkins declares for NFL Draft
Florida junior LB Jelani Jenkins announced today he has decided to forego his final year of eligibility with the Gators and declare for the 2013 NFL Draft.
He joins Gators S Matt Elam, TE Jordan Reed and DT Sharrif Floyd who last week announced they would not return for their senior seasons.
"Jelani informed me that he wishes to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL," Florida coach Will Muschamp said. "We wish him the best of luck and encourage him to return to Florida and complete his degree."
Jenkins played in 36 games at UF, with 31 starts. He had 182 tackles, 16.5 for-loss, six sacks and three interceptions.
But this past season he was hampered by injuries. He played in just nine games (eight starts), with 29 tackles. His highlights included an interception in the second quarter during the 37-26 victory at No. 10 Florida State, and a returned blocked punt for 36 yards and a touchdown with :02 remaining to help the Gators hold on to defeat Louisiana-Lafayette.
Jenkins broke his thumb in the game against Texas A&M, and did not play in the Sugar Bowl because of a broken foot suffered in the FSU game.
With Jenkins' departure, Florida currently has just four returning starters from the 2012 team. The Gators are still awaiting a decision by DE Dominique Easley on whether he will return.