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Ex-Gator talks about past issues

INDIANAPOLIS — Janoris Jenkins had a promising beginning to his college career.

The cornerback started 36 games for Florida over three seasons and was All-SEC as a junior. But he was dismissed in 2011 after his third arrest, the final two being drug-related.

Now at the scouting combine, Jenkins has had to answer questions about his misconduct, hoping to convince teams his wayward ways are behind him.

"I was honest and straightforward," he said Sunday. "Told them what I did. I admitted everything. I took full responsibility and that I learned from it."

Jenkins finished his career at Division II North Alabama, ranking second nationally with a 21.7-yard punt return average. He hopes his ability helps convince a team to take a chance on him with a high draft pick.

"They see the talent. They just want to know the kind of kid I am," Jenkins said. "I just come in here and show them that I'm not a bad kid. I'm looking to put it in the past and move forward." ranks the Pahokee native second among cornerbacks (behind LSU's Morris Claiborne) and projects him as a first-round pick. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said Jenkins has little to worry about.

"What happens, whether you believe in it or not, is the more talented kids get more chances, and Jenkins is a pretty talented kid," Mayock said. "Someone's going to want to buy into that."

Jenkins said he is past his drug use. "I'm done with it forever," he said, citing his responsibilities to his mother and his four children. "I can't do it. I can't let myself do it again."

More explaining: Cornerback Cliff Harris also spent time explaining his misbehavior. In June, the former Oregon star was caught driving 118 mph. He was later dismissed from the team after being caught driving with a suspended license and without proper insurance or a seat belt.

"I come from a family of drag racers. I was raised at the races," said Harris, projected to be a fourth-round pick by "Going fast is almost in my blood, but I have to do it at the right time and at the right place.

"I was young. I was dumb. … From the success I was having and having it taken away just like that, that was an eye-opener for me. I'm ready to prove that I'm not going to make those same mistakes."

Fast 40s: Miami's Lamar Miller ran the fastest 40-yard dash among running backs, 4.4 seconds. Florida's Chris Rainey, Oregon's LaMichael James and San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman tied for second at 4.45. Five receivers had the fastest times: Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill, Stanford's Chris Owusu and Miami's Travis Benjamin at 4.36, and Illinois' A.J. Jenkins and Fresno State's Devon Wylie at 4.39. Former East Carolina and current Titans running back Chris Johnson set the record of 4.24 in 2008. Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, the top receiver according to most analysts, did not run because of a hamstring injury.

No throwing: Baylor's Robert Griffin (4.41 in the 40, fastest among quarterbacks) and Stanford's Andrew Luck (4.69) skipped the throwing drills as planned. They instead will do so with familiar receivers during their school's pro day workouts. Luck is expected to be taken No. 1 overall by the Colts. Griffin could go No. 2 if the Rams trade the pick. "I don't think they really hurt themselves here," Mayock said. "What they did in gym shorts isn't going to change anything."

Ex-Gator talks about past issues 02/26/12 [Last modified: Sunday, February 26, 2012 10:12pm]
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