MOBILE, Ala. _ Janoris Jenkins' career detoured from the Florida Gators after he was kicked off the team for multiple arrests involving marijuana.
Now, Jenkins' is back on the entrance ramp to what he hopes is getting his career back on the right track this week at the Senior Bowl.
Jenkins, a potential first-round pick before his troubles, landed at Division II North Alabama and now hopes to show NFL scouts and coaches that he has matured and learned from his past transgressions.
The Senior Bowl is a chance for players to meet and greet with teams and after the South's practice on Monday, Jenkins spent quite a bit of time talking with New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.
Asked what he had learned from his odyssey and exile over the past year, Jenkins said, “I had a talk with my dad, my mentor. Basically we just had to change the things that I was doing. It means a lot because I got invited to a Division II school. I got a second opportunity to show the scouts that I'm not a bad kid, that I'm a great football player and that I work hard.”
He has been peppered with questions from his past, questions he knows will continue through the Combine and on up until draft day.
“I just had to go in and be honest and be straightforward with them and let them know what happened,” Jenkins said of the questions. “I just told them I made some mistakes as a kid, and it's how you learn from making that mistake. It's nothing they have to worry about.
“That's been the main question and I'm basically just being honest, because if I lie, they're going to find out about it anyway. So I might as well be honest and tell them what happened.”