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Mike Jenkins, CB

Height: 5-10 | Weight: 197 | College: South Florida
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Regarded as one of the nation's premier shutdown pass defenders, Jenkins teamed with Trae Williams to give the Bulls an outstanding cornerback combination.

Along with free safety Nate Allen and strong safety Carlton Williams, South Florida's secondary combined for 131 starts at USF.

The Bulls ranked eighth in the nation in passing efficiency defense (105.27 rating) in 2007 after ranking 11th nationally in 2006 (104.26) and 16th (109.38) in 2005, thanks largely to the performance of their right cornerback. Jenkins improved his draft stock, showing professional scouts that his blazing speed could also be used as a kickoff returner. On the first kickoff return for 2007, he set a school record with a 100-yard touchdown return vs. Cincinnati.

Jenkins was a standout safety at Bradenton Southeast High School, earning Super Prep All-American honors. He was rated the 27th player in Florida by the Orlando Sentinel's Bill Buchalter, and he was named first-team All-Gridiron by Sean Alveshire (FloridaKids.net), who picks the top players in the state regardless of their school's classification.

The first-team Class 3A All-State choice, Jenkins was selected by the Sarasota Herald Tribune as its Defensive Player of the Year. He was the District Player of the Year in 2002 after he recorded 42 tackles, two interceptions, one caused fumble, one fumble recovery, two blocked punts and two blocked field goals. He also played running back and led the team with 859 yards and 11 touchdowns that year.

Jenkins was heavily recruited by Florida, Florida State and Louisiana State, but decided to enroll at South Florida in 2004. He started three of the team's first four games at left cornerback, including the season opener vs. Tennessee Tech, but an ankle sprain forced him to sit out vs. Army and kept him from returning to the starting lineup for the rest of the year. He finished his first season with 27 tackles (19 solo), two forced fumbles and nine pass deflections. He also blocked a punt that he returned four yards.

In 2005, Jenkins shifted to right cornerback, starting all 12 games. He earned All-Big East Conference second-team honors, as he produced 38 tackles (33 solo) with a stop for a loss and two forced fumbles. He returned a punt 27 yards, intercepted two passes and broke up five others.

Jenkins had a sub-par junior campaign, starting the first 12 games at right cornerback, but played as a reserve vs. East Carolina in the Papajohns.com Bowl. He made just 27 tackles (18 solo) with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception. He batted away fifteen passes and gained 27 yards on two kickoff returns.

During 2007 spring camp, Jenkins was arrested for misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence after a fight erupted outside a bar he was attending a party for former USF linebacker Stephen Nicholas. Despite not being violent, police used a taser Jenkins and he was briefly suspended from the team.

He returned for fall camp, reclaiming his right cornerback spot, and went on to earn All-American and All-Big East Conference first-team honors. He recorded a career-high 41 tackles (31 solo) with four stops for losses. He intercepted three passes, deflected 12 others and averaged 30.4 yards on seven kickoff returns, including one touchdown.

In 48 games at South Florida, Jenkins started 40 contests, including 37 at right cornerback. He registered 133 tackles (101 solo) with six stops for losses of 26 yards and one quarterback pressure. He caused five fumbles and recovered another. He also broke up 41 passes and had six interceptions for 41 yards in returns. He gained 240 yards with a score on nine kickoff returns (26.7-yard average) and 31 yards on two punt returns, as he also blocked one kick.


Positives: Has a well-built frame with good upper-body muscle tone, tight waist and hips and good lower-body thickness … His best asset is his press coverage skill, as he has had good success in impeding the receiver's route progression … Hard worker in the training room and on the practice field, as he is more of a quiet leader-by-example type, but spends lots of his time mentoring the younger players and is a potential coaching candidate in the future … With his press ability and speed closing on plays in front of him, he could bring more value as a free safety (has Brian Dawkins-type qualities), as he does have experience at that position from his high school days and as a freshman at USF … Times his leaps well and has that long reach to get over and around the receiver to deflect the pass when in the trail position (does get a bit reckless, leading to pass interference calls) … Has adequate balance and body control going after off-target tosses … Is a little tight in his hips, but he has that explosive second gear to recover and the leaping ability to battle the taller receivers in jump-ball situations … Good special-teams performer who shows patience letting his protection set up and the burst through the seams to take the ball long distances … Is sometimes late to turn on the ball, but he has the quick feet and exceptional burst to recover … Lock-down cornerback who can generate strong hand swipes in attempts to reroute … Even with his hip stiffness, he has good acceleration and turnover on his breaks and, when he keeps good position on his man, he does a good job taking angles to cut off the play … Gets high on his heels in his backpedal, but does not stay in it for long … Not the quickest at recognizing routes, but when he does, he shows good urgency to close (much better awareness vs. plays in front of him) … It doesn't always translate on the field, but he does have the timed speed to make plays at the opposite end of the field … When he gets into proper position, he can defend vs. the pass, as he gets very good elevation to reach and deflect the throw at its highest point … Likes to tackle to the side rather than squaring up, but he has the functional strength to impact vs. smaller opponents.

Negatives: Needs to show better anticipation skills, as he does a good job of handling the receiver but eyes the backfield too long and bites on misdirection and pump fakes … Has very good timed speed, but needs to generate looser hips, as he looks tight in that region when trying to transition … Has just adequate change-of-direction agility and does not always explode out of his turns to get on the hip and mirror the receiver … Might be a better fit for free safety, due to his good closing burst vs. plays in front of him. His adequate athletic ability makes him appear a bit slow when trying to break on the ball in flight … Lacks natural hands and good arm extension to pluck the ball at its highest point, as he had more than a few pass deflections that should be interceptions … Shows some hesitation breaking on the ball and lacks that natural feel to get a good break on the ball and anticipate routes … His best asset is his ability to press and reroute the receivers at the line, but as aggressive as he is with the pass catcher, he does not like coming up in run support, preferring that others make the tackle in tight areas … Must improve his upper-body strength, as he lacks pop on contact and is not really a solid wrap-up tackler (more of a collision-type tackler and ballcarriers can escape when he takes a side … Tends to sit back and wait for the play to come to him rather than get in an opponent's face and initiate contact … Must learn to keep his pad level down more often, as he gets too erect in his backpedal and when his base narrows, he fails to get a clean break out of transition … Has to develop a better feel for the ball in flight, as it is rare to see him jump many patterns … Has the second gear to recover when beaten, but if he would open his hips quicker, receivers won't be able to gobble up his cushion as much as they do … Has to develop better hand placement, as he has run into trouble with pass interference penalties (had a string of at least one penalty in five of six midseason games in 2007) … Has the functional strength to get the ballcarrier down, but must show more aggression and force behind his tackles … Has a bit of a hop in his footwork that needs to be corrected … Perhaps due to adequate ball recognition skills, he doesn't take good angles to close in run support and must keep his hands inside his frame or he struggles to shed blocks when asked to plug the rush lanes … Has one off-field issue, but the coaching staff vouches for his good character and work ethic … Considering his senior season was not a dominant one, he made what might be a costly decision by refusing to attend the Senior Bowl at the last moment.

Compares To: CARLOS ROGERS-Washington … Like Rogers, there is no questioning Jenkins' speed -- he can stay with any receiver on deep routes. However, like Rogers, he is not a good tackler and tends to shy away from lending run support. Jenkins has some hip stiffness that is evident in transition and marginal hands to make the interception. He will bite on pump fakes and doesn't have great ball anticipation skills. He might be a better fit at free safety, as his best assets are his quickness, making plays in front of him and generating a good press. Quite a few publications list him as the best cornerback prospect for the 2008 NFL Draft. If he is indeed the best, NFL receivers could be salivating. He is a fine athlete, but isn't ready to star at the next level.

Career Notes

Became the eighth player in Big East Conference history (three players accomplished this feat twice) to return a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown (vs. Cincinnati, 2007) and that kickoff was the longest in school annals, topping the previous long of 96 yards by J.R. Reed vs. Memphis in 2003 … Ranks seventh in school history with six interceptions … Gained 192 yards on kickoff returns vs. Cincinnati in 2007, breaking the previous Bulls' record of 147 yards by Jermaine Clemons vs. Southern Illinois in 1997 … His 16 passes defended (15 breakups, one interception) in 2006 rank third on the school's single-season list, topped by Bernard Brown's 19 in 1999 and 17 by Trae Williams in 2007 … His total of 47 defended passes (41 deflections, six pass thefts) broke the previous South Florida career-record of 45 by J.R. Reed (2000-03).

2007 Season

All-American first-team selection by the American Football Coaches Association, adding second-team honors from Rivals.com … All-Big East Conference first-team choice … Started all 13 games at right cornerback, as he was part of a secondary that ranked eighth in the nation in pass efficiency defense (105.27 rating) and 34th in pass defense (212.08 yards per game) … Recorded a career-high 41 tackles (31 solo), four stops for losses of 17 yards and a quarterback pressure … Deflected 12 passes and intercepted three others for 41 yards in returns (13.7-yard average) … Took over kickoff return duties later in the year, gaining 213 yards and a touchdown on seven attempts (30.4-yard average) … Had 68 passes targeted into his area, as the opposition caught 28 of those throws (41.18%) for 348 yards (12.43 avg) and three touchdowns … Defended 15 passes and prevented his main pass coverage assignment from getting to 25 other tosses … Made 29 plays on third-down and was penalized five times while also fumbling the ball once.

2007 Game Analysis

Elon College … Jenkins deflected four passes, made four solo tackles and had a pair of stops behind the line of scrimmage in the season opener … He jammed receiver Terrell Hudgins at the line of scrimmage on a third-and-8 incomplete pass, forcing Elon to attempt a 45-yard field goal that they missed on the next snap late in the first quarter … He broke up a first-and-goal Scott Riddle pass intended for Hudgins in the third quarter … With 10:11 left in the game, he kicked a 50-yard blocked field goal attempt out of bounds to prevent Elon from recovering the ball … On the next series, he tackled Michael Myers for a 6-yard loss at the USF 43 … Jenkins deflected a third-and-5 targeted to Hudgins with less than a minute left to play … On Elon's final snap, he tackled Scott Riddle for an 8-yard loss on a razzle-dazzle play that saw Riddle toss a 6-yard pass to Jay Blackwell, who lateraled to Hudgins, who flipped the ball to Brandon Newsome, who then tossed it back to Riddle, who was leveled by Jenkins at the USF 41 … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#19-Terrell Hudgins (6:02-199)-Caught two passes for 14 yards vs. Jenkins, who prevented the receiver from getting to three other throws.

Auburn … The right cornerback totaled five tackles (4 solos) with a pass deflection and a career-long 38-yard interception return … He chased down tailback Ben Tate on a 36-yard run over left tackle early in the second quarter … He later took down receiver Rodgeriqus Smith on a third-and-6 third quarter pass that netted 5 yards, forcing the Tigers to punt … He took down Tate for no gain on a run at the AU 28 and then picked off a Brandon Cox pass in the right flat, returning the ball 38 yards to the Auburn 3, where Tate tackled him … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#80-Rodgeriqus Smith (6:00-188)-Caught one pass for 5 yards vs. Jenkins (Jenkins allowed a total of three receptions for 28 yards in his area).

North Carolina … Jenkins had only one solo tackle, but he also deflected three third-down passes … He broke up a third-and-4 toss by QB T.J. Yates in the second quarter, as the ball was almost picked off at the UNC 39 … Late in the third quarter, he knocked down Yates' third-and-5 pass at the UNC 35, followed by a fourth quarter third-and-9 pass break-up that forced a Tar Heels punt … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#88-Hakeem Nicks (6:01-215)-Caught one pass for 5 yards vs. Jenkins.

West Virginia … Jenkins followed with two solo tackles and a pass deflection, knocking the ball out of tailback Steve Slaton's hands at the WVU 31 early in the fourth quarter … He also rerouted Dorrell Jalloh away from Jarrett Brown's third-and-11 toss with 2:41 left in the game … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#21-Dorrell Jalloh (6:00-195)-Caught one pass for 6 yards vs. Jenkins, who prevented the receiver from getting to one other pass (Jenkins allowed a total of two receptions for 12 yards in his area).

Florida Atlantic … The Bulls secondary leader collected five tackles (4 solos) with a pair of third-down hits and deflected one pass … He chased down tailback DiIvory Edgecomb on a 25-yard run at the start of the second quarter … Later in that frame, he rerouted Cortez Gentfrom a third-and-20 incomplete pass that resulted in an FAU punt … He was beaten by Gent on a 12-yard touchdown catch with 0:44 left in the second half … He made up for that miscue by preventing Gent from getting to Rusty Smith's third-and-9 pass at the FAU 21 with 2:26 left in the game … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#16-Cortez Gent (6:02-171)-Caught three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown vs. Jenkins, who prevented the receiver from getting to two other passes (Jenkins allowed a total of five receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown in his area).

Central Florida … Jenkins registered six solo tackles, including one for a 4-yard loss and also intercepted a pass midway through the first quarter for a 3-yard return to the UCF 37, setting up a3-yard touchdown run by South Florida's Mike Ford … Later in the third quarter, he sniffed out the screen tackling Curtis Francis for a 4-yard loss at the UCF 32 on a third-and-8 toss, forcing the Knights to punt … Began a string of at least one penalty in five of his next six games, as he was flagged for pass interference on a third-and-7 Kyle Israel incomplete pass at the 6:52 mark of the third frame … On the next series, he rerouted Rocky Ross away from a third-and-16 pass from Michael Greco, leading to another UCF punt … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#5-Rocky Ross (6:02-198)-Caught two passes for 13 yards vs. Jenkins, who prevented the receiver from getting to three other passes (Jenkins allowed a total of three receptions for 9 yards in his area).

Rutgers … The Knights continued to attack Jenkins' territory, but to no avail … The right cornerback had only two tackles and one pass deflection, but made receiver Kenny Britt's day miserable, rerouting the receiver on a total of nine passes thrown to him, including a third-and-8 toss from Mike Teal on the game's opening drive … He would jam Britt on three other third-down incomplete throws that led to Rutgers punts … On one series that began at the 4:17 mark of the second quarter, he stopped Britt from getting to throws on four snaps during a 10-play, 48-yard series that ended with a 40-yard Rutgers field goal … The lone blemish was when Jenkins was penalized for grabbing the face mask of tailback Ray Rice on a 13-yard second quarter rushing attempt … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#88-Kenny Britt (6:04-207)-Did not catch any passes vs. Jenkins, who prevented the receiver from getting to nine other passes.

Connecticut … Jenkins had just two tackles and a pass deflection for the second-straight week and was penalized for pass interference late in the first quarter … He chased down Brad Kanuch on a 35-yard reception late in the second quarter and on the Huskies' next series, he jammed receiver Terrence Jeffers on a third-and-10 incomplete toss to bring in the punting unit with 0:08 left in the first half … Early in the fourth quarter, he broke up a third-and-8 Tyler Lorenzen pass, resulting in another Connecticut punt … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#80-Terrence Jeffers (6:02-211)-Did not catch any passes vs. Jenkins, who prevented the receiver from getting to one other pass (Jenkins allowed a total of one reception for 35 yards in his area).

Cincinnati … The right cornerback made four tackles (3 solos) with a stop for a 5-yard loss and two pass deflections … He returned his first kickoff for the season 100 yards for a score, finishing with a school game-record 192 yards on five returns … The game got off to a bit of a rocky start, as Jenkins failed to stay with Antwuan Giddens on a 63-yard touch-down bomb from Ben Mauk … On Cincinnati's next series, he forced the Bear-cats to settle for a 38-yard field goal by preventing Giddens from getting to a third-and-13 Mauk toss … He was charged with pass interference at the UC 48 five minutes into the third quarter … Later in the third frame, he battled Greg Moore over a third-and-11 incomplete pass, with Moore drawing a personal foul for a late hit … In the fourth quarter, he tackled Jacob Ramsey for a 5-yard loss on a screen pass at the UC 31 … "That's just another thing that he can do at the next level and be outstanding at, as well as being a (defensive back)," said USF defensive coordinator Wally Burnham, talking about Jenkins' kickoff ability. "His stock will go up the more he plays special teams because he has a knack with the ball in his hands."

Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#81-Antwuan Giddens (6:03-198)-Caught one pass for a 63-yard touchdown vs. Jenkins, who prevented the receiver from getting to one other pass.

Syracuse … Jenkins was in on just one solo tackle and had a 17-yard kickoff return, but he also rerouted receiver Taj Smith on a second quarter third-and-12 pass at the Orange 27 and again in the third quarter on a third-and-2 toss, leading to Syracuse punts after both series …

Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#4-Taj Smith (6:01-188)-Caught one pass for 8 yards vs. Jenkins, who prevented the receiver from getting to two other passes.

Louisville … Jenkins again managed just one solo tackle, but he also deflected a pass and picked another off … On the game's opening series, he made up for a personal foul penalty by jamming 6:06 receiver Mario Urrutia at the line to prevent Brian Brohm from completing a third-and-6 pass … Later in the first quarter, he fumbled a lateraled kickoff, but the ball rolled out of bounds … He chased down receiver Harry Douglas on a 71-yard reception, but the play was nullified by a Louisville holding penalty … He picked off a third-and-10 Brohm pass in the end zone for a touchback, killing a 43-yard, 13-play second quarter drive … In the third quarter, Jenkins tipped a Brohm pass that was then intercepted by Louis Gachette at the Louisville 37 … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#7-Mario Urrutia (6:06-228)-Did not catch any passes vs. Jenkins, who prevented the receiver from getting to one other pass (Jenkins allowed a total of one reception for 6 yards in his area).

Pittsburgh … The Bulls defender had three tackles (2 solos) and a pressure … He chased down tailback LeSean McCoy on a 45-yard reception at the USF 12, preventing a mid first quarter touchdown … His pressure on QB Pat Bostick resulted in an interception by Bulls linebacker Ben Moffitt for a 60-yard return to the Pitt 1 with ten minutes left to play … He failed to cover receiver Oderick Turner, who caught a 2-point conversion pass after McCoy's 1-yard touchdown run at the end of the game … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#88-Oderick Turner (6:03-200)-Caught one pass for 20 yards vs. Jenkins (Jenkins allowed a total of three receptions for 72 yards in his area).

Oregon (Sun Bowl) … It was not a memorable end to Jenkins' career in a 56-21 loss, as he made just three solo tackles … He allowed a third-and-8 completion to Jaison Williams for 12 yards, followed by chasing down Jonathan Stewart on a 41-yard run and was then beaten by Williams on a 14-yard touchdown toss from Justin Roper to end a 9-play, 82-yard third quarter series … Ran down Stewart on Oregon's next series, after the tailback too a screen pass 21 yards … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#4-Jaison Williams (6:05-241)-Caught two passes for 26 yards and a touchdown vs. Jenkins, who prevented the receiver from getting to two other passes (Jenkins allowed a total of three receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown in his area).

2006 Season

Started the team's first 12 games, but was replaced at right cornerback for the Papajohns.com Bowl match-up vs. East Carolina … Recorded 27 tackles (18 solo) with a stop for a five-yard loss … Recovered and caused a fumble … Deflected a career-high 15 passes and intercepted another … Gained 27 yards on two kickoff returns (13.5-yard average) … Led a backfield unit that ranked 34th nationally in pass defense, allowing 183.23 yards per game and that ranked 11th in the country with a 104.26 pass efficiency defense rating.

2006 Game Analysis

Returned two kickoffs for 27 yards, caused a fumble, broke up two passes and had four solo tackles vs. Central Florida … Added two solo stops, including one for a five-yard loss vs. Kansas … Followed with three tackles in back-to-back games vs. Connecticut and Rutgers … Intercepted a pass and deflected two others in the Pittsburgh clash … Had three tackles vs. West Virginia in the season finale and three more hits with a trio of pass deflections vs. East Carolina in the Papajohns.com Bowl.

2005 Season

Second-team All-Big East Conference selection … Took over right cornerback duties, starting all twelve games … Credited with 38 tackles (33 solos), including a stop for a four-yard loss … Caused two fumbles and had a pair of interceptions … Deflected five passes and returned a punt 27 yards … Part of a secondary that ranked sixth in the nation in pass defense (165.42 yards per game) and 17th in pass efficiency defense (109.38 rating).

2005 Game Analysis

Opened the season with five solo tackles vs. Penn State and had a 27-yard punt return in the Florida A&M contest … Followed with a pass deflection and five hits (four solo) vs. Central Florida and made three solo tackles while knocking down two passes in the Louisville game … Posted four tackles (three solo), including one for a four-yard loss vs. Miami and registered six tackles (five solo) with a deflected pass vs. Pittsburgh … Intercepted a pass and had three hits vs. Rutgers … Added another interception with three solo tackles and caused a fumble vs. Syracuse … Credited with six tackles (five solos) vs. Cincinnati … Closed out the season with a solo tackle and a pass break-up vs. North Carolina State in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

2004 Season

Started three of the team's first four games, including the season opener vs. Tennessee Tech at left cornerback, but a high ankle sprain forced him to miss the Army game and when he returned, he competed as a reserve at both cornerback spots, in addition to seeing time at free safety … Finished with 27 tackles (19 solos), two forced fumbles and nine pass deflections … Also blocked a punt that he returned four yards in his collegiate debut vs. Tennessee Tech … Had a season-high five tacklers vs. Cincinnati.

Injury Report

2004: Suffered a high ankle sprain vs. Southern Mississippi (10/02) that would sideline him for the Army contest (10/16).

General-Has an asthmatic condition.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.49 in the 40-yard dash … 295-pound bench press … 38-inch vertical jump … 10'9" broad jump … 4.06 20-yard shuttle … 32-inch arm length … 9 1/4-inch hands.

Off-Field Issues

2007: Jenkins was arrested with safety Carlton Williams on March 23 after a fight outside a bar. The players, arrested around 3 a.m., were charged with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and obstructing or opposing an officer without violence. USF coach Jim Leavitt suspended both players indefinitely. The players were arrested by Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies at Bobalouie's Pub.

High School

Attended Bradenton (Fla.) Southeast High School, playing football for head coach Paul Maechtle … Standout safety, earning Super Prep All-American honors … Rated the 27th player in Florida by the Orlando Sentinel's Bill Buchalter … Named first-team All-Gridiron by Sean Alveshire (FloridaKids.net), who picks the top players in the state regardless of their school's classification … First-team Class 3A All-State choice … Selected by the Sarasota Herald Tribune as its Defensive Player of the Year … District Player of the Year in 2002 after he recorded 42 tackles, two interceptions, one caused fumble, one fumble recovery, two blocked punts and two blocked field goals … Also played running back and led the team with 859 yards and 11 touchdowns that year.


General Studies major … Son of Kathy Gray … Born 3/22/85 in Newenburg, Germany … Resides in Bradenton, Florida.


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