Brandon Jenkins will not play another down as a Florida State Seminole. After deciding to return for his senior year only to be injured in the first game and forced to miss the season, Jenkins will not apply for a redshirt next season opting instead to enter the draft.
"I had a lot of time to think about things, and gain information about how this injury affected everything, so I think I came to a conclusion," said Jenkins. "I think it's time. It's been great, I love FSU, I bleed garnet and gold, it was a tough decision. I feel like my time's been good, I will enter the draft."
We had a chance to talk to Brandon Jenkins today for the first time in a couple months. He looks good, sounds upbeat and has been absolutely living in the weightroom while he rehabs his Lisfranc fracture.
While Jenkins maintains everything happens for a reason, he isn't chancing another setback to his NFL prospects by returning another season. And though he won't admit it publicly, I'm sure a small part of him regrets the decision to pass up money in last year's draft and come back to Florida State.
FSU really didn't need BJ this year as has been proven by Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine. Most programs could never hope to absorb the loss of preseason all-American, especially one with Jenkins' potential impact, but Florida State hasn't had to sweat it. As much as losing Jenkins hurt the team emotionally, having him back this season was essentially a luxury.
Jenkins arrived at his decision to leave this week, he spoke with Jimbo Fisher earlier today.
“I am very supportive of Brandon’s decision," said Fisher in a statement. "We had a great talk. It is best for him to go and become an NFL football player, which he most definitely will.
"We were very blessed to have had him here at Florida State. He’s one of the great players in Florida State history, but not only that, he’s one of the great people in Florida State history. He represented our team and our school with great dignity. I wish him nothing but the best and it was a pleasure to be able to coach him.”
"That was one of the most emotional times in my life talking to [coach] Fisher about this," said Jenkins. "He gave me a hug and he gave me words, he cares about me as an individual and not just a football player. He supports my decision and right now I'm just ready to win an ACC championship and put this behind and just rehab some more and watch us beat the Gators."
After the season Jenkins will turn his attention to the NFL draft and preparing for the Combine and Pro Day workouts. Jenkins, Tank Carradine and likely Bjoern Werner (who is a top-10 NFL prospect right now) could be three of the top ends in April's draft. Jenkins finishes his FSU career with 22.5 sacks and 37.5 TFL's.
"There's things you face in life that you can't back down [from]," said Jenkins. "There's things you go through that make you stronger and make you better. I feel like this is a stepping stone for me to challenge me. I'm a big believer in God. I feel like this is a situation He's putting me in to challenge me to see how much I believe in Him."
A healthy Brandon Jenkins could easily be a first round talent, it remains to be seen how far along he is in his recovery by draft day though.