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Q & A with Florida freshman cornerback Moses Jenkins of Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson

Joseph Goodman

jgoodman@MiamiHerald.com

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GAINESVILLE -- Gator Clause has been waiting a long time for the chance to interview Florida freshman cornerback Moses Jenkins. (Florida's sports information office does not allow reporters to speak with freshmen until they've played in a game.) Jenkins saw his first action of the season last Saturday against LSU. He played during Florida's defensive dime packages and finished the game with his first career tackle.

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IMosesn his post-game press conference following the loss to LSU, Florida coach Urban Meyer said that he was forced to play Jenkins "out of necessity."

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Jenkins, a Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson alum, was a signing-day surprise for the Florida Gators last February. I was covering Broward County high schools when Jenkins committed to Florida and remember glowing with pride inside Boyd Anderson's auditorium when Jenkins announced that he received a full-scholarship to play football in college. Jenkins, one of the most soft-spoken young men you're every going to meet, is someone Meyer likes to refer to as "a high-character individual."

Here's my Q & A with Jenkins after today's practice:

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Q: What were you feeling as you sprinted onto the field for the first time in your career?

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A: “I was a little nervous but I’ve been going hard in practice so the coaches thought I was ready to go. The crowd was crazy, so that made me a little more nervous. But after my first play I was all right. But that first play, being in a big game, I was pretty nervous. That crowd was real pumped. They would never shut up. It was hard for us with the crowd."

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Q: I thought for sure Florida was going to redshirt you this season. When did you find out that you had a chance to contribute?

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A: “The whole week the coaches were telling me that [LSU] likes to go four and five wide, so we were going to go with our dime packages. I worked hard in practice all week so the coaches told me to be ready to play.”

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Q: "Give a personal assessment of how much you’ve improved since the first day you arrived on campus?"

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A: “From high school to now I’ve learned a whole lot. My first day of practice I had to adjust to everything and learn how to practice hard. But I’m doing good now and I’m hanging in there.”

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Q: What did you say to yourself after you recorded the first tackle of your career?

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A: “After I made my first tackle I was like, ‘Wow!’ because it was a real big college game. All my boys from back home were calling and texting me. It felt good to get my first college stat.”

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Q: Did you ever think you were going to be redshirted this season?

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A: “Not exactly. Coaches always told me to go hard to see if I could handle it. I’ve been waiting every game for my number to get called.”

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Q: Can we expect to see you play in any more games?

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A: "Most likely, yeah. Against Kentucky I should play because they go to that four- and five-wide set, too. So I’m going to keep on working hard and see what happens."

-jo-

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