MORE FROM MY INTERVIEW WITH UF STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH MICKEY MAROTTI...
GAINESVILLE -- The highlight of my interview earlier this week with UF coach Mickey Marotti was news that Broward County product Moses Jenkins is one of the most improved players in the weight room and could be one of the Gators' most improved players on the field this season.
Jenkins [PICTURED] came to Gainesville skinny and shy, but now -- on the eve of his sophomore season -- Moses is starting to bloom into the football player the Gators' coaching staff knew the Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson alum could become. Jenkins weighed 168 pounds when he reported to UF last year. Now, after one year in the Gators' program, he's up to 186 pounds.
"For whatever reason, Moses was one of those guys that came in to the program a little behind everybody," Marotti said. "But he's really getting it now and he's finally putting some weight on. He's learned what it takes to be tough and he's really improved. He's a totally different football player now than when he got here."
Two years ago, back when I was covering preps in Broward County for The Herald, I was in Boyd Anderson's auditorium when Jenkins shocked a lot of people and signed with the Gators. After covering Broward preps for two years, I certainly knew Moses had the potential to be an SEC football player (he made my All-Broward first team, after all) but most of the recruiting websites didn't know what to think of Jenkins. He was lean (165 pounds) and unheralded.
Jenkins is now starting to grow into his 6-3 frame. Don't be surprised this fall after two-a-days when Jenkins is named a back-up to either Wondy Pierre-Louis or Joe Haden. Jenkins played last season against LSU when the Gators went to the nickel and Jenkins had two highlights late in the win against FSU (a sack and a pass break-up). It's too bad Jenkins wasn't redshirted last season but, hey, that's a testament to how thin UF's secondary depth chart really was.
Gator Clause will also keep an eye on this idea: We haven't heard anything official about Moses helping out at safety this year but it makes perfect since considering Jenkins' size and the lack of depth at the position. Jenkins is versatile enough to play safety but needs to improve his tackling to be a viable option at the position.