GAINESVILLE -- UF cornerback Janoris Jenkins was arrested on Saturday for fighting and resisting arrest. But let's not focus on the negative. There is something positive to take away from this incident, the football team's third arrest of 2009 and 24th arrest in the last five years.
We all knew Jenkins was tough, but -- man -- the guy must have the pain tolerence of a Himalayan yak. Jenkins was hit by a Taser on Saturday morning but still had the strength to fight through the electricity and briefly run away from the cops. Now that is exactly the type of warrior you need to win two national championships in two seasons. Florida coach Urban Meyer should recruit as many kids cut from the Janoris Jenkins mold as possible. (Minus the off-field problems, of course.)
OK, OK. Enough already with the cheeky blog stuff ...
According to police reports, Jenkins was asked by Gainesville police to stop participating in a brawl involving several men early Saturday morning outside a downtown Gainesville nightclub. Jenkins did not stop. Instead, he punched a man in the head, according to police, and chose the Taser. Jenkins was booked into Alachua County Jail at 3:05 a.m. but only spent a few hours behind bars. He was bonded out early Saturday morning.
A spokesman for the Florida football team said that the Florida coaching staff is aware of the incident and awaiting an investigation. The spokesman would not confirm whether or not Jenkins will be kicked off the team or suspended.
Gainesville criminal defense attorney Huntley Johnson, who will be representing Jenkins, said on Monday afternoon that Jenkins became involved in the brawl only after he attempted to break up the fight early Saturday morning around 2 a.m. Gainesville's bars close down at 2 a.m. and fights are not uncommon in downtown Gainesville when hundreds of drunks pour into the streets all at the same time.
According to Johnson, one of the men involved in the fight grabbed a gold chain around Jenkins' neck. Fearing the man was attempting to choke him or steal his jewelry, Jenkins punched his attacker in self-defense, according to his attorney.
"I believe he was acting in self defense and I do not think the state attorney's office will be overly anxious to prosecute this case," Johnson said. "It is an incident of small consequence. I don't think he was trying to instigate anything. Unfortunately, he was the guy the Taser hit."
After being hit by the Taser, Jenkins ran about a block and half before voluntarily laying on the ground, according to Jenkins' attorney, and awaiting his arrest.
Johnson said that he expects Jenkins to receive a deferred prosecution from the State Attorney's Office, which could result in a fine or public service or both, or have the case dismissed.
Here's my question: I understand that kids are going to get involved in stupid stuff when they're in college, but considering the negative publicity that goes along with a football player being arrested, should Urban Meyer prohibit his players from frequenting Gainesville nightclubs?