Jenkins was cited for misdemeanor possession this weekend after the fuzz spotted him rolling a marijuana cigarette in the bathroom of a club, giving new coach Will Muschamp his first bit of negative press. It's not an arrest, so I'll keep the Official Muschamp Arrest Counter at zero for the time being, but it's still a big moment.
Muschamp did a lot of talking about discipline during his introductory press conference, and his players will no doubt be interested to see how he handles this from a player like Jenkins, who'll be a team leader next season after putting off a pro career to return for his senior year. The crime is pretty tame. The fact Jenkins got caught is the bigger issue to me.
I (and most likely you) know people (certainly none of us would ever do it) who smoke weed and don't get busted for it. It's not a big deal when enjoyed responsibly, and the effects are far less dangerous than alcohol. At least that's what people I know tell me.
But here's Jenkins, bringing drugs into a club and having them out in the open where cops can see him. That just speaks to a general lack of common sense, a missing piece that I feel excludes him from the "top 1 percent of 1 percent" that Urban Meyer said he strived to recruit. He also got hit with a Taser and charged with fighting and resisting arrest in 2009.
A very small number of people would be able to avoid illegality in a four-year career in college football, but the art is in not getting caught. As a reporter said when Brandon James got popped for buying weed from a police informant a few years ago, "Doesn't he know there are people who can get that for him?"
In light of that, let's all pause and appreciate Percy Harvin. Harvin enjoys his marijuana, a fact proven by his failed drug test at the NFL Combine. That was incredibly dumb, and I wouldn't be shocked to know that a few of the games he missed for "injury" at UF were really because of drug issues, but in three years, Harvin didn't run afoul of Johnny Law. He was a big star who kept his nose clean and seldom disappointed on the field. Realistically, THAT is the top 1 percent of 1 percent, as far as college football goes.
Moving forward, this is mostly a non-issue to me. The deadline to declare for the NFL Draft has passed, meaning there's no chance Muschamp cracks the whip, Jenkins gets upset and bolts for the pros. It would seem a bit harsh to suspend him for a game seven months from now, but even if that happens, it's just FAU.
But for a struggling program largely relying on young players, leadership will be a constant battle. This issue isn't likely to crush Jenkins' credibility with his teammates, but it does cast doubt about whether he's the kind of guy you want atop your roster's power pyramid.
Anyone really upset about this? Do you care? What do you think Muschamp will do?