“After careful consideration, I’ve made a decision to return to school for my senior year,” the All-SEC selection said in a statement. “I spent some time with my family and coach Muschamp and came to the conclusion it was in my best interest to return to school. Coach Muschamp was very supportive throughout the whole process, regardless of my decision, but he wanted to make sure I had all of the facts. I’m looking forward to working towards my degree, completing my rehab and getting back on the field with my teammates.”
Damn right Muschamp was supportive. He gets to keep a shut-down corner who can hold the opposing team's top wideout in check, as he did to Alabama's Julio Jones (four catches, 19 yards), South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery (six catches, 53 yds) and Georgia's A.J. Green (four catches, 42 yds, TD) this season.
And this has a major domino effect. Now, the No. 2 corner spot will be settled through some intense competition between Jeremy Brown, Moses Jenkins, Cody Riggs, Jaylen Watkins and a few others this offseason, and Jenkins plus the winner of that battle is a much more formidable pairing than the alternative.
It's also a great sign that Muschamp got him to stay. If Jenkins wasn't sold on the new coach, there's no way he'd turn down the NFL to return. Surely the torn labrum that held him out of the Outback Bowl played a role as well, but considering the fact that he played well this season with the injury, I can't imagine it would have scared off too many teams, unless they wanted him to pitch.
“I’m excited that Janoris has made a decision to come back to school,” Muschamp said. “I would have supported him in whatever decision he made, but I commend him for making a mature decision. It would have been real easy for Janoris to make an emotional choice and leave early, but with our contacts in the NFL, we were able to assist him in understanding his draft status and he made an educated decision that will be beneficial to him in the long term.”
Great day for Florida here. Jenkins was considered a sure thing to make the jump; Mike Pouncey even said so before the Outback Bowl, and intrepid ESPN reporter Joe Schad tweeted it last week, which should have been the first clue Jenkins was coming back.
If anyone's upset about this, it's Jelani Jenkins, because this means he has to keep that awkward-looking "Je. Jenkins" on the back of his jersey.
And another reason to be happy: this sets up what would have to be the funniest moment of the year in UF sports, where Will Hill declares for the draft and Jenkins doesn't. If Hill leaves while Jenkins stays, that's the best news Florida's secondary has gotten in a long time.