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Janoris Jenkins eyeing Brandon James' job

GAINESVILLE -- Not much news to report today other than linebacker Dustin Doe performing better in practice than trainers and coaches expected. Doe had surgery for sports hernia a few weeks ago but he is still questionable for Saturday's game against Kentucky.

One interesting thing that caught my ear was a statement made by freshman cornerback Janoris Jenkins. The Pahokee native says he would like to return kicks and punts once Brandon James graduates. Jenkins was a big-play threat in high school and has performed well as a freshman starter at cornerback. (Check tomorrow's paper for a feature story on Jenkins.)

Florida strong safety Ahmad Black and free safety Major Wright are close friends now that they're teammates but they still have somewhat of a rivalry when it comes to high school football. Black is from Lakeland and Wright is from Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.

The two schools met in the Class 5A state championship three years in a row from 2004-2006 and Lakeland won every time. St. Thomas won the Class 5A state championship last season but didn't have to go through Lakeland. Black and Wright are already talking about St. Thomas and Lakeland meeting up in this season's state championship game. Both teams are currently undefeated.

"We've got a $1 million bet," Black said. "I don't know how we're going to get the $1 million but we have a $1 million bet."

Meyer said on Wednesday that freshman cornerback Jeremy Brown was competing evenly with freshman cornerback Janoris Jenkins during fall camp. Brown aggravated his back and hasn't sniffed the field. Jenkins is now a starter. Expect Brown to redshirt this season and enter the 2009 season as one of the Gators' best young cornerbacks.

Defensive tackle Omar Hunter is another redshirt candidate. At one point during the offseason, Meyer believed Hunter could contribute immediately but injuries have set back the big Georgia native.

"We'd like to play him," Meyer said. "He's just been banged up since he got here and that ankle sprain was pretty significant."

The Steve Miller Band is playing on Friday night in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium as part of Gator Growl, UF's annual homecoming celebration. True story: Lynyrd Skynyrd played Gator Growl last season. Meyer was asked if he wanted to meet the band and UF's coach said, "Sure. Which one is Lynyrd Skynyrd?"





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