Every day here at Your Best 11, we are counting down to the start of the regular season with our top 150 players for the 2012 season.
No. 86: Jelani Jenkins, No. 3, Florida, Linebacker
Florida has got a duo at linebacker that are among the nation's best in both Jonathan Bostic and Jelani Jenkins.
Jenkins is the will linebacker in Will Muschamps hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense and he is a guy that should be on every fan's radar. Jenkins is fast, he scrapes the backside very well and is capable of taking on the block and forcing the run to bounce on plays to him.
Jenkins is not just a solid run defender for the Gators, he also is equally adept in the pass game. He was second on the team in pass break ups, is comfortable operating in space as he passes off crossers and breaks on the football.
Some folks point to Jenkins' 6'0" height as an issue, but it has not truly hindered his ability to be an impact player for the Gators.
The real issue for Jenkins has been misdiagnosing plays at times. That means allowing the play action to carry him too far inside as the quarterback rolls out, or reading the running back inside action as the play flows away from him on the sweep.
This is something that can be ironed out as he reads his keys and in games he adjusts quickly on the fly, not getting fooled twice. Ultimately, Jenkins will just have to watch his keys instead of flying to the football.
The Gators defense is again going to be a stout unit that is among the SEC's better squads. The question for them will be how their offense helps them out.
They have to get rest, get off the field and hope their offense can help them by extending drives and putting some points on the board.
Jelani Jenkins is a heck of a football player. He missed out on being an All-SEC linebacker a year ago, but that was thanks partially to the monster that was Alabama. This year, there is an opportunity on the team, as only Jarvis Jones returns from last year's members.
Look for Jenkins to put up similar tackle numbers from a season ago, be more active behind the line of scrimmage and against the pass.
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