Janoris Jenkins Declares for NFL Draft, but This Will Help Florida in Long Run

Mikey HendersonContributor IJanuary 7, 2011

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 13: Janoris Jenkins #1 of the Florida Gators gets the crowd up during a game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

I'm not going to lie—Janoris Jenkins is a pretty sick corner.

But so is pretty much anybody recruited by Charlie Strong, Teryl Austin and Will Muschamp.

I know, Florida loses Ahmad Black, Jenkins, Ryan Stamper, Brandon Hicks, Justin Trattou, Terron Sanders, Duke Lemmens, etc. These were all 2008 BCS National Championship Game players.

But it's not that bad for Florida at all. Maybe now the young players from last year step up on defense this year, and we've got the entire team returning in 2012.

It's better to lose these guys now rather than after next year, when we could have just won the SEC and looked to be returning. Had we kept all these guys (impossible—most of them are seniors), then we would have a huge question mark in 2012.

Now, we are working with a younger but equally talented defense. Janoris Jenkins might have helped the team a lot with a year being the leader and captain of the defense, but you can't have everything.

Sure, now Florida doesn't have a lockdown corner. But do you think that with the way Muschamp recruits combined with his brain for defense, this will be a problem? He'll develop one pretty soon. Look for Jaylen Watkins and Josh Evans to come out of nowhere and have breakout sophomore seasons in 2011.

And for 2012? This is great for Florida. They'll have returning starters who got some valuable playing time, took a run in the SEC, have seen it all, etc.

Look how well that went in 2007, when a few guys from the 2006 season left early. They took their lumps, sure, but in 2008, they were lights out. They completely shut down an Oklahoma team that scored 60 points in each of its six previous games and held them to just 14 points.

As great of a defensive coordinator as Charlie Strong is, Will Muschamp may be better. He learned from one of the best: Nick Saban.

Oh, and after throwing all that out there? Florida's front seven has already been through an SEC season, so they may have to pick up the secondary a few times, which may be susceptible to big plays due to lack of experience.

Then again, if Florida's blitz is as effective as it looks like it's going to be, a weak secondary won't matter.

How can big plays happen if the QB gets sacked?

So goodbye, Janoris Jenkins. We'll obviously miss your talent, but we're Florida. We can replace you pretty quickly. I wish you nothing but the best in the pros (though I hope the Jets don't draft you).

Truth is, with the way that Florida recruits, we don't need you anymore.