HOOVER, Ala. -- Last December, Jordan Jenkins received his NFL draft advisory grade. But to this day, the senior outside linebacker has decided against opened it. Even though his parents took a look, Jenkins told them not to pass along the information.
That’s because Jenkins had already decided not to go pro following the 2014 season. In fact, Jenkins made up his mind following Georgia’s thrilling 35-32 win over Tennessee a year ago. Midway through the season, Jenkins said he realized he needed one more year to grow and mature as a player under this coaching staff before making the leap to the NFL.
“I saw what I could do with (linebackers) coach (Terry Rocker) and (defensive line and linebackers) coach (Kevin) Sherrer, and what I’ve done so far, with another offseason and another camp program that I could get even better,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins made tremendous strides in 2014, totaling 70 tackles and five sacks. Jenkins is part of a Georgia outside linebacker group, which also features Leonard Floyd and Lorenzo Carter, that should be a considerable strength of the 2015 defense.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt said that Jenkins, a risk management and insurance major, felt he needed another year to be ready for the professional level.
“He’s a very talented guy,” Richt said. “I think he knew he could improve. I think he knew he was getting coached well and that he wanted to be as great as possible when that day game. He knew the NFL wasn’t going anywhere. He was very serious about graduating or at least being closer to graduating.”
Jenkins has been among Georgia’s defensive leaders this offseason. Entering his final season, he’s been one of the guys running offseason workouts on the players’ own time.
“This has been the most structured player-led 7-on-7s,” Jenkins said. “It’s almost to the same level it would be with coaches. That just goes to show how dedicated the young guys are to listen to the old guys without the coaches being there.”