(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
With the news that Janoris Jenkins was arrested for the third time in twenty-three months (the first being for a fight outside a nightclub and the last two for marijuana), it is a pretty good bet that the Gators are going to be without his presence on the field for a bit.
Harvey Johnson, a.k.a. the "UF Athletics Lawyer," recently gave us an update on Janoris' situation.
"When you have a previous case, that's taken into consideration by the prosecution," said Johnson, who had not been in contact with Jenkins as of Saturday afternoon.
That is pretty much common sense knowledge. Supplemental draft anyone?
It is also a foregone conclusion that no matter how Muschamp handles this situation, it will draw some scrutiny. But that really isn't anything new. Muschamp will always be compared to Meyer when it comes to handling incidents off the field.
The next question is how this situation affects the Gators on the field? Well, I'm sure there will be more on that at a later time and date. But let's just say that Janoris will not be on the field for the first game against Florida Atlantic. Where do the Gators stand at the corner-back position without Jenkins? Here's some food for thought.
For the purpose of this article, I'm not going to discuss incoming players that will join the team this summer and fall. That means that corner-back recruits Valdez Showers, Marcus Roberson or Louchiez Purifoy will be left out of this discussion.
Moses Jenkins - Without Janoris Jenkins on the field, Moses quite possibly will earn the starting position. That might just become the worst development to come from all of this. Moses Jenkins who was granted an extra year by the NCAA last November has never really lived up to his 4-star status as a Freshman way back in 2007. Moses Jenkins recorded his first career interception in the Outback Bowl. Throughout his injury plagued career he has appeared in 29 games (3 starts), and has been largely disappointing. He is going to really have to pick his game up now that the pressure is on.
Jeremy Brown - Would it surprise you to know that Jeremy Brown has been enrolled at UF since 2008 but made his debut just last year in 2010. That is what chronic back issues will do. The red-shirt Junior had a pretty decent year last season considering all he has been through. He recorded three interceptions, broke up five passes (including a team leading two against Tennessee) and had fifteen tackles. Brown is the odds-on starter at the #2 spot, which now, just might be the #1 spot.
Cody Riggs - Sophomore Cody Riggs did a fantastic job on the field last year as a true freshman. He was one of the six true freshman to play in every single game last season and even had three starts. While he only had one interception (Outback Bowl) and only broke up two passes, he played much better the second half of the year. He has the potential for a breakout season, in fact, I fully expect him to have that breakout season this year. Especially now with the bump in playing time (at least early) that is going to happen this season. He isn't close to the prototypical size of defensive backs that Muschamp is known to covet (6-foot or taller), but I would think that Muschamp is smart enough to put the players on the field that give the Gators the best chance at winning. One of those players, in my opinion, is Cody Riggs.
De'Ante Saunders - "Pop" as he is affectionately known, enrolled early this year which allowed him to participate in all the practices and even the Orange and Blue Debut. He was named the Orlando Sentinel's All-Central Florida Defensive Player of the Year in 2009. For what it is worth, he was also voted the 2010 Volusia County Offensive Player of the Year, but he will be playing on the defensive side of the ball this year. Before the most recent Janoris incident, I had "Pop" penciled in as possibly one of the first off the bench in the nickle-back position. Now, I think that is pretty much a given unless he is vastly outplayed by any three of the incoming freshman. I expect him to become a major contributor on the field this fall.
It should be interesting to see how the playing time develops throughout this situation. My gut feeling is that Moses Jenkins and Jeremy Brown (provided they are healthy) get the starting jobs at the #1 and #2 respectively. I would rather see Cody Riggs in place of Moses Jenkins, but I would give the #1 spot to Jeremy Brown and let Cody Riggs take control of the #2 spot.
The funny thing is, I was just having a conversation the other day over at Tomahawk Nation on who had better defensive backs, UF or FSU. Well, without Janoris, the edge (even though we were discussing the safety position as well) clearly goes to FSU. So much for that.
Maybe one of the incoming freshmen who will arrive over the course of the summer and fall (Showers, Roberson and Purifoy) will take control of the position during workouts and practices they participate in after they arrive on campus. But who knows at this point. Everyone is just guessing.