After giving the NFL serious consideration, Georgia nose guard John Jenkins told reporters Friday that he will return to school for his senior season.
Jenkins sent in paperwork for an NFL evaluation earlier this month, but said Friday that he hasn't received a draft grade back and doesn't need one at this point.
“Unless it’s first round, then I’d be a dumb guy not to go out,” Jenkins told reporters. “But I don’t think that’s what I’m going to get. I think everybody knows I need to come back and polish up more with Coach [Rodney] Garner behind me. That’s what I need to do.”
Jenkins entered the season as a highly-touted junior college transfer, but it took him a while to adapt to major college football. Expected to start right away and be a force in the middle of Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense, Jenkins was slow coming out of the gate.
He was a backup to Kwame Geathers before starting six games. He enters the Outback Bowl against Michigan State as the starter at nose guard and has recorded 28 tackles, including six for loss, three sacks and 10 quarterback hurries.
There is no doubt that Jenkins looks physically ready for the NFL. At 6 feet 3 inches and 351 pounds, Jenkins has the size to fill quite the space on a NFL defensive line. He's also tremendously athletic and can be a force in both rushing and passing defense. Stopping the run is probably his best attribute with that kind of size.
The other thing about Jenkins is that he has grown and improved throughout the season. He flirted along the underachieving line during the first part of the season until the light went on. Once he got more comfortable in Grantham's defense, he became a solid player for the Bulldogs. Now, he's become an interior offensive lineman's nightmare.
This is pretty good news for Georgia. The Bulldogs will keep a key component to its defense with Jenkins returning and if he continues his upward swing, he could transform into a top draft prospect at his position.