Less than two weeks after deciding to return to UF for his senior season, Janoris Jenkins was cited for possession of marijuana Saturday in Gainesville.
The star Gators cornerback, who was projected to be a first-round NFL draft pick if he declared himself eligible, was found rolling a marijuana cigarette in the bathroom of Status Nightclub, 17 SW First St. at 12:50 a.m. Saturday.
Jenkins, 22, was charged with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, a misdemeanor. He was released after being issued a notice to appear. His court date is scheduled for Feb. 17.
“We are aware of the incident with Janoris Jenkins and will handle it internally at this time,” coach Will Muschamp said.
Jenkins is the first Florida football player arrested since Muschamp became UF’s head coach, who spoke during his introductory press conference about “the Florida way” regarding off-the-field behavior.
Urban Meyer received a great deal of criticism for the 25 players arrested during his six seasons as the Gators’ coach.
“There’s a certain thing that I’m going to refer to as the Florida way, and that’s the way they need to act, and that’s the way they need to represent our university,” Muschamp said in December. “I’m going to demand that, and I think that you’ll understand in time that that’s something that’s very important to me.”
The citation is not Jenkins’ first brush with the law. He was arrested in May 2009, charged with affray and resisting arrest without violence, and tased by police. He said he was defending himself after a man attempted to pull a chain off his neck.
Following that arrest, Jenkins signed a deferred prosecution agreement, served probation and did community service to clear his record.
It was commonly assumed the three-year starter would forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.
ESPN analyst Todd McShay ranked Jenkins as the No. 11 overall prospect in the draft class after he developed a reputation as a lockdown corner.
The 5-foot-11, 184-pound cornerback was the anchor of Florida’s secondary and at times the most reliable player on the field for the Gators.
Despite playing most of the season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, he consistently shut down opponents’ top receivers, including South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery and Georgia’s A.J. Green.
Jenkins finished the 2010 season with three interceptions and 43 tackles, playing in all 12 regular-season games.
He underwent surgery and did not play in UF’s Outback Bowl win over Penn State on Jan. 1.
Less than two weeks later, Jenkins announced his decision to return to UF to work toward his degree and play the 2011 season.
He will also rehab his shoulder and improve his draft stock for next year.