Under coach Terry Bowden, North Alabama has become a Division-II hotbed for transfer players seeking another chance after circumstances led them away from a Division-I school. Bucs receiver Preston Parker turned his playing career around at North Alabama after Terry’s father, Bobby, dismissed Parker from Florida State. In 2011, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and defensive end James Brooks played their final years of eligibility for Bowden after leaving Florida and Arizona State, respectively.
Bowden does intense background checks on individuals before accepting them on the Lions. He did the same on Jenkins, a projected high pick in the 2012 NFL draft.
“I tried to figure out as much of his background as possible to find out if he was just a kid who made mistakes or if he was not a good risk,” Bowden explained, per the Akron Beacon Journal. “… He really had three strikes at Florida. You have to understand how many guys I don’t take who get in similar types of trouble.”
While Bowden insists University of Florida officials “assured me he was worth the risk,” Jenkins apparently left out one detail. He never told Bowden about his four children, all under the age of four and allegedly by three different women.
This is the red flag on Jenkins’ past that may scare off the most NFL teams.
“He has a girlfriend; I’ve had to call him at her house plenty of times,” Bowden said. “He never told me any of that stuff.”
Bowden sounds willing to vouch for Jenkins when NFL teams call, but Jenkins’ secretiveness about this one issue begs the question of whether he’s been fully revealing during Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine interviews. Jenkins already has baggage that will likely eliminate him from several draft boards. He can’t afford much more.