Janoris Jenkins knows he’s considered a character risk by some who assess his stock in the NFL draft, but he doesn’t appreciate those who question him about his children.
Jenkins told the Palm Beach Post that people shouldn’t have a problem with the life choices he’s made that led to four kids with three different women.
“It’s weird because I had those kids while I was playing college football and it didn’t affect me not once,” Jenkins said. “I’m proud to have my four kids. If they want to throw that in my face, so be it. Everybody has kids. Where in the book do it say you can’t have kids? It doesn’t say that in the law. I’m a great father. I’m there whenever they need me.”
The Palm Beach Post describes that as “a reasonable response,” but is it really? Since Jenkins has decided to praise himself as a great father, it’s fair to ask: Why didn’t he decide, after he started having these children he’s allegedly always there for, to stop getting into bar fights and stop getting arrested for marijuana possession? Those incidents led Jenkins to leave Florida and transfer to North Alabama, which is farther from his children. Shouldn’t a great father create more stability in his own life, so that his children can have more stability in their lives?
It’s also fair to ask whether we should really care about a guy smoking pot in his free time. Plenty of people do it, and it’s wrong to suggest, as draft analysts sometimes do, that anyone who has ever smoked marijuana has “character issues.” Jenkins makes that point, too.
“I was just being a college student,” Jenkins said. “I’m pretty sure there were more guys than me that smoked. I just got caught.”
I’m pretty sure Jenkins is right that there were more guys than him who smoked. But he got caught twice, including after new Florida coach Will Muschamp came in and made clear that he wasn’t going to tolerate the off-field arrests that previous coach Urban Meyer had tolerated. If Jenkins couldn’t stop himself from getting caught when he was at Florida, why should NFL teams think he can stop himself from getting caught when he’s a professional?
For his part, Jenkins is sure there are going to be no off-field issues at all when he gets to the league.
“Whoever gets me is going to get a blessing,” Jenkins said. “I’m a great guy.”