"15 For 15" - The 7th Greatest Player in USF Football History Is...

Mike Jenkins, CB/2004-07

Mike Jenkins may be the only player in USF history to whom opposing teams paid the ultimate compliment - they wouldn't allow him to be involved in the game. His glamour stats (like interceptions) aren't as high as other cornerbacks who have come through the program, but that's mostly because teams tried their best to avoid him. I don't think there's much debate that Jenkins was the best cornerback in school history.

Jenkins got on the field immediately as a freshman out of Bradenton's Southeast High School. In fact, he started the first game of his college career in 2004, and even blocked a punt in the win over Tennessee Tech. While he dealt with a lingering ankle injury and didn't start the second half of the year, he still played in 10 games, with nine breakups and two forced fumbles. From there, he started 36 of his last 37 college games (only missing the Papajohns.com Bowl in 2006). He played suffocating man defense against everyone's best receivers and often took them out of the game. And when the other team bothered to throw his way, Jenkins was there to stop it. His 47 career pass breakups is a school record, he finished with 133 career tackles, and he also had six career interceptions with a near-touchdown against Auburn in 2007.

Towards the end of his senior year, Jenkins even dabbled in kick returning. Against Cincinnati, he returned the first kickoff of his career 100 yards for a touchdown, and ended up with a team-record 192 kick return yards on the day. If you recognize the picture of Jenkins from your copy of NCAA Football 10, that picture is of Jenkins taking that kickoff to the house.

You probably know what Mike Jenkins is up to these days. He was the first player from USF ever to be drafted in the first round when the Cowboys took him 28th overall in 2008. And in only two years in Dallas, he's proven to be just as good an NFL cornerback as he was a college corner, combining with Terence Newman to form one of the best cornerback tandems in the league. He went to his first Pro Bowl in 2009, and with apologies to Kawika Mitchell, Jenkins is the best USF alum currently playing in the NFL.

South Florida's Lockdown Corner Mike Jenkins (via CBS)

Mike Jenkins Highlights (via THESAINTHIMSELF)

Previous entries: #8 - Stephen Nicholas, #9 - George Selvie, #10 - Nate Allen, #11 - DeAndrew Rubin, #12 - Hugh Smith, #13 - Kenyatta Jones, #14 - Ben Moffitt, #15 - Chad Barnhardt

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