Florida loses Jelani Jenkins to the NFL

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For the fourth time since the calendar flipped from 2012 to 2013, Florida has lost an underclassmen to the professional ranks.

The latest to leave early is linebacker  Jelani Jenkins, who the Gators announced Monday afternoon has decided to forego his final year of eligibility and declare for the 2013 NFL Draft.  Jenkins joins tight end Jordan Reedsafety Matt Elam and defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd as Gators who have left collegiate eligibility on the table.

“Jelani informed me that he wishes to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL,” said UF head coach Will Muschamp in a statement. “We wish him the best of luck and encourage him to return to Florida and complete his degree.”

Because of a foot injury, Jenkins played in just nine games this season, starting eight of those contests.  One of the games Jenkins missed was the Sugar Bowl after undergoing surgery to repair the damage in his foot.

All told, Jenkins played in 36 games at UF, including 31 starts, and totaled 182 tackles, 16.5 tackles-for-loss, six sacks and three interceptions.

Alabama’s Anderson repeats as Bronko Nagurski award winner

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Alabama outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. has become the second two-time winner of the Bronko Nagurski Award given to the nation’s top collegiate defensive player.

Anderson was presented the award on Monday night by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

The 6-foot-4, 243-pound Anderson had 10 sacks for the No. 5-ranked Crimson Tide this season. He also won the award last year after recording 17 1/2 sacks.

Anderson, a junior, had two sacks in Alabama’s regular-season win finale against rival Auburn and had his first touchdown when he returned an interception 25 yards against Louisiana-Monroe.

Anderson joins former Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald as the only two-time winner of the award. Fitzgerald won the award in 1995 and 1996 and later went on to become the head coach at Northwestern.

It’s unclear if Anderson will enter the NFL draft or return to Alabama next season.

FSU standout QB Jordan Travis returning for senior season

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, the fourth player in school history to account for 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in a single season, is staying in school for his senior year.

Travis made the announcement Monday, the same day hundreds of players across the nation entered the NCAA transfer portal or declared for the NFL draft. Travis chose a different path and could be an early favorite in next year’s Heisman Trophy race.

“So many memories have been made on this field and we’re not done yet,” Travis said in a highlight video posted on social media. “See y’all in 2023.”

A fourth-year junior, Travis has 22 touchdown passes to go along with seven rushing scores, one receiving and just four interceptions. He has led the 13th-ranked Seminoles (9-3) to five consecutive wins as they prepare to play Oklahoma (6-6) in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 29 in Orlando.

Travis joined FSU’s three Heisman Trophy winners – Charlie Ward in 1993, Chris Weinke in 2000 and Jameis Winston in 2013 – to account for 3,000 yards and 30 TDs in a season. He is one of six QBs in Power Five conferences with at least 20 TD passes and four or fewer interceptions.