When Rayshawn Jenkins signed with Miami I was excited. Bobby Bowden (is he allowed to be paraphrased on SOTU?) once said something like: regardless of recruiting ranking (this was around the start of the star system) one-third of your roster will be bench warmers, one-third will be starters, and one-third will be role players. When Jenkins signed I had a good feeling he would become a solid starter for the ‘Canes.
I trust the Farragut program to produce well coached, hard working student-athletes. Jenkins film stood out because not only did it feature deep catches where he out ran corners, but also big hits as a blocker and tackler, soft hands, and he was a versatile athlete that played all over the field. A safety that played high school QB has the insight of the Quarterback position, and Rayshawn played running back and receiver as well.
Rayshawn positioned himself as a starter in 2013 logging 12 starts and picking up 46 tackles and 3 interceptions. He sat out 2014 with a back injury. In 2015 he slowly returned to reclaim his starting role picking up 52 tackles and 3 INT’s in 7 starts.
Jenkins has stepped up in big games as a Cane. Against FSU in 2016 he had 6 tackles and 2 PBUs. In 2015, he logged 6 tackles against the Hokies. Against the hated Gators in 2013- he had this interception at the goal line. He also had a big game against his hometown team in USF for his first career start with 7 tackles and an INT.
In 2016, Jenkins finally looked fully recovered from the injury that sidelined him in 2014. Jenkins finished his senior season with 70 tackles, 3.5 TFL, and 2 interceptions while making the ACC Media honorable mention list. As you watch his tape from the FSU game this year, posted below, you can see he does break quickly on the ball still flashing his straight line speed. He also provides a few kill shots in the run game. #26 picked up 14 tackles in the close loss to UNC as well as 10 against Duke on senior night and 6 against FSU.
With Rayshawn you had a kid that while he may not have elite athleticism he had a high football IQ, would rally to the ball, provide a spark whether via big hit or in coverage, and really loved being a ‘Cane as you can see in his senior day video. I think Jenkins leaves Miami as a guy that Canes fans will miss more than they realize.