Measurements: Six foot one, 214 pounds
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Florida
High School: Attended Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he played quarterback, wide receiver, running back, and defensive back.
Jenkins started in two games his freshman year, earning playing time in the defensive back rotation. Jenkins would secure seven tackles, adding his first career interception in his first start. In a secondary that was void of playmakers, he was a great addition.
In his sophomore year, Jenkins’s game improved to another level. He started in 12 of 13 games at safety. His stats also improved (46 tackles, 3 interceptions, 5 pass break-ups, 1 tackle for loss), and he became a leader on the field for a secondary group that trotted out future NFL contributors in CB Artie Burns, CB Ladarius Gunter, CB Tracy Howard, and S Deon Bush.
Jenkins’s game was trending upward entering the 2014 off-season. However, his career was put on pause after he suffered a herniated disc while weightlifting. Forced to take a redshirt year after opting to have surgery, Jenkins could only observe as he went through rehab process.
Jenkins returned to the team in 2015, looking to pick up where he left off in 2013. Since he was returning from a serious back injury, the expectation for Jenkins was to merely get back into the game and get the feel for it. Instead, he set a new career best in total tackles with 52, tied his career best with 3 interceptions, and added four pass break ups, with 2.5 tackles for loss.
After overcoming the hardship of back surgery, Jenkins’s task was to provide Miami with quality support in the back end of the defense. However, there was little to worry about, with UM shifting from a 3–4 defense to Manny Diaz’s attacking 4–3. So the biggest question should’ve been, what was left for Jenkins to do?
Jenkins answered once again by surpassing his career high in tackles (76), hunting near the line of scrimmage to collect 4.5 TFL and add 7 pass break ups with two interceptions. Jenkins’s performance throughout the 2016 season helped Miami become bowl eligible and end their nearly decade-long win drought by defeating West Virginia in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
With no rest for the weary, Jenkins—along with Corn Elder, Danny Isidora, and Justin Vogel—continued the trek down the path to the draft, beginning with the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. While some people may feel that Jenkins’s scuffle with Grambling State WR Chad Williams is a highlight (or lowlight) of his time at the game, Jenkins showed off his athleticism over the course of that week and during that game.
Sport’s longest interview continued into the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. NFL clubs must have been keen to see for themselves Jenkins’s status, assessing his durability for a 16 games or more season. Looking to silence any concerns about his health, the ‘Canes safety excelled in the on-field workout at Lucas Oil Stadium. By running a 4.51 40-yard dash time, putting up 19 reps on the bench press, and jumping 37 inches on the vertical leap, Jenkins surely left feeling proud of the effort he put on display.
Film to Watch
North Carolina vs. Miami Hurricanes October 15, 2016
Had 14 tackles, and one tackle for loss.
- 1 of 16 siblings
- 2016 All-ACC Honourable Mention
- Chose Miami over Alabama, Florida State, and USF
- Won Class A title in 110-meter hurdles and placed second in 300-meter hurdles in high school
“Jenkins loves being part of "The U" and attempts to honor the history of the safety position at that school every time he steps on the field.”
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
“Jenkins is athletic enough to run with tight ends. In a height-weight-speed league, he could develop into a starter at strong safety early in his career.”
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report
Rayshawn Jenkins is versatile enough to play at safety or as a hybrid linebacker in a similar vein to Deone Buchannon of the Arizona Cardinals. Jenkins has a clean background; is as healthy as any football player can be, given his history; and is one of the best teammates a player could ask for. At the next level, he’ll be a gamer who will fit some schemes more than others. He also has the potential to be a key piece in the new NFL, which is looking for players who can run with tight ends and occasionally stick their nose in against the run.