Brandon Jenkins has played his last game as a Florida State Seminole.
Jenkins played just one game during his senior season.
On Monday evening, the Florida State senior defensive end ended speculation about his future and declared that he intends to enter the 2013 NFL Draft.
“When you have a lot of time, like three months, that is a lot of time to think about things and gain information about how this injury affected everything,” Jenkins said. “I think I came to a conclusion.
“I think it is time,” Jenkins added. “It has been great. I love FSU. I love everybody. I bleed Garnet and Gold. It was a tough decision, but I feel like my time has been good but I will enter the draft.”
Jenkins, an All-America candidate entering the season, had not redshirted during his career and could have potentially received a medical hardship waiver allowing for a fifth year of eligibility. He missed this season due to a Lisfranc injury suffered in the first game of the season.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive end says he just recently reached the decision to depart.
“Not too long ago,” Jenkins said. “I was caring about the team first and rehab. You can’t make decisions and you aren’t even healthy yet.”
He sat down and spoke with head coach Jimbo Fisher on Monday about it as well. He said that Fisher, who was his primary recruiter when he came out of Tallahassee (Fla.) Florida High, gave him words of encouragement as he pursues a lifelong dream.
“That was one of the most emotional times of my life talking to (Coach) Fisher about this,” Jenkins said. “I gave him a hug. He gave me words. He cares about me as an individual and not just as a football player. Basically he supports my decision.”
Fisher issued a statement on Monday evening about the permanent loss of one of his defensive stars.
“I am very supportive of Brandon’s decision. We had a great talk. It is best for him to go and become an NFL football player, which he most definitely will," Fisher said. "We were very blessed to have had him here at Florida State. He’s one of the great players in Florida State history, but not only that, he’s one of the great people in Florida State history. He represented our team and our school with great dignity. I wish him nothing but the best and it was a pleasure to be able to coach him.”
Jenkins suffered a Lisfranc injury to his left foot in Florida State's season opening victory over Murray State. The injury eliminated what was expected to be a strong senior campaign for Jenkins before he made the jump to the next level.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Jenkins said on Monday night. “You can’t really look back at things and regret anything.”
The talented defensive end said he enjoyed the time leading up to the injury competing with his teammates and being around them.
“You can never look back and regret things,” Jenkins said. “I don’t regret anything playing around this great defense and great individuals.”
Over his career at Florida State, Jenkins racked up 22 1/2 sacks and 37 1/5 tackles for loss. He entered his senior year on the watch lists for the Nagurski and Bednarik Awards and the Lott Impact Trophy, all presented to the nation's top defensive player.