Linebacker Jelani Jenkins
The Oakland Raiders offense has acquired some new faces during the free agency period, from tight end Jared Cook to wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, the team has loaded up on that side of the ball. While the offense has benefitted from free agency, the defense just received a new face as well. Linebacker Jelani Jenkins is the newest addition to the Silver and Black and will be joining the team after four seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
Here's five things you should know about the team's most recent acquisition.
**Jenkins and defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., have known each other for quite some time.
Born in Rockville, Md., the 25-year-old attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md., where he played both track and football. In football, Jenkins split time at fullback and linebacker, but was recruited out of high school as a linebacker. Among those to recruit him was none other than the Silver and Black's defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., who tried to convince Jenkins to commit to the University of Southern California where he was the linebackers coach. At that point in time, the pair weren't meant to join forces, as he ended up committing to the University of Florida, but now the two will work side by side as they try to help the Raiders succeed.
He's a devout boxing fan.
Not only do Jenkins and Norton share a connection on the football field, but the fifth-year player remembers watching boxing matches of Ken Norton, Sr., growing up. Jenkins' father got him hooked on the sport at a young age, and spent a majority of his time watching Muhammad Ali documentaries and old matches. Norton's father duked it out in the ring with Ali on three separate occasions, and Jenkins remembers watching old highlights from the fights.
Jenkins' mother is an athlete herself.
The fact the 6-foot, 240-pounder played two sports in high school isn't shocking, considering his mom played basketball at Howard University, and is a specialized black belt in karate. Make sense that the Raiders linebacker would have some athletic juices flowing through his veins.
An exclusive look at LB Jelani Jenkins.
The former Gator possesses a combination of speed and strength.
In high school, Jenkins participated in the 100-meter dash, and threw the discus as well. When Jenkins was invited to the combine, he finished the 225-pound bench press drill towards the top of his class. He was a top performer at the combine putting up 27 reps and has been referred to as a "dynamic athlete."
He started his career with the Miami Dolphins.
During his first four years in the NFL, Jenkins totaled 227 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and appeared in 53 games. The linebacker will now team up with linebacker Bruce Irvin and defensive end Khalil Mack as they get ready for the 2017 season.