- Mark Schlabach, ESPN Senior Writer
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Former Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who was dismissed from the team in April following his arrest on misdemeanor marijuana charges, is transferring to Division II North Alabama, Lions coach Terry Bowden confirmed Wednesday night.
Jenkins, an all-SEC selection in 2010, signed a scholarship with North Alabama on Wednesday. He will be eligible to play for the Lions this coming season under NCAA transfer rules and will have one season of college eligibility remaining. After injuring his shoulder late last season, Jenkins bypassed entering the NFL draft to return to Florida for his senior season.
Bowden, a former Auburn coach and son of former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, said he talked to former Gators coach Urban Meyer, current Florida coach Will Muschamp and athletics director Jeremy Foley before deciding to extend Jenkins a scholarship offer. Jenkins also considered entering the NFL's supplemental draft.
"I talked to everybody that I could possibly talk to at Florida, who had a relationship with him," Bowden said. "From Urban Meyer to Will Muschamp to Jeremy Foley, they all said he is a guy who made a mistake. But it does not represent his character or his time at Florida. They all thought he deserved a second chance."
Jenkins, a native of Pahokee, Fla., had eight career interceptions at Florida, including three last season. He missed spring practice after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. He was still considered a potential All-America candidate and NFL first-round draft selection before he was kicked off the Florida team by Muschamp.
Jenkins' dismissal from Florida came after he was arrested in April and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession. Gainesville police said they found a marijuana cigar in the console of the vehicle Jenkins had been sitting in at a downtown parking lot.
It was the second time in less than three months Jenkins, 22, was arrested for a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. Jenkins was issued a notice to appear on a charge alleging possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana. Jenkins was arrested on the same charge Jan. 24, when police found him with less than 20 grams of marijuana in the bathroom of a Gainesville nightclub. Jenkins accepted a plea agreement with the state attorney's office on that charge and was ordered to pay court costs of $316.
Jenkins also was arrested in June 2009 on misdemeanor affray charges after being involved in a fight and fleeing police. He agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement on that charge and was placed on six months' probation.
Mark Schlabach covers college sports for ESPN.com. You can contact him at email@example.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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