Wednesday, April 17

Who is Jackrabbit Jenkins? Why is Titans CB Janoris Jenkins using his nickname in his 10th season in the NFL?



Janoris Jenkins had a simple request after joining the Titans for the 2021 NFL season. Call it hare.

After spending the first nine seasons of his career under the Janoris name in the official media guides of his three previous teams, Jenkins made his preference known. He wanted to be called Jackrabbit, a nickname he has had since his college days. Why?

“I don’t like Janoris,” Jenkins told reporters, according to Tennessee’s Ben Arthur. “That’s not my name.”

The Titans have indulged him, and slowly but surely more people are taking notice and referring to Jenkins by his nickname.

How did you get the name? And what motivated the change? Here’s everything you need to know about Jackrabbit Jenkins as he prepares for a tough test against a talented group of Cincinnati wide receivers.

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How did Jackrabbit Jenkins get his nickname?

Jenkins’ nickname originated during his early days in Florida. Former Gators defensive backs coach Vance Bedford coined it when discussing Jenkins’ speed of play.

“He comes from college,” Jenkins said of the nickname, according to Arthur. “When I first entered college, I entered in January (for) the spring dance. I didn’t really know any plays when I came out, but I was making a lot of plays. We walked into the movie theater and my coach was like, ‘You’re moving fast. You move like a hare. Because where I’m from, we’re catching rabbits.”

Jenkins is not kidding. He’s from Pahokee, Fla., a place nicknamed “Muck City” that has produced some of the fastest players in college football and the NFL, where young kids grow up chasing and catching rabbits eat and sell to support their families. Ironically, Jenkins’ nickname had nothing to do with Pahokee, but he embraced it nonetheless.

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As such, the name has stuck, and even Jenkins has come to prefer it over the years. As Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News explained, he frequently had to tell people to call him Jackrabbit while he was with the Giants.

He has had no such problems with the Titans during the 2021 season.

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Did Janoris Jenkins change his legal name to Jackrabbit?

It does not appear that Jenkins has changed his legal name to Jackrabbit. He simply prefers to use his nickname, but he was still listed as “Janoris Jenkins” on the Rams, Giants and Saints rosters during his previous nine NFL seasons.

The Titans are the first NFL team to list him as “Jackrabbit Jenkins” on their official website. Jenkins certainly appreciates that move, as it has cleared up the initial confusion surrounding his name when he first signed with Tennessee.

“When they called me Janoris, I almost got mad” told reporters after joining the Titans. “I’ve been going through (Jackrabbit) since I got into the league.”

Now, everyone knows because of the official Titans roster. Therefore, he will be known as Jackrabbit from now on.

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