Former Eastern Michigan football player Jermaine Jenkins, 26, found dead in Florida apartment
Photo courtesy of EMU athletics
According to a Palm Beach Post report, Boynton Beach police said no foul play is suspected and a cause of death has not been released. A police department official told AnnArbor.com Wednesday afternoon that no information is currently available on cause of death and results of a toxicolgy report will not be ready for 4-6 weeks. Jenkins was 26 years old.
Jenkins was a member of the EMU football team from 2005-09 where he played outside linebacker for the Eagles. After sitting out his freshman season, Jenkins earned four letters as an Eagle.
During his time at EMU, Jenkins played in 43 games, recording 87 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and four fumble recoveries.
“The last couple days have been real rough. It’s hard to speak about personally. It’s like losing your own son,” said Lee Arthur, who coached Jenkins at Saginaw High School. Arthur is now the head football coach at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor. “Right now it's still kinda shocking, it's a nightmare really. “
According to Arthur, Jenkins was a three-sport star at Saginaw High School, playing football, basketball and ran track. He was MHSAA Division 2 state runner up in the 400-meter dash in 2004.
“He was one of those guys in track that it was hard just using him in four events,” Arthur said.”
Recently, Jenkins was hired as the offensive coordinator for St. Andrews High School in Boca Raton, Fla. Former EMU teammate Corey Riley is the head coach for St. Andrews and hired Jenkins in August of this year.
“I am not sure if it hit me yet,” Riley told the SunSentinel.com. “It’s not easy. I just lost a best friend, a coach, a great guy who had a great affect on the kids. The kids fell in love with him. I’m still hurting. I have to be strong around the boys. This has brought the team so much closer as a family.”
As talented as he was on the athletic field, Arthur said he will remember Jenkins for his personality away from athletics.
“Jermaine was a great young man. He was a great student athlete and excelled in the classroom,” Arthur said. “The world lost a great man I can tell you that. One of the best athletes I’ve been around my entire life, but he was a better person.”
Funeral arrangements are still pending.
Matt Durr covers sports for AnnArbor.com.