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Football Players Hope To Help Liberty City Youth

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Jerrill Jenkins and his mom Wanda Jenkins sit on their porch as Jenkins talks about how a scholarship to play football in North Dakota helped turn his life around.  (Source: CBS4)

Jerrill Jenkins and his mom Wanda Jenkins sit on their porch as Jenkins talks about how a scholarship to play football in North Dakota helped turn his life around. (Source: CBS4)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Several former Northwestern Senior High School students hopes their experiences will help Liberty City youth.

When former Miami Northwestern Bull Jerrill Jenkins accepted a football scholarship to be a running back at Mayville State University in North Dakota, he had no idea how different his life would become.

“The first thing I saw driving to Mayville was a big patch of cornfields, so once I saw that I was ready to just turn around and come back home,” said Jenkins.

At college, he had the support of his childhood friends and Northwestern Senior High graduates Dantrel Horne, John Lamour and Rashad Flanders.

Together, the team members, helped to turn around the football program.

“I was glad they were all going together because I knew if anyone got homesick they could pull each other up. I tell everybody I feel safer with my child in North Dakota than I do here,” said Wanda Jenkins, Jerrill’s mother.

Wanda Jenkins said when her son comes home to visit for the holidays she’s always on pins and needles. “I’d be so afraid when him and his girlfriend would go out that someone might pull up beside them and shoot him.”

Those are the types of fears prevalent in his Liberty City neighborhood. Exactly what Jerrill says he hopes to one day help change by being a role model and mentor to kids growing up in the inner city.

“I wanna be like a big brother to them and let them know they can make it out just like I did,” said Jenkins.

Jerill, who is now a senior, is majoring in business administration and minoring in accounting.  He has very high hopes for his future thanks to his faith, friendships and football.

“I’d say I kinda shocked the world because a lot of people counted me out growing up saying I couldn’t do this and that and I’m just continuously proving everyone wrong,” Jenkins added.

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