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Janoris Jenkins' mentor says CB was behind parting with CAA

Every move Janoris Jenkins makes leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft will be scrutinized, and that comes as no surprise to those close to the probable first-round pick.

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The talented cornerback simply wants his version of the events heard, rather than forcing the public to rely on whispers. With that in mind, Sandy Cornelio, who describes himself as Jenkins' mentor, spoke with NFL.com to dispute a report that Jenkins had been "fired by" Creative Artists Agency super agent Ben Dogra. Cornelio insists it's just the opposite.

"Janoris is getting bashed because he moved on," Cornelio said Saturday in a phone conversation. "Because of his background, yes, (I understand). But that doesn't mean anything here. They didn't want to fire Janoris. They didn't fire Janoris. We told them we were moving on."

Recently, Jenkins hired agent Malik Sharif of Dimensional Sports, Inc., the same agent who now represents New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz. Cornelio said the decision wasn't complicated.

"The only reason we decided to move on is because they're too big," said Cornelio, who is called "C" by his friends. "We weren't getting personal attention, so we decided to move on. That was it. And we told them. We called them professionally and said, 'Hey, we're moving on. We came to the conclusion that we honestly believe a smaller agency that pays us more attention will be better for us.' (Dogra) told us that he understood and he would help in any way he could. At the end of the day, we came to the conclusion that the kid drafts himself by his performance."

Dogra said he merely wants Jenkins to be successful.

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"We wish Janoris well," Dogra said. "It's for the best interests that we go in different directions. We wish him well, and we think he'll have an excellent NFL career."

Jenkins, a 5-foot-10, 193-pound cornerback, is one of the draft's most polarizing figures. Few dispute his immense talent, and if that was the only consideration, he would certainly be a first-rounder. Yet NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock described him as "one of the ultimate boom-or-bust guys in this draft" because of issues that took place off the field.

Jenkins came clean at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

Prior to being dismissed at the University of Florida after three seasons, he said he failed one drug test and was arrested three times (two marijuana incidents). In addition, Jenkins said he has four children ages three-and-under, with three different mothers.

"I'm pretty sure it will hurt me," said Jenkins at the combine, adding that he no longer smokes marijuana. "But I'm looking past that, looking forward to moving on and being successful from here on out."

Rather than enter the supplemental draft, he finished his career at Division II North Alabama and attempted to rebuild his image. He is trying to show teams they won't be taking a chance by picking him, and Jenkins has a visit scheduled with the St. Louis Rams on Monday and another with the Indianapolis Colts on Friday. Yet, even in the pre-draft process, Jenkins is "taking shots," according to Cornelio.

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For some, Jenkins' split with the respected Dogra raised questions. The Orlando Sentinel reported that it was CAA that decided to no longer represent Jenkins, essentially firing its client. That prompted Cornelio -- an Army sergeant who befriended Jenkins while the cornerback was at Pahokee (Fla.) High -- to attempt to set the record straight.

"We just thought we needed someone who could give us more personal time," Cornelio said. "His image has been tarnished already, and we don't want it to keep getting tarnished because people are taking shots at him because he's in a vulnerable position. Because we moved on from this agent, and we tried to do it the right way, now people are taking shots."

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet

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