Hey, Falcoholics, I’m back with another edition of The Falcoholic’s Throwback Thursday series. This weekly segment highlights a former Atlanta Falcons player and discusses their life and what they did for the franchise.
Whether you’ve been a fan since the inaugural season, or just became a fan recently, this series will give insight on players from the past. This week we will be focusing on wide receiver Alfred Jenkins.
Alfred Donnell Jenkins was born on Jan. 25, 1952, in Hogansville, Georgia. Jenkins attended Hogansville High School, where he was an All-State basketball and track star. He was recruited heavily by many college programs, but the less rigorous curriculum at Hogansville prevented him from being academically eligible.
Jenkins ended up attending Morris Brown College located in Atlanta, Georgia. He was solid in college, and was also a scholastic All-American.
Alfred Jenkins was not selected in the 1974 NFL Draft, which had 17 rounds. Jenkins had a tryout with the Houston Oilers which led nowhere, but then received a tryout for the Birmingham Americans of the World Football League.
In 1974, Jenkins was highly impressive, recording 1,326 yards, 60 catches, and 12 touchdowns while also serving as the team’s punt returner. The Birmingham Americans went on to win the World Bowl, and Jenkins was viewed as one of the best players in the league. Unfortunately, following the 1974 inaugural season, the WFL folded in 1975.
The Atlanta Falcons needed wide receivers entering 1975, so they called up Alfred Jenkins and the rest is history. In his first season with the Falcons, Jenkins recorded 38 catches, 767 yards and six touchdowns. He was relentless over the middle and quickly become a favorite of quarterback Steve Bartkowski.
In 1980, the Atlanta Falcons had their best season up to that point, going 12-4 in the regular season. Alfred Jenkins also had his best season, recording 58 catches, 1,035 yards and six touchdowns. He also was selected to the first Pro Bowl of his NFL career. The Falcons unfortunately lost to the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Round, but that season was still memorable in the eyes of longtime Falcons fans.
The following season, Alfred Jenkins would again make a statement as he was selected to a second consecutive Pro Bowl and was named an All-Pro. In 1981, he had 70 catches, 1,358 yards and 13 touchdowns. Even by today’s passing league standards, those numbers are very impressive. Jenkins went on to play two more seasons for the Falcons, which weren’t exactly big stat years for him, and he retired from the NFL following the 1983 season.
Jenkins played in 110 games over nine years with the Falcons, never suiting up for another NFL team. In his NFL career, he had 6,267 receiving yards and 40 receiving touchdowns. Jenkins still ranks highly among the best wide receivers in franchise history. Jenkins has the 15th most points scored (240), fourth most receiving yards (6,267), fifth most receiving touchdowns (40), and sixth most receptions (360).
Jenkins still calls Atlanta home. He apparently lives in College Park and worked as a teacher and mason following his NFL career.
Let me know in the comments below some of your favorite Alfred Jenkins memories. As always, you can find me on Twitter @EvanBirchfield. Thanks for reading, Falcoholics!