Top 50 Falcons: No. 24, Alfred Jenkins

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is counting down the Top 50 players in Atlanta Falcons history during the franchise’s 50th anniversary season. No. 24 is wide receiver Alfred Jenkins.

Years played for Falcons: Alfred Jenkins came to the Atlanta Falcons from the World Football League in 1975 and spent all nine of his professional seasons with the Falcons (1975-1983).

Jersey No.: 84

His impact on the team: Jenkins is remembered as one of the most productive wide receivers in franchise history. At 5-foot-9, Jenkins was fearless as he would slash across the middle of the field and weave his way through the heart of the defense. Jenkins made back-to-back Pro Bowls in 1980-81 and finished his career with 360 receptions for 6,267 yards and 40 touchdowns. His career-best season came in 1981 after hauling in 70 passes and leading the league in reception yards (1,358) and touchdowns (13).

On the World Football League: Jenkins played for the Birmingham Americans in 1974, the inaugural season of the short-lived World Football League, which folded midway through the 1975 season. Before the League went under, Birmingham’s players were not paid for the last two months of the season. Only three teams met payroll every week of the season. In the midst of turmoil and financial instability, Jenkins’ Americans went on to win the World Bowl 22-21 over the Florida Blazers. After the game, the Americans’ jerseys were seized to satisfy team debts. Jenkins is considered the most successful player to come out of the World Football League.

At a recent Falcons reunion Jenkins said on watching the franchise grow during his playing days: “When I got here in 1975 there were a little more people coming to the games and then when ‘78 and ‘79 got here we would fill that stadium up.”

On what he misses most: “The only thing I miss is catching touchdowns. You can have the rest of it.”

Homegrown: Jenkins, now 63, grew up in Hogansville, Ga., and went to college at Morris Brown in Atlanta. His one season in Birmingham was the only season of football that Jenkins ever played outside of Georgia.

Where he is now: Jenkins has three children, Kellie Jenkins, Astarrte Waites and Alfred Cornell Jenkins, and four grandchildren, Willie Matthews, Shacquayvia Jenkins, Zancquayvia Jenkins, and Eva Ware.

The countdown to the Top 50 players in Falcons history runs through the end of the season.

Top 50 Falcons Countdown

50: Chuck Smith

49: Michael Haynes

48: Jonathan Babineaux

47: John Zook

46: Ken Reaves

45: Lynn Cain

44: Justin Blalock

43: Bobby Butler

42: Tim Mazzetti

41: Buddy Curry

40: Scott Case

39: Jeff Merrow

38: Elbert Shelley

37: Matt Bryant

36: Alge Crumpler

35: Michael Turner

34: Ray Buchanan

33: Chris Hinton

32: Terance Mathis

31: Devin Hester

30: Don Smith

29: Greg Brezina

28: Chris Miller

27: John James

26: Bob Whitfield

25: Rolland Lawrence

24: Alfred Jenkins

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