Kris Jenkins is a 4-time Pro Bowl and 3-time All-Pro defensive tackle who played for the Carolina Panthers and New York Jets during his 10 years in the NFL. Originally drafted in the 2nd Round of the 2001 NFL Draft, Kris played seven seasons in Carolina where he was integral in the Panthers' trip to Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. He joined the Jets in February 2008 and retired in 2011 to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.
Kris is the co-host of “Jets Game Plan” every Thursday night on SportsNet New York (SNY) and currently serves as a contributing analyst for CBS’ “The NFL Today” and Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.” Additionally, his passion for cooking has landed him roles on Food Network programming. Kris has been a celebrity guest host on "Worst Cooks in America" and will be the featured cook on an episode of "Paula's Best Dishes" hosted by celebrity chef Paula Deen, where he will step into Paula's personal kitchen to show her his take on a classic meal.
Outside of the television studio, Kris continues to be passionate about giving back to the community. For the past several years, Kris has donated his time and energy as a special guest, mentor and auctioneer at the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Annual Muscle Team Gala & Benefit Auction. He also works with groups such as Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of New York City and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. Further, he serves as the National Spokesperson for Life Pieces to Masterpieces (“LPTM”), a non-profit, arts-based, comprehensive youth development organization. LPTM helps underprivileged and at-risk youth in Washington, D.C. to activate their creative abilities in order to change life’s challenges into possibilities. He is currently in the process of creating a scholarship fund at his alma mater, the University of Maryland, to benefit disadvantaged high school seniors that excel in athletics, academics, leadership and community work. Throughout the year, Kris coaches youth basketball and football near his home in New Jersey. In the Summer of 2011, he co-hosted a 4-day football camp with NY Giants CB Terrell Thomas, where campers learned about the fundamentals of the game and teamwork.
Because Kris is a giant (measuring in at 6’6” and 360 lbs), he is dedicated to a disciplined physical fitness regimen that includes a healthy diet. Even after his playing days, Kris works tirelessly to make sure his body is in peak condition. As an avid cook, he is well-known for some of his signature dishes. Kris has had the opportunity to cook for many of his former teammates and has prepared dishes in front of live audiences. He was the first athlete profiled on ESPN the Magazine’s "Jock Chef" and has conducted a live cooking demonstration at the ESPN Zone in Times Square. He has previously participated in the "Taste of the NFL" to help raise money for the ShopRite Partners in Caring Fund, dedicated to fighting hunger throughout the New York metropolitan area. Additionally, Kris’ engaging character has landed him endorsement deals with the Cookie Diet Company, Wise Snack Foods, Verizon Wireless and Jakob Custom Clothiers.
Kris hails from Ypsilanti, Michigan and played college football at the University of Maryland where he quickly made a name for himself as a dominating defensive lineman. While playing for the Terrapins, he was a three-year starter, starting 27 of the 41 games. He earned second team All-ACC recognition as a senior, logging eight sacks and 18 quarterback pressures to go with 62 tackles.
In July of 2009, Kris married his longtime sweetheart – it was a beautiful ceremony where R&B artist Amel Larrieux performed. He has three children, Kris Jr., Marcus and Jesse. His younger brother, Cullen Jenkins, is a defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles.