July 29, 2011

Two on top for Jenkins

In the last two weeks, Jordan Jenkins has visited both the University of Alabama and the University of Florida, and now all that's left is for the Rivals 100 defensive end to make a decision between the two.

Jenkins is also considering Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee, but the Crimson Tide and Gators are the leaders right now.

"I know he loves it up at Alabama, he always has," said Ronald Jenkins, Jordan's father. "You look over the course of time and every time he has named his top teams, Alabama and Florida have always been the two teams that have never left."

On his latest visit to Tuscaloosa, Jenkins spent a lot of time with the UA coaching staff and even worked out in front of the coaches at the Crimson Tide's July camp.
"I had a good time at 'Bama," Jenkins said. I spent a good amount of time with Coach Sal (Sunseri) doing outside linebacker drills and some other time with Coach (Kirby) Smart.

"At Alabama, I have a strong relationship with not one or two coaches, but all of the coaches. We just all have a good time when we are together.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end talked to the staff about the potential of playing the Jack linebacker position if he were to choose Alabama. He tried the position out while at the camp.

"It is something I wouldn't mind playing," Jenkins said. I got to play some at Alabama and other camps, and it is not too hard."

Whether he ends up at Alabama or at Florida, the defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid position is likely where he will end up. With the arrival of new head coach Will Muschamp, a former assistant under Nick Saban, Florida now runs a very similar defense to Alabama.

"It is pretty much the same position," Ronald Jenkins said. "At Florida, they call it the Buck, and at Alabama, they call it the Jack. That is where they see him playing, dropping in coverage every now and then, but mainly putting that rush on and getting the quarterback."

Jenkins has picked up on how to play the position from watching current Crimson Tide linebacker Courtney Upshaw. As the Jack in 2010, Upshaw recorded 52 tackles and seven sacks.

"(Upshaw) is a guy that when we have gone to the games, we have watched and analyzed," Ronald Jenkins said. "Every game we go to, Jordan is focusing on Courtney."

The biggest factor for Jenkins in his recruitment is his relationship with the coaching staff, and not just the head coach, the defensive coordinator and his position coach. Jenkins is looking closely at the strength and conditioning coach as well.

"Another factor that is important to Jordan that might not be important to other recruits is the strength and conditioning coach," Ronald Jenkins said. "We have been focusing on the strength and conditioning coaches everywhere we go to.

"They might not know they are being evaluated, but he's evaluating them just as well. He wants someone who can get him to where he wants to be, and he wants someone who can motivate him as well."

Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran is considered one of the best around as far as motivating players.

"A guy like that, he's loud, he knows how to motivate people, and he is a hard guy not to like," Ronald Jenkins said. "He is a guy that Jordan feels can motivate him, and Jordan has always liked that guy. That is definitely a check mark in Alabama's favor."

With the most recent visits out of the way, Jenkins could be nearing a decision, but the Rivals.com four-star says he still wants to wait until after his senior year before choosing a school.

TideSports.com recruiting analyst Greg Ostendorf contributed to this report.

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