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June 21, 2010Not many players from Connecticut end up playing football after high school in Mississippi, but when you have the ability of Perkinston (Miss.) Gulf Coast Community College's Jonathan Jenkins, people take notice.
Originally from Meriden (Conn.) Maloney High School, Jenkins knew he may not get into college right away, so he did his homework and ended up at one of the top junior college football programs in the south.
"Honestly I don't even know," Jenkins said about ending up at Gulf Coast Community College. "They called me and said liked my film. I knew I needed to go somewhere, I did my homework and saw they were a good program and went there."
The 6-foot-4, 337-pound defensive tackle prospect claims offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and more, and recently received an offer from Auburn as well.
Auburn defensive line coach Tracy Rocker gave Jenkins the good news.
"It was like the last week before I came home, sometime in May," Jenkins said about receiving the offer from the Tigers. "That's when I talked to coach Rocker and he told me they offered me. I don't know too much about Auburn, besides my study on the school. My interest in Auburn is up there just the fact that they are a good school and coach Rocker."
Jenkins maintains that a main reason he has interest in Auburn right now is because of Rocker, and says he has a personality that he feels like he could play for in the future.
"He's just one of those guys that's real down to earth," Jenkins said. "He's cool, when things are good, they're good. If you are doing things wrong, then you're wrong. He keeps things simple."
Rocker isn't the only Auburn coach that has made an impact on Jenkins, as the Tigers running backs coach Curtis Luper was the first to get in touch with Jenkins.
"Before I talked to coach Rocker, I talked to coach Luper," Jenkins said. "He's a real cool dude, real down to earth. I talked to him a bit, broke the ice with him. Then coach 'Rock' came in the mix, a cool group of guys."
Although Jenkins has more than enough college offers to choose from already, he's not ready to name any school above the other at this point.
"I don't have a top three or five right now," Jenkins said. "I have interest in all schools right now. I've been focusing on my academics right now too. The schools that have offered me, those are high interest in my mind."
Jenkins may not have a top group of schools ready to name, but he does know what he's looking for in a college choice.
Personalities, playing time, and academics are the priorities over everything else for Jenkins when it comes time to ultimately make his decision. He plans to major in pediatric psychology.
"First off, I want to know about the coaches," Jenkins said. "I want to know if the coach is real serious. All coaches have a resume, and when I hear that, I do my homework on that. As far as depth chart, it's a big, big factor. I don't want to go to a school where I'm playing behind another guy. As far as my major, I'm going not only to play football, but to get a degree too. So they have to have my major."
Jenkins hasn't used his redshirt in junior college, so it's likely he will have three years to play two in college.
Jenkins says he'd like to make a visit to Auburn, but isn't sure when that will happen at the moment.
The big defensive tackle is currently in Connecticut, and will head back to Mississippi soon. He said a visit to Auburn then isn't out of the question.
"As far as official visits, I'll have to see what my schedule is looking like," Jenkins said. "As far as going down there on an unofficial to see what the facilities look like, that's a possibility."
Jenkins said he'd like to make his decision during or right after the season, but says if he is a May graduate, then he'll likely wait. Jenkins said he doesn't want to rush a decision if he doesn't have to.