August 11, 2011

Jenkins representing

Nose guard Jonathan Jenkins promises that he's not going to let Georgia fans down, especially not after the responses he received following his little Facebook prank back in February when he was about to announce his decision to become a Bulldog.

As teammate Ray Drew displayed during his recruitment, the thought of "pulling a fast one" on his many followers was a gag Jenkins thought would be good for a laugh.

So, in the days leading up to his big announcement, Jenkins donned a Florida jersey, posted the picture on the social network site then sat back to watch the fun begin.

Thursday, the junior college transfer explained what happened next.

"Georgia people are God's people. One time somebody said to have fun with the recruiting process, so I put up my Florida picture," Jenkins said. "No disrespect to Florida but when I put up my Florida picture, everybody said, 'Well, you chose Florida, God bless you.' When I saw that I felt something deep inside me because they showed me so much love and now that I'm here, I feel like I can't let them down."

He doesn't plan on doing that anytime soon.

In fact, Jenkins said knowing that so many out there in the Bulldog Nation are depending on him, has motivated him even greater than before.

"It does have an effect, because you've got to think about it. When you put on that G, there are a lot of people who represent the G that show the G love," Jenkins said. "By me putting on that G, people expect you to do a job. You don't want to let these people down if they're expecting you to do something. If I do something wrong, I'm going to try and do it 110 percent full speed."

Preseason camp didn't get off to that good a start for Jenkins, who said he's got his weight down to 342 after weighing 350 for most of the summer.

The heat got the better of the Connecticut native, forcing him to leave Thursday's first day of drills. There have been no problems since.

He said it was a wakeup call.

"I didn't really anticipate that, just for the fact that I came from Mississippi, but the thing is, the intensity of this program and the Gulf Coast program - there's a big difference," he said. "But I'm fighting through it."

Strides are slowly being made.

Although he's still officially listed as the backup behind redshirt sophomore Kwame Geathers, Jenkins showed his proficiency for the big play during drills on Tuesday when he intercepted a pass and rumbled nine yards for a defensive score.

"I have a good coach (Rodney Garner) and he told me if Ben Jones doesn't attack me then something's on," he said. "So I stepped back, back-pedaled a little bit and when the quarterback threw the ball, I was just in the right place at the right time."

Jenkins said he's already been blessed by a couple of key moments since arriving at Georgia back in June.

One, was getting his bench press over 500 pounds for the first time in his career. The second was getting to work out alongside Georgia legend Herschel Walker during his visit to Athens in June.

"That was just a blessing, man, a real blessing," Jenkins said. "Just to get a chance to work alongside somebody who has accomplished so much … it's something I won't forget."

Jenkins figures he won't forget playing next to Geathers anytime soon, either.

Much has been made about the competition for the starting role between the two Bulldog behemoths, although Jenkins said it's really nothing like that all.

"I look at Kwame and myself as a 1-2 punch," said Jenkins, who added that the season-opener against Boise State will be the first time his parents have seen him play since high school. "I'm working with Kwame and Kwame is working with me. I don't care who is in front of me just as long as we win. That's all I care about. I'm trying to be on a winning program."

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.