4-Star Defensive Lineman Interested in AU

Despite a late start in the sport, college coaches have discovered by big John Jenkins.

Perkinston, Miss.--Although he hasn't played a lot of football, defensive lineman John Jenkins is drawing a lot of attention from major college football coaches while playing for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Originally from the state of Connecticut where he attended Maloney High School, the 6-4, 340-pound sophomore notes that he once hoped to play college basketball, but came to the conclusion his body is more suited for football.

"I played basketball in high school and I really didn't play much football until my senior year," he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I realized then that football was going to be my bread and butter because I wasn't going to grow to be six-foot-seven or six-foot-ten so I had to go with the sport that best suits my body."

Jenkins obviously made a wise choice because he now has scholarship offers from Auburn and a variety of other major football programs. "I am not even sure how many offers I have," he says. "It is probably somewhere in the teens."

The big linemen, who is rated a four star prospect by Scout.com, says he is still in the early stages for making a college choice. "I am pretty much wide open. I am not in a rush for naming my top five or anything like that. I am still checking out this recruiting thing. I haven't taken an official visit so I am wide open."

Mississippi Gulf Coach Steve Campbell is the person who is responsible for bringing Jenkins to the junior college in southern Mississippi. "Coach Campbell got some of my high school film and the next thing I knew he was on the phone offering a scholarship to play for them," Jenkins points out.

The lineman notes that he needed to start college in the juco ranks because of his academic situation coming out of high school. He says he "didn't excel" on his ACT and didn't take the SAT so going to junior college was his best option. Jenkins notes that he is doing well with his classes and is on schedule to graduate in May with two years of eligibility.

When it is time to decide on a college, Jenkins has several factors he will consider. "I am going to be looking at the depth chart," he says. "I am going to consider the defensive schemes the college is running along with the opportunity to get on the field as soon as possible."

Academically he is looking for a university where he can study pediatric psychology after he graduates from Mississippi Gulf Coast in May.

Auburn, which will graduate two senior interior defensive linemen, Zach Clayton and Mike Blanc, is on the radar for Jenkins, who visited the Tigers for their victory over South Carolina. Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker is recruiting Jenkins for the Tigers.

"The Auburn vs. South Carolina game was cool," Jenkins says. "I had a lot of fun. They show a lot of intensity. There are a lot of high-spirited people over there. I was introduced to the whole coaching staff and I talked to Coach Rock a lot."



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