Rancho Verde High School Receiver Likes BYU

A few years ago BYU looked to join the rest of college football in finding receivers who not only had good hands and ran good routes, but also had the ability to stretch the field. As a result, BYU was able to secure commitments from the likes of Austin Collie, Todd Watkins, Spencer Hafoka and McKay Jacobson. BYU is on the prowl again and eyeing William Jenkins, who TBS caught up with.

BYU is looking for that well-rounded receiver again. They have identified dozens of receivers from all across the country. However, only a couple have secured an early offer from BYU, and William Jenkins out of Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley, California is one of them.

"I'm 6 feet, 185 pounds," Jenkins said. "I run a 4.5 forty. My shuttle is 4.1 seconds. That was at a Nike combine. On the bench press [185 pounds], I'm putting that up 18 times. My squat is about 455 pounds and power clean is 285. Last season I had about 46 catches for around 900 yards and seven or eight touchdowns. I was all-team and all-league last year.

"I'm the kind of receiver who at all times is trying to make a play. I'm looking out for my teammates, making sure their head is right, the mental part of the game. I also am the type who goes all out on every play, doing whatever it takes to move the chains."

Receivers who can do it all are at a premium in college football. Identifying them early and recruiting them hard is essential if a program is to have a chance at landing them.

"Right now BYU has offered, Washington State, [and] Colorado just offered recently, and Nebraska seems highly interested," Jenkins said.

Jenkins also said that a coach from the University of Utah had seen his film and seemed highly interested.

"I think it was the head coach. I spoke to him briefly. I was in class at the time. I guess he had seen my film. He was interested enough to call me out of class.

"BYU offered me a couple of months ago. They came out to Rancho Verde. Coach Duffy had shown my film for them and after they had seen it I was called out of class and spoke to the coach for a minute. That's when they offered."

One of the more fascinating story lines of college football recruiting can be how a player is discovered or identified. Every year thousands of high school football players across the country are recruited. Often the young man doesn't know a lot about the various programs recruiting him, so there is a lot of information to digest when trying to find a school that is best for him.

"They [BYU] were just out here," Jenkins said. "We have some highly recruited players. Every time a scout comes, Coach Duffy shows them other Division I players too. That's how that happened. I know that they're located in Utah of course. I know they're a Mormon school; Coach Duffy was telling me. I've heard a little bit about their facilities. They seem real nice. BYU is a very well-known school, but I didn't expect them have facilities like that. That's all I really know about them right now."

BYU is a school that isn't a good fit for everyone. Identifying young men of character who also excel at a high level on the gridiron is likely a challenge at times for Bronco Mendenhall and his staff. While most schools seek out talent first, BYU is looking at character first, then ability.

"I consider myself a high-character guy. The honor code isn't a problem for me at all. I think every college should have something like BYU's honor code. Athletes shouldn't involve themselves in drinking and smoking; all that stuff is just going to hurt your performance on the field anyway. Basically, I think that's why they offered. I don't get in trouble, I get good grades [3.0 GPA] and I'm just all about the field.

"Academics have always been held real high in my house. It's important to my parents. I love to play football, that's my love. The way my parents raised me, if we're not bringing home the grades, academic-wise, then they'll snatch football from me. So, basically, I have no choice. I have to succeed in the classroom no matter what. It comes easy to me.

"My parents and Coach Duffy have helped me to be who I am. My father is a hard-nosed discipline type guy; he just wants the best for me. My mom is real caring and understanding. She just wants the best for me also. From the first day Coach Duffy came to Rancho we had a bond. He'll teach me anything I need to know. I consider him like my second father. He wants the best for me just like my Dad wants the best for me. That's why I go out and give him 110 percent."

When a player is recruited by BYU, football development is not the first thing emphasized by the program. There are other areas emphasized that will have a greater impact upon a player throughout his life and extend beyond a potential football career. That said, BYU is no infant in terms of sending guys to the NFL.

"When I first heard BYU I was impressed when they offered a scholarship," Jenkins said. "I sat down with Coach Duffy and we talked about it. We came to the realization that BYU could be the best situation for me. I could have a chance to go to school there, do my thing, and make plays. BYU is a known program. They send guys to the pros, so maybe I can have a shot at going pro too. I love the situation at BYU. So far everything just seems right about it."

Bronco Mendenhall has been very successful obtaining early commitments from high school players over the last couple of years, so how does William feel about a possible early decision?

"I haven't started my senior season," Jenkins said. "I'm sure some more offers might come along. If not, that's okay, but I want to play it out a little longer, maybe make a last minute decision. I'm not sure yet. Take a few official visits first, you know, take a look at the surroundings of some of the campuses and the facilities, then I'll make a solid decision. Right now, as far as BYU, I like the fact that they have been more interested and genuine than anyone else. As far as a top three I would probably say BYU, Colorado, and Washington State."


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