The cornerback from Centennial High School in Roswell, Ga. sat out last season after undergoing surgery to repair a hernia. Accepting the redshirt wasn't easy.
"It was mentally tough. I never redshirted. I didn't take a redshirt [as a freshman]," Jenkins said. "I came in, had to sit out and watch. I was never as healthy. I'm not recovering as fast as I should. It was mentally tough, but I got through it.
"We're here now, ready to play ball."
A three-star recruit in 2010 and ranked by Scout.com as the No. 95 cornerback in the country, Jenkins had 27 tackles and six pass breakups over 304 snaps as a sophomore. He was in on nine tackles over 62 snaps as a freshman in 2010.
"That guy is a ball player," Dabo Swinney said. "He can really help us. We really didn't know how bad we were going to miss him [in 2012] until he was not there. What an impact he made his sophomore year, our championship year. He's a good player. Glad to have him back out here."
And Jenkins is more than happy to be available.
"I feel good," he said. "I'm back healthy. It's been a longtime coming.
"I feel great."
It's a relatively new development.
"I'm just now getting there. I wasn't feeling there at all during the season," he said.
This spring, Jenkins is working in and out at every cornerback spot -- boundary, field and nickel. With just eight scholarship defensive backs on campus for spring practice, he'll see plenty of reps.
"It's a great opportunity," he said. "It's something I've got to take an advantage of. We don't have a whole abundance of corners or nickels. We're all just filling in -- get in where you fit in. I'm just trying to learn it all."
The 5-foot-8, 180-pound redshirt junior has started three games at Clemson. He wants to get back to that level in 2013.
"My goal is just to come out, my name be on fire. My name is what I have. When they say, ‘Martin Jenkins' I want to come out a starter. That's my goal," Jenkins said.
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