Ready for action

CLEMSON - The lowest rated of the three cornerbacks signed in Clemson's 2010 class, Martin Jenkins, will play as a true freshman this fall.

Go figure.

"Of all those guys, he's probably the most mature, the most ready now," said head coach Dabo Swinney after Wednesday's practice. rated Jenkins as a three-star and ranked him as the 95th best cornerback in the nation. After Clemson, his next best offer was Syracuse. The only others came from Middle Tennessee and Toledo.

Swinney said the decision to announce that Jenkins would play this fall is based "100 percent" on his ability to play in either the nickel or dime packages.

"Martin's going to play," Swinney said. "He's done well. He's very talented. He can fly…physically, he's very powerful. He's got compact power.

"He's very serious about his job every single day he's come out there. He knows what he's doing. He's about his business all the time."

Jenkins was very well-aware that he was one of the lesser recruited members of his signing class. He used that as motivation to want to work harder before arriving to Clemson in the summer.

"I knew I had to come in and work if I was going to have a chance," he said. "People had that step above me. It doesn't matter how high ranked you are sometimes. I just had to come in with that work ethic that I'm going to be the best that I can."

A little bit of speed to burn helped. Jenkins won the Georgia High School 5-A 100-meter dash with a time of 10.59 and was the runner-up in the 200-meter with a 21.43.

"There are a lot of fast guys out here," he said. "I'm definitely in the top, but the speed has helped me a lot, actually. In high school, they're not that many fast receivers, like how it is on the college level…to me, it's not as fast as I thought. It's helped me out a lot."

His pedigree has been a benefit, too. Jenkins' father, Lee, played in the NFL for one season with the New York Giants.

"He's played on the college level, he's played on the pro level. He's definitely had my back through all of this," Jenkins said. "He's helped tremendously." Top Stories