Georgia Visits The "Missing Link"

A trio of Georgia coaches travelled north to visit with nose tackle John Jenkins Thursday night.

Mark Richt, flanked by defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and defensive line coach Rodney Garner took the trip to Meriden, Conn., to see the 6-foot-4, 340-pound nose tackle.

Jenkins said the Bulldogs' message was simple: nose tackle is the missing piece of the defensive puzzle and Jenkins is the guy the Bulldogs want to fill the role.

"It's crazy because a lot of schools say that they need you and want you, this that and the third," Jenkins said. "But Georgia told me that I'm the link they need to be successful. Pretty much hearing that if you decide to come in that the pressure will be on you because you're that link is huge. It's like having a car. You have the lights and everything else you need, you just don't have the engine. You know what I mean? They're just missing that one link. It's like, ‘Are you that guy and will you pan out like everyone thinks you can?'"

Jenkins, who spent this past season at Mississippi Gulf Coast junior college, is currently listed as a soft commitment to Oklahoma State. While he didn't back off his pledge to the Cowboys, Jenkins acknowledged the increased attention has him re-thinking his choice. He's currently hearing from Florida, Auburn, Arkansas and Miami, among others.

"It seems like (Oklahoma State) doesn't expect that, but what they fail to realize is this is a one in a lifetime thing for an athlete," he said. "Anybody who has lived in this situation and has had the opportunity of this caliber with the Florida Gators or Auburn or Georgia—for me, personally, being in this situation it hasn't been so comforting."

Jenkins committed to Oklahoma State in October and still says good things about the Cowboys. But hearing from schools in the SEC is appealing, he said.

"My background history with football—I didn't know anything about the SEC or the level of competition until I went to junior college," he said. "I didn't know anything about college football. I'm from Connecticut. I didn't know anything other than the Big East and UConn. So to me, it really didn't matter what conference I went to. I just wanted to play and have a major impact. I guess everybody now considers me an SEC guy or whatnot. Going to some SEC games, I guess showed it was appealing to me."

Jenkins will visit Georgia Jan. 21 and plans to make a final decision on National Signing Day.

The visit with the Georgia coaching staff indicated how much the Bulldogs needed him, Jenkins said.

"They were just being themselves," he said. "They were just telling me that I'm the piece of the puzzle that they need and how they have the players, they're just missing the key link. That was pretty much the thing. They have every thing else they need, they just need that key link. How they approached that situation to me was overwhelming."

Scout Football Top Stories