Jenkins is the "Final Piece"

MERIDEN, Conn., - Jenkins becomes Georgia's final commitment of the 2011 signing class.

MERIDEN, Conn., - John Jenkins didn't take part in the hype and spectacle of National Signing Day Feb. 2.

Instead, he opted to sign his letter-of-intent to play for Georgia in front of a small group of family and friends in his hometown at Francis T. Maloney High School Saturday.

When you're 6-foot-4, 353-pounds, you don't need the extra attention.

"I chose Georgia because it was just a feeling I got," Jenkins said. "From an emotional standpoint.

Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham sold Jenkins on filling, "the key role at nose tackle," in the 3-4 defensive scheme.

"Georgia was the best fit for me playing wise and the scheme," Jenkins said. "Georgia will be the best place for me. My family and I both agreed on that."

Jenkins admits: He didn't know much about Georgia—the state of the University—before the recruiting process began. Now, after taking a visit to Athens Jan. 21, the Peach State is where Jenkins could see himself residing for years to come.

John Jenkins said he was, "more comfortable" at Georgia than Florida.
"It was more of just the way I felt and how I felt I could adjust," he said. "I asked myself, ‘If things didn't work with football, could I still see myself going to that school and living in that town?'"

Georgia beat out Florida for Jenkins services.

"I went to Georgia first for my visit, and then I got the chance to compare apples to apples by visiting Florida right after that," he said. "It wasn't like I was hazy with my decision. I went right to Florida right after Georgia."

Jenkins said the final decision came down to comfort, and he felt more, "at home," at Georgia because of Richt.

"Coach Richt is a genuine guy," he said. "He and I just had a special bond. He came out and we talked, but we just vibed with each other. We played pool and had a competition going on. There was just something about our vibe. I hear from other people that he is a competitor. It was a special bond."

Jenkins graduated from Maloney High School in 2008. He played defensive end at a then slim 290 pounds. He even carried the football as a running back from time-to-time, scoring four touchdowns his senior year.

He enrolled at Gulf Coast Community College in Mississippi. The extended stay in the South was the first time Jenkins was away from home. He flourished individually, as the team was equally successful. Gulf Coast was 19-5 in Jenkins' two seasons there.

"I gained a better understanding of the game," he said. "I had a great coaching staff out there. They made me understand how to win. They taught me how to work hard. They taught me how to do everything the right way."

Jenkins will have three years to play two seasons at Georgia. For now, he says he's, "at peace and happy," with his decision to become a Bulldog, already with plans to wear No. 6 next season.

"It's overwhelming, but the experience has been fun," he said "You can't really share this experience. You can't really expect people to understand what you're doing. It's something you have to do for yourself."

Dawg Post Top Stories