It’s potentially a big loss for the Hurricanes – especially since Jenkins started 12 games as a sophomore last season. He finished fourth on the team with 46 tackles and ended the season with three interceptions.
Jenkins looked like one of four safeties who were competing for a starting job. That number is now down to three.
Deon Bush was not 100-percent for most of last season as he recovered from a sports hernia injury. Jamal Carter was just a true freshman who was still learning the defense. Dallas Crawford spent the season playing running back.
Bush now appears fully healthy. Carter has the experience and knowledge now to be an impact player. Crawford was switched back to safety in the spring.
It’s not a good sign anytime a defense loses a player who started 12 games on a bad unit the year before. From that standpoint, it could be considered a big loss. However, there was no guarantee that Jenkins was going to beat out the other three players who are competing for playing time.
The school released the latest depth chart on Thursday, and it lists Bush and Crawford as the two starters. It’s likely that all three will get equal playing time. If one of them gets injured at any point in the season, depth could become an issue and that’s likely where this loss will be felt the most.
The next guy in line will likely be freshman Marques Gayot, who likely won’t be ready to make a difference anytime soon. He’s not as talented as Carter, who played a limited role on a bad defense last season.
It’s too early to report on whether Jenkins will be ready to go in time for the spring but he will obviously redshirt this fall and come back with two years remaining in 2015.