Spring Recap: WR Darnell Jenkins

Darnell Jenkins had another productive spring game this year and is ready for his junior season. Like many players who will be upperclassmen in 2005, he is ready to take his game to the next level.

NAME: Darnell Jenkins
HOMETOWN: Miami, Fla.
POSITION: Wide Receiver
NUMBER: 8
HEIGHT: 5-10
WEIGHT: 185
YEAR: Junior

CAREER GAMES/STARTS: 25/2
CAREER STATS: 24 receptions, 250 yards, 2 touchdowns, 15.7 kickoff return avg

SPRING REVIEW: Jenkins missed the first week of spring practices dealing with academic issues. When he came back he struggled catching the ball. He began to get in a groove later in spring practices and it showed in the spring game leading all receivers with 72 yards on four catches and scoring a touchdown. He is ready for a breakout season in 2005 and is more experienced to have the year he is looking for compared to a year ago at this time.

2005 OUTLOOK: Jenkins is fourth on the depth chart at wide receiver, but will be used in plenty of formations because of how the coaching staff likes to rotate guys in. Last year Jenkins did not get the big catch he is capable of making. Look for Jenkins to stretch the field in 2005 and utilize his playmaking abilities.

SPRING ARTICLE: "Jenkins Ready to Focus"

Q&A WITH DARNELL JENKINS

Describe your touchdown in the spring game.

"I saw Devin Hester looking back, so I gave him a good release, and when I saw the ball in the air I just attacked it."

Are you and Kyle Wright getting in a rhythm?

"Kyle was the first quarterback I had when I came. We had that type of connection. We just connected in the spring game."

Who would you give the MVP to for the spring game?

"Phil, the tight end. He would be my MVP. He surprised everyone because he has only been here for three weeks, but he came out here and had a big game."

There were a lot of sacks in the spring game. What is it like coming back to the huddle after a sack?

"It is very hard coming back to the huddle when you are out there running around and the quarterback got sacked. There is nothing you can really say because you do not want to bring the o-line down. Just tell them to keep fighting."

How is the receiving unit coming along?

"It was a good spring for the receivers. We came a long way. Terrell Walden moved over to receiver, Khalil Jones stepped up, and with Lance Leggett out we did a great job this spring. We are more experienced. Coach C.J. did not give us any breaks and we worked hard all year to get better by competing against each other."

How are the defensive backs looking?

"It is hard to go up against our DB's. All of them are fast. Every time you look up, you see one of them in your face."

You started the spring later than everyone else, did it take you a while to get back?

"It took me like a week to get back. I was not used to catching the ball and running the routes. I was rusty in the beginning, but then I had to get myself together and make a big turnaround."

What has wide receivers coach Curits Johnson been telling you this spring?

"Coach C.J. says, ‘Just work hard and everything will be all right and the best things will come to you.'"

Are you looking forward to summer workouts?

"I am looking forward to the summer because the spring carries over to the summer and that means we are that much closer to the fall."

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