Jenkins Back, Healthy

After tearing his ACL in the third game of the 2006 season, versus Louisville, senior wide reciever Darnell Jenkins was given a medical redshirt by the NCAA and will be playing for the Hurricanes in 2007.

Jenkins was on pace to have the best season of his UM career in 2006 before the injury. Had Jenkins continued his three-game pace for the rest of the season, he would have finished the year with 52 receptions for 732 yards.

Six months after tearing his ACL, Jenkins says he is "100 percent healthy" now.

"It was real tough sitting out in the third game, watching my teammates go out there and make plays," Jenkins said. "I wanted to be a part of it and I couldn't. All I could do was motivate players and help them.

"I was depressed when the injury happened, but everything happens for a reason, but you can't get mad at what happened in the past. I had to deal with it and move on."

The hiring of Coach Shannon and a new offensive scheme run by offensive coordinator Patrick Nix has Jenkins excited for the 2007 season.

"Coach Shannon is doing what was supposed to have been done here for the past couple of years, which is allowing us to be closer as a team and aim for achieving our goals," Jenkins said.

"There is a lot of competition amongst the players. There is no jealousy and everybody has the opportunity to make plays and show what they are about. Everybody has their mind set to do their best because there are no starters. As a senior, that mentality is pushing me. From my standpoint, that is showing me that these young guys are ready to come in and play."

The biggest difference that Coach Shannon has brought to the team?

"He is bringing more discipline," Jenkins said. "He is very hard when it comes to disciplining guys. He wants everybody to know that there are distractions here and it is easy to lose focus. We need to focus on school and football.

"He is putting us next to guys and making us get to know them. He says you should know the person next to you and build a relationship with them. I am next to Chavez Grant, so I kind of already know him, but if we didn't have those rules the receivers would be by the receivers."

Jenkins also talked about the faster tempo Shannon implemented to the entire practice. Players are required to run, not jog, from station-to-station during practice.

"Coach Shannon told us we need to work on conditioning as well, so we need to move around faster from period to period and sprint from station to station," Jenkins said. "He is adding more excitement and making players want to be out here at practice.

"Everybody stepped it up in the off-season, because if you didn't you heard about it from Coach Shannon."

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