Michigan landed an offensive tackle that can block out the sun in Juwan Bushell-Beatty last week. A few days later the Wolverines set their sights on landing another when they extended an offer to 6-8, 305 lb. Pittsburgh (PA) Baldwin OT, Sterling Jenkins shortly after assistant Darrell Funk left his school.
“It was about like an hour or so later while I was still in school,” Jenkins recalled. “They called me down (to the office) because my parents were coming in for a meeting. Then my coaches got a call from Coach Funk and he said I got an offer.”
Even though he had already secured offers from Penn State, Virginia, West Virginia, and Toledo, it was a surprising development for the Keystone State star. His contact with the Wolverines had been limited to that point.
“I talked to them last year, but this is the first time I’ve talked to them this year,” he said. “I think they came like once or twice last year.”
“I did some research last night about them. I know they have like the biggest stadium in college. They’re my best offer so far. I know they have really good academics. Before (looking into Michigan recently) I never really knew that much about them. I never really watched college ball. It was more when I started playing that I got into watching it more.”
That means there is a prime opportunity for Jenkins’ suitors to form connections that aren’t hindered by childhood leanings. Darrell Funk is taking advantage of that.
“He’s definitely a respectable guy, and he’s actually one of the coaches I’ve gotten to know the most,” said Jenkins. “Him and the Coach at Michigan State, Coach Staten, those are the two that I’ve really talked to the most. I think Coach Funk is a nice guy. He told me a little bit about himself, and he wasn’t just talking about football and stuff. He’s actually a down to earth type of guy.”
Based on that fast developing rapport with Michigan’s offensive line coach and the esteem in which he holds his Michigan offer, it’s clear that the Wolverines are in strong standing at this early stage of Jenkins’ recruitment. That said, he stopped short of calling the Maize & Blue his leader.
“I was interested in Michigan, really, because they were the first college that I even saw, that I even heard from that was thinking of giving me an offer last year,” replied Jenkins when asked if the Wolverines sat atop their leaderboard. “So I sort of had a feel for them, (but there are) particular favorites, no.”
Over the summer the Michigan will likely be among the schools that have the opportunity to earn that distinction during visits. Jenkins hopes to see how a number of his suitors measure up to his long list of criteria.
“(I want to) really see if they have (a) good English (program) because that’s what I want to be… I want to be an English professor,” he explained. “I’m not really worried about (distance from home) because I like adventures. I don’t have a problem with leaving my family or being far away from them. Also the facilities (will be a factor). I don’t want to be somewhere where it’s too cold because I have this thing where I slow down in the winter. I would say that’s the lowest of my priorities… the weather… because I can compromise. But that’s just something I consider. I want to go somewhere where it’s warm, but if it’s not I could do fine. Also I want to see if they have a good football program, because I want to be able to get some playing time and not just play when I’m a senior.”
With a list suitors sure to grow in the coming months, Jenkins is in no hurry see which school best meets the aforementioned standard.
“I think I’m going to wait until my senior year,” he said. “I really want to see all the options and get all the information I can before I make a decision.”