Jenkins is Wide Open

Wheaton, MD linebacker Jelani Jenkins is one of the most coveted prospects in the country, but the coverage of his recruitment has been virtually nil. That's by design according to the youngster's father. He chatted with GoBlueWolverine recently for an update.

Our Lady Good Counsel High (Wheaton, MD) LB Jelani Jenkins has nearly 40 offers, and the total is steadily rising.  Power programs like Michigan, Florida, Oregon, USC, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame have made the speedy prospect a priority, and all of them have made an impression.

 “As of right now everyone is on equal ground,” said Jenkins’ father, Maurice.  “They are all even.”

Mr. Jenkins is stressing that his son keep an open mind during the recruiting process and give all of his suitors an equal look.  The process of sifting through all of the offers will be long, but he has a strong group of advisers that will help him get through it. Now when we say his advisers, don’t think entourage… think of the people that care about him the most.   They are his dad, his mom Stephanie, as well as his step dad and football coach.

“We are not on a timetable,” said Mr. Jenkins.  “We are just trying to gather enough information to help Jelani make an informed opinion. When the time is right, we will know."

The University of Michigan is one of many programs that have visited young Jenkins’ school during the evaluation period.  The Wolverines dropped in a few weeks ago, and they’ve also chatted with Mr. Jenkins on the phone during that time span.  The Jenkins family hopes to learn more about what the Maize & Blue has to offer in June.

“Our plan is go visit out on the west coast to see USC, UCLA and Oregon first,” Mr. Jenkins reported.  “Then we want to make our way back up to see Michigan, Notre Dame and then go down and see Florida that is our goal.”

Of paramount importance during the evaluation of the schools on Jenkins list are academics.  The scholastic offerings and reputations of the various institutions will be thoroughly researched.  It is one of the central factors in what he is looking for in a college.

“The criteria that we are looking for when we take a glance at these schools will be where he can excel academically and athletically,” Mr. Jenkins explained.   “Also the legacy and the tradition of the program along with the graduation rate but we are very high on academics."

Jelani’s 4.1 GPA is further evidence of just how significant academics will be.  Athletics will be important as well, though, and five-star recruit is searching for a place that will help him grow in that area too.

“He is flexible as far as the style of play right now,” said Mr. Jenkins.  “We just want him to learn and grow in a system.”
You might be wondering at this point why there are not any quotes from Jelani himself.  Based in part on prior unfavorable experiences, his family feels the interviews can just be too distracting.

“With people calling all the time to talk with him it is a little too much,” Mr. Jenkins said.  “He needs to stay focused on his grades and just trying to enjoy the process.  Just me and his mom are talking to the media.”

GoBlueWolverine will have more on Jenkins in the months to come.  

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