Our Lady Good Counsel High LB Jelani Jenkins is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to researching his list of suitors. He and his family have made it a point to travel to the campuses of the programs he is most interested in order to gain a better appreciation for what each of them has to offer.
“We’ve seen a lot of them,” said Jenkins’ father Maurice. “It’s a total of maybe 12. We’ve been on the West Coast. We went to UCLA, Stanford, and USC. We went to Virginia Tech in between that time. Then we took that most recent trip to see Michigan, Michigan, State, Illinois, and Notre Dame.”
On every stop there have been a few common questions; how will Jenkins be utilized and how are the academics? The Wolverines acquitted themselves extremely well in their answers to both queries during the Jenkins’ visit to Ann Arbor last Saturday.
“We met all of the coaching staff, including Coach Rodriguez,” recalled Mr. Jenkins. “He sat down and pretty much told us his philosophy, background, and coaching strategy. He also talked about his vision for the school and for the football program and gave us a good idea of how they see Jelani fitting into the system. Coach Shafer is recruiting him as a weakside linebacker. They’d basically use him as a blitzer as well for coverage out in space. He went through the X’s and O’s with reference to how he sees Jelani working in the program.”
“We toured the facilities, toured the school, and went around campus,” Mr. Jenkins continued. “We got to see the student athlete academic center. We thought that was very nice... very modern & contemporary. I made note that Michigan is very serious about the student athletes getting their education with that state of the art facility.”
Michigan’s strong showing with was accentuated by Jenkins’ interaction with one of the biggest weapons in the Maize & Blue’s recruiting arsenal; strength & conditioning coordinator Mike Barwis.
“We were very very impressed with Mike,” Mr. Jenkins reported. “He’s very knowledgeable. Being that Jelani wants to go into sports medicine, he and Mike hit it right off. He also talked about having a lot of NFL players that actually come through the program so he can work with them in the summer as well. We must have spent 45 minutes to an hour in his weight room. We were real impressed with him. As I told him, I think it’s like a ministry for him. You can see his passion and love for what he is doing. We were real impressed with his knowledge about training.”
Now that Michigan is among the schools that have hosted the five star prospect on a visit, the waiting game to see if they’ll make the official visit cut has begun.
“We still want to see Florida, Boston College, and possibly Miami before he gets really cranking into the season,” said Jenkins. “We anticipate trying to do some official visits. We hope that by September that we will narrow it down anywhere from five to ten schools. Then we want to take a closer look at programs during the season to kind see how things are going… are they on the upswing are on the decline.”
“Jelani will be in the ESPN (Under Armour) game,” Jenkins later added. “We’re not sure if he'll announce anything there. We’re not sure at what point he will announce.”
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Jenkins in the coming months.