U-M Working Hard for Jenkins (Part 1)

Wheaton, MD LB Jelani Jenkins is one of the top prospects left on the board for the University of Michigan. The father of Scout.com's #2 LB recently chatted with GoBlueWolverine to give the latest on the Wolverines' recruitment of his son... including details of his conversations with the Maize & Blue coaching staff. (Part 1 of 2)

Sam Webb:  You said you talked to Coach Rodriguez (Monday). What did he have to say to you?

Maurice Jenkins:  "Basically catching up.  He wanted to know what the status was with Jelani and which I told him that Michigan was pretty high on our list.  Then he was trying to get an idea for when we felt that Jelani would make the decision and pretty much reiterated that Jelani was definitely one of the top players on the recruitment list; guys that they had to have.  Then we just kind of talked in general about the school.  He was just kind of talking about some of the recruits that are coming in and the timetable that he anticipated in turning the program around and how he felt real good about the recruiting class that was coming in."

Sam Webb:  Jelani said something about going out to visit other schools and some cases revisit some schools.  Have you guys determined when you are going to do that and where those visits are going to be to?

Maurice Jenkins:  "No."

Sam Webb:   It is clear that you guys have a familiarity with Coach Shafer.  Just talk about how far back that relationship goes and what is he saying to you about how Jelani might fit in?

Maurice Jenkins:  "We have talked to Coach Shafer personally, as well as Coach Rod when we came up there earlier this summer and since then.  We speak pretty consistently on the phone.  (Shafer) just pointed out the position that he has Jelani, more of a WILL linebacker.  We discussed that position in particular and how they see Jelani fitting into the system.  We have had a pretty good working relationship with (Michigan) and Coach Shafer.  He traveled out last weekend and came to the game.  I talked to him (Monday) and asked what was his impression of Jelani was after seeing him in person.  He said (Jelani) was pretty much everything that he thought he was going to be.  He liked the speed and his ability to hit and close."

Sam Webb:  You guys seemed to have a very clear plan regarding how you handled Jelani's recruitment in the off season.  You went by these schools to check them out, talked to the coaches, got some tours, and met people.  What's the game plan now?

Maurice Jenkins:  "Now he has pretty much narrowed it down to the last 15 schools, which I talked to Coach Shafer about as well.  The next step is building relationships and having an opportunity to look at schools, whether that's going to the school and physically looking at it or just looking at the system on TV and kind of studying the system.  The next phase of this is to form a relationship with the position coaches, seeing as linebacker is going to be his primary position.  Focusing on those specific coaches and talking to them about how they view Jelani working into the system.  That is pretty much the next step."

Sam Webb:  Has Jelani gotten a chance to chat at all with his would-be position coach at Michigan?

Maurice Jenkins:  "Yeah.  We have talked to Coach Hopson (Monday) too."

Sam Webb:  What did you guys talk about?

Maurice Jenkins:  "I emphasized to him that we were going into the next phase of the recruitment process and we definitely wanted to bridge a relationship with him.  We exchanged numbers, so I will be able to call him directly if I have any questions.  He expressed again… reiterated that Jelani is one of the top recruits that they are looking at. He saw that Jelani could make an immediate impact on the team."

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