"I just had to step in and do the job that was asked of me," Elgton Jenkins said. "I played guard in high school, but it's a lot tougher at this level. You have to learn how to adjust to the job."
Over the course of his two seasons in the Maroon and White, Jenkins has played both tackle positions and now left guard. As the Bulldogs prepare for a December 26th date with Miami of Ohio in the St. Petersburg, Jenkins is one of several Bulldog big men auditioning for the starting spot at center.
With senior Jamaal Clayborn preparing for a potential pro career, Bulldog offensive line boss, John Hevesy, is experimenting with his returning players to see if he can get a leg up on spring practice.
"I have playing center some during the bowl prep," Jenkins shared. "I am just trying to make progress everyday and just do my job. I will play wherever they need me to play. I just want to help the team. We're all going some different things. Coach Hevesy has moved some of us around. He's a good coach and he knows what he's doing."
The Bulldogs earned a bowl due to a five touchdown shelling of Ole Miss in Oxford and by having one of the top APR scores among 5-7 teams. While the academic progress reports were important, State had to beat the Rebels to make any possible bowl hopes a reality.
"I came out there ready to go," Jenkins said, "Oxford is only an hour from my house and there are a lot of people who cheer for Ole Miss from my home town. I had a chip on my shoulder and I wanted to go out there and show those boys what we were capable of doing."
Having notched an important victory over their arch-rivals, Bulldog players and coaches like have bit more pep in their step now that the Golden Egg Trophy is safely secured in the Seal Complex on the Mississippi State campus.
"It's a lot more fun to have the Golden Egg back," Jenkins said. "It's all fun knowing that we went out there and dominated them in every aspect of the game. We know we went out there and worked hard and got the Egg back where it belongs."
With the regular season now complete, the Bulldogs plan for their seventh consecutive season with holiday plans. What once looked to be next to impossible is now very real for Mississippi State players who were for all intents and purposes the final team selected in this year's bowl picture.
"I was very happy about the bowl game," Jenkins said. "You get more reps in practice and you have the chance to get better. Coach Mullen and all of the coaches are always talking about getting 10,000 hours in and how that gives us a chance to go on and get better as a team next year."
While the extra work and spring board into the 2017 season is important, Jenkins is also happy to be a part of the effort needed to send the Bulldog seniors out with another post season trip.
"I like that we were able to do it," Jenkins said. "I know that the season didn't go the way we wanted it to go. It's pretty special being in a bowl game and I know that they want to go out with a bang and another ring."
The Bulldogs will depart Starkville on December 21st and take their St. Petersburg show on the road. The real fun begins at 10 AM central December 26th as the Bulldogs battle the Red Hawks for the chance to bring home another bowl trophy.