Jenkins Says Irish Need a Win

Omar Jenkins, senior wide receiver out of Dallas, Texas, has earned two monograms and will easily pick up his third this year. Omar was picked early in fall camp to be the heir to the No. 1 wide receiver spot with the graduation of Arnaz Battle. In the '02 campaign he pulled in 37 catches for 633 yards, an average of 17.1 yards a grab. Irish Eyes spoke with Omar at the conclusion of this week's practice.

We started our interview with Omar by asking for an update on how things have gone this week and he reported, "It was a really good week of practice. As far as the mood of the team, we are not down on ourselves. We just need to continue to work hard and things will fall into place."

The pressure is mounting for an Irish win and for the season to turn around. When Omar was asked if the Boston College game is a must win, he replied, "That's true. But as far as you look at it, every game is a must-win game. This is a game that we feel we do need to win. One, because we haven't beaten them in the last few years. Two, because we want to make sure we get on the right track."

As this week's game approaches, many of us feel that the Irish are overdue for a big win against BC, and we need to seek revenge for past losses in this growing rivalry. Omar reacted to this situation by saying, "It's just another game on our schedule to be honest. The thing about that is we know we have to come out and play hard. We did lose last year, and we felt there were some things they did that we thought were disrespectful to us. As far as the level of revenge is concerned, you might be able to use that sometimes, and sometimes not."

And what about the rivalry? "Well, you know it's a game between the two Division 1-A Catholic Universities," said Jenkins. "The rivalry, I guess, stems from that. I don't think it is the strongest rivalry out there in America, but at the same time just with that alone, we always want to win."

Omar, Maurice Stovall, and Rhema McKnight have demonstrated they can make the big play and be difference-makers. We asked Omar if he thought the receiving corps was underrated and he stated, "Yes and no. If you look at it right now, we don't have over a thousand yards in the season as far as individual receiving. But at the same time, you know I do think we are underrated in what we do as complete receivers, the blocking, the catching - everything. I think we are more involved in the team and special teams and things like that."


ll teams rely on the veterans to be mentors for the younger players. Irish Eyes asked Omar how he helps the inexperienced receivers. "Basically teaching them things they may not see for themselves. There are just certain things you catch onto as the year goes by, like what is going to happen next, or the different looks you may have seen. Basically, what your role is as a model is specifically to open their eyes to those things so they can become better players."

Being a senior and a leader, we asked Omar about his style of leadership. "My style is more to lead by example. I go out there and do what I believe is right and hope they can follow that path and not sway from that path and do something that is wrong."

The Irish are at the halfway point in the regular season and, to this point, it has been a disappointing one. We asked Omar to share his thoughts about the first six games. "It's frustrating, but at the same time, it just seems different from seasons in the past because for some reason it seems that the whole team has the belief that we can do a whole lot better. Even though things aren't where we want them to be, we want to be 6-0 obviously, but even though things aren't that way right now, we know that pretty soon we are on the verge of being on the right track."

We concluded our interview by asking what it will take to beat Boston College Saturday and Omar said, "Basically the same thing we say every week - simply execute."

Irish Eyes has been fortunate to have had several interviews with Omar Jenkins, and not only do we believe he is a classy receiver, but a classy all-around person. We wish him the "Best of Irish Luck" against the Eagles. Top Stories