Jenkins Keeping Eye on Irish

A call and question about Jelani Jenkins and what you've been hearing from Notre Dame was politely answered by Our Lady Good Counsel High assistant coach Kevin McFadden. He basically said, without an offer, it doesn't really matter.

With Jelani Jenkins, this is true.

The five-star linebacker from Wheaton, Md. currently holds 24 scholarship offers from the likes of Miami, Tennessee, Virginia, Rutgers, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Maryland and North Carolina. If a school hasn't offered at this point, Jenkins really can't take them too seriously.

The Irish are definitely interested in the 6-foot-1, 205-pound prospect, who with 4.45 speed, could also play safety on the next level. Notre Dame invited Jenkins to its junior day last month, but he couldn't make it because of a track meet.

"I've been getting letters," Jenkins said. I haven't talked to any of the coaches on the phone or anything. I know they're talking to my coach though. No specific messages. Just that they're interested."

Jenkins and McFadden both said a later offer from Notre Dame wouldn't make them think any less of the program. They realize each program has its procedure before extending a full-ride, and each said nice things about the University.

"I'd be interested," Jenkins stated. He's never been to South Bend before. "One of my teachers went to Notre Dame, and I know they're a good school. A lot of tradition. I'd be in a good spiritual environment if I went there."

Jenkins, who has a 4.0 GPA, doesn't have any favorites, and hasn't even thought about when he's going to narrow his list down. Whoever makes the cut will be getting quite a player.

Last season, Jenkins had 60 tackles, four sacks, an interception, two fumble recoveries, and a forced fumble from the outside linebacker spot he played the majority of the snaps. Jenkins also rushed for 791 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was named to the prestigious Washington Post, first-team All-Met squad.

Jenkins played some inside linebacker as well, and college coaches have approached him about all linebacker positions and safety.

"I've heard that I'm aggressive," Jenkins said. Last year he was a member of a 400-meter relay team at school that was ranked eighth nationally.

Jenkins can bench press 320 pounds, and squats 490 pounds. He has taken trips to Penn State, Maryland and Virginia. This summer he will hit the road and check out a bunch of schools. An offer from Notre Dame could put the Irish on that list.

Like most highly-touted national recruits, Jenkins will likely make a college decision later rather than sooner.

"I'll be looking for just a school obviously I can feel comfortable in," Jenkins explained. "Somewhere that fits me in terms of their style of football. A good academic school. I can't even narrow it down right now."


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