ND Makes First Cut

A week ago, five-star linebacker Jelani Jenkins sent out letters to college programs, thanking them for their interest, but telling them they're no longer being considered.

Now, 15 colleges remain in the Jelani Jenkins sweepstakes, and Notre Dame is one of the lucky schools to make the initial cut.

"Notre Dame is definitely on the list," Maurice Jenkins, Jelani's father said. They visited the school for the first time this summer.

"Of course Notre Dame is one of the stronger academic institutions, and Notre Dame is definitely one of the better football programs as well in the country. Those are major factors that we're considering. The academics programs, facilities and the football program, and it has a real big media market and a great relationship with the NFL, Jelani wants to play in the NFL, and all of those are factors with Notre Dame."

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Jenkins heard from Irish head coach Charlie Weis in September on the first day college coaches can get back in touch with recruits. Notre Dame assistant coach Ron Powlus is in touch every couple of weeks or so.

"I'm going to call coach (Ron) Powlus at the first part of this week because we just sent out letters to the schools we did not consider," the elder Jenkins said. "We wanted them to hear from us first before they hear from the media. We wanted to give them time to get the letters and they should of gotten them by now. The next step is building relationships.

"Notre Dame will be hearing from us a lot more often now because we're focusing on our last schools. It's all about the relationships at this point. They will be hearing from us more frequently and I'm sure they'll be calling us as well."

Powlus was in Olney, Md., recently to attended one of Jenkins games. Led by the blue-chip standout, Our Lady Good Counsel High is off to a 6-0 start.

The Jenkins family has not scheduled any official visits yet, and likely won't take any trips until the season is over. Powlus broached the subject of Jenkins visiting ND again for the team's end of the year banquet.

"I talked to coach Powlus when he was here, and he mentioned it to me," Jenkins said. "We haven't confirmed anything as of yet, but coach Powlus mentioned it to us, and right now we haven't sat down with Jelani and scheduled anything yet."

The next set up cuts for Jenkins will likely come in a month.

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