The Complete Student-Athlete (from 1/14/2000)

We often times hear of players who can do it all.  However, it's quite possible that no other recruit that OSU will bring in this year can do it all quite like Michael Jenkins.  We talked to Michael's head coach Andy Martin of Leto High School in Tampa, Florida, and he tells us that Michael excels at everything on and off the field.

"I like to call him the complete student-athlete," Coach Martin said.  

His description sounds like it is right on the money.  Off the field, Michael carries a 3.5 GPA on a weighted scale and takes honors classes.  Some of the words Coach Martin used to describe Michael were "positive," "great attitude," "very disciplined," and "modest."  Coach Martin said that Michael's father was in the army, and many of his attributes were passed on to Michael.  As for Michael's presence on the field, Coach Martin says that Michael is no less than "the best all-around football player in Hillsborough County."  (Hillsborough County is where Tampa is, and one of the other many fine players that play there is OL Shannon Snell).  

To say Michael did it all on the field for Leto is an understatement.  He played almost every position, and sometimes, he would play several positions in the same game.  Coach Martin said that in one game, he played wide receiver, wingback, quarterback, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, cornerback, safety, punt returner, and kick returner.  But athleticism isn't the only reason Michael could play all those positions; he is a very intelligent player, and he knew how each position was played and what responsibilities each position had.  "He is mentally tough," Coach Martin said.  "He wants to learn and can grasp concepts quickly."  

In Leto's offense, which was primarily run-oriented, Michael caught 16 catches for 350 yards , he rushed for 600 as a wingback, and he threw for over 100 as a back-up QB.  Coach Martin said that Michael is one of the best all-around players in Florida, but because of Leto's offense, he didn't get the stats necessary to make first team all-state as a WR (he made third-team).  On defense, Michael had 70 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and four batted passes.  Last season, Michael led Leto with 90 tackles, but Coach Martin said that Michael was rested a bit more this season on defense.  Michael did not really have a set position on defense.  "Wherever the other team's strength (on offense) was was where we put him on defense," Coach Martin said.  

Michael's athletic ability is not limited to the football field.  He is a fine basketball player; Coach Martin said he averages 14 points a game.  He also is an excellent performer in track as last year, in Class 6A (the highest level in FL), Michael took fifth in the state in the triple jump with a 46-6.  He also ran a 49.2 in the 400 m and was a member of Leto's 4x100 relay team.

Coach Martin said that Michael needs to become used to catching a lot of passes since he didn't get the opportunities in Leto's offense, but he feels that Michael has the ability to contribute early.  Coach Martin also says that he is good at running routes and running after the catch, and he is a good blocker as well.  Michael is also very tough and never gets hurt.  

Michael Jenkins sounds like the total package.  He won't get into trouble off the field, and he gives opposing teams trouble on the field.  Quite frankly, Michael Jenkins sounds like he has everything Buckeye fans would like to see in an Ohio State player.  I definitely think we'll be hearing a lot more from him in the future.


Special Thanks to Coach Andy Martin for the interview!!!

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