The five-star offensive line prospect from Parkersburg, W.Va. is back from his long-anticipated official visit to local favorite West Virginia and has his eyes focused on National Signing Day, when he plans to make an official announcement. With official visits to Ohio State, Florida State and WVU – his top three schools – under his belt, it appears Jenkins might be done taking official visits.
"As of right now he's not advised me of any visits," Parkersburg assistant coach Mark McCullough, who also handles Jenkins' recruitment, told BuckeyeSports.com.
The trip to WVU capped a hectic week for the 6-3½, 305-pound prospect who has twice taken home the honors for top prep football player within the state. The week leading up to his visit to Morgantown saw a veritable who's-who list of coaches make the trek to the OSU/WVU border to check in on Jenkins.
On Monday, it was WVU head coach Bill Stewart and recruiting coordinator Doc Holliday. Tuesday saw Michigan secondary coach Tony Gibson and Wednesday brought FSU offensive line coach Rick Trickett, but Thursday was a big day for OSU fans.
Head coach Jim Tressel and offensive line coach Jim Bollman both visited with Jenkins and his family, spending nearly nine hours in town.
"They spent around 8 ½ hours in here and had a good in-home visit with his mom," McCullough said. "His mom likes them, but what's not to like when you have an opportunity to meet and talk to Coach Bollman and Coach Tressel? Jim Bollman is just an amazing man. I really appreciate the times that he spends with us and he's in here every week."
During Jenkins' visit to WVU, he and McCullough managed to grab lunch together on Saturday.
"How can you not enjoy yourself? Everything's paid for," the coach said when asked if Jenkins was enjoying himself at WVU. "You get to eat good and you get to meet a lot of pretty girls. Shoot, you get to watch ballgames. Is that not the perfect male vacation? I'm sure he had a good time. He got to meet Dave Johnson, the new offensive line coach from West Virginia who came from Georgia. He got to spend a good deal of time with him and get to know him."
While this week will be less hectic for Jenkins, there are still a handful of scheduled visitors on the calendar. FSU head coach Bobby Bowden is planning on visiting Jenkins at some point, although McCullough said the head coach has not scheduled a date yet.
Bollman will be making a return visit on Wednesday and someone from the WVU coaching staff is expected on either Thursday or Friday, McCullough said.
When Bowden arrives at school, he will have a large shadow to overcome thanks to Tressel's visit last week.
"Coach Tressel was so kind with his time when he was here," McCullough said. "He was over in the school and we have a lot of teachers that are Ohio State fans. They took so many pictures and he had so many autographs."
In addition to OSU, WVU and FSU, Jenkins has been listing nearby Pittsburgh and Michigan as two more schools he has been interested in. McCullough confirmed that Jenkins has dropped Pitt from his list of possible schools and added that it is unlikely that Michigan would still be on his list.
Following former WVU head coach Rich Rodriguez' defection to the Wolverines, McCullough said he would not be surprised if U-M ceases coming around.
"Of course, I don't know if I was Coach Rodriguez I'd want to make a trip in here," he said. "Oh man, is this is a mess. It runs a lot deeper than deep.
"I said (to Gibson), ‘I will not walk outside the building with you just in case someone's going to take a shot at you.' He laughed."
Although McCullough said he personally will miss the contact with the coaches once signing day has come and gone, he added that the pressure is beginning to take a toll on his star lineman.
"I can just see it in the way he carries himself now," McCullough said. "It's a tough decision. You can tell that he's being pressured every which way he can from every school imaginable. Since we live on the Ohio/West Virginia border, there are as many Ohio State fans as there are West Virginia fans. A lot of places you've only got one school but here, since you can throw a stone from here and hit Ohio, it's no letup and no mercy for him. But you can tell just in his personality and things. You can tell there's some pressure there for him."