Four-star Jenkins Enjoys Penn State Visit

The Pittsburgh, Pa. Baldwin High junior offensive tackle visited University Park last week, one of a few visits he will make this spring.

Penn State hosted a number of visitors last weekend. Sterling Jenkins may have been the most intriguing.

The 6-foot-8, 305 pound four-star offensive tackle from Baldwin High in Pittsburgh, Pa. has long been high on the Lions. Its last staff, headed by Bill O'Brien, shared that mutual interest. So has new head coach James Franklin and his staff.

Baldwin head coach Peter Wagner and Jenkins visited University Park last Friday, and though the offensive tackle didn't leave as a member of Penn State's class of 2015, he was able to gain a new perspective on the Lions.

"It was really exhilarating," Jenkins said. "The attention to detail they have is really something. I was really pleased with the visit, and my coach felt the same way.

"He's not easily wow'd, but we were both impressed."

The recruitment of Pennsylvania's top player has taken on a national flavor of late, but the junior blocker has maintained a regional focus throughout.

Speaking of regions, former Monroeville, Pa. Gateway High head coach, Temple assistant, and now Nittany Lion cornerbacks coach and defensive recruiting coordinator Terry Smith has kept a close eye on Jenkins. He was one of three coaches Jenkins said he spoke with throughout the day.

"I talked to [head] Coach [James] Franklin, [offensive line] Coach [Herb] Hand, and Coach Smith," Jenkins said. "One of the really big points was how close [Penn State] is and how important it is for guys from western Pennsylvania to stay in state where people really care about them.

"They have the support they need to be a place to flourish. Going around campus, I really enjoyed it. It was really nice to see them work hard in person."

Wagner, Baldwin's second year head coach, reported similar sentiments.

"I was extremely impressed," Wagner said. "I've been to a number of colleges over the years, and for them to be where they're at two and a half months from the coaches getting on the same page; they're clicking on all cylinders.

"There's quite a vibe from the coaches. They are extremely positive with the kids, and their interaction is fantastic. We got the opportunity to watch practice, and those guys are all masters of their craft."

Wagner and Jenkins agreed that the opportunity to watch practice together allows them to bond as player and coach. It's a part of their relationship that has grown since Wagner arrived, and he, along with Jenkins parents, Adam and Sarah, have helped the junior navigate the recruiting process.

Another constant has been Smith, a coach Jenkins first heard of when he was at Gateway. The Penn State assistant doubled as the coach who offered him at Temple.

It's a story he shares with another Nittany Lion assistant.

"I knew him for awhile," Jenkins said of Smith. "When he came to Penn State, he was talking to me more. It's pretty ironic, because the same thing happened with Coach Hand.

"He came to Penn State, and he was the coach that was recruiting me at Vanderbilt. They are both there and recruiting me, so I've known both for awhile. I got to know both of them more in-depth, and I think it was pretty cool."

Though he has yet to set any dates, Jenkins will visit Ohio State in April before returning to University Park in May.

"I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to do," Jenkins said. "I've been saying I'm going to wait until the end of the season, but I'm not really sure.

"My coach, family, and I will talk about what we want to do about the future."


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