The Pittsburgh Baldwin four-star tackle recently returned from the Under Armour All-American Game, and will leave Pittsburgh for State College early Saturday morning. Shortly before heading off, he caught up with Fight On State about the week that was in Florida, his future at Penn State, and more.
Fight On State:First, what was the best part of the Under Armour experience?
Sterling Jenkins: It was definitely something new. It’s not every day you go against the number one defensive ends in the country and play with all this good talent around you. It was kind of hard at first; you have to get used to it. But after day two, day three, I got used to it and started to thrive in it. It was a really good experience.
FOS: You spent a lot of time with fellow Class of 2015 pledge Ryan Bates. What was it like working with a future teammate for a week?
SJ: It was cool to be around a guy from a different mind-set. He just came off of a state championship and he has a very strong mind-set. It’s great to be around that because we [Jenkins’ HS team] stopped playing before we got to November, so I was kind of raw when it came to the drills and stuff. I was doing conditioning things. It was cool to see him working and how he was. We both got better this week, I feel. It was really cool having both future tackles that will be at Penn State.
FOS: Now that the game is over, you’re set to move to State College. What are you most looking forward to about getting on campus?
SJ: I think what I’m looking forward to the most is the structure of it all. That will be very good for me and be very beneficial, and all the resources there and everyone that helps with schedules and make sure everything go smoothly. I think that will prove to be very beneficial.
FOS: You said you will be rooming with fellow early enrollee and quarterback Tommy Stevens. How did you two end up as roommates?
SJ: I met him when he was an IU commit, and he came to the MSU game. It was really me, him and [now Ohio State commit Matthew] Burrell that were sort of the guys going around, and we were all on our officials. I was selling it to him [Stevens] and getting to know him as a person. I built a friendship, too. He was a really cool guy. We’ve already been friends and it won’t be anything uncomfortable.
SJ: I mean, he didn’t talk a lot, I know that. We had a good relationship, text sometimes, we talked at the Under-Armour game. I never really knew what he was thinking. I saw it [his announcement] through social media and he’s never on there anyway. I wish him all the best of luck. I think he made a good decision.
FOS: You mentioned being rusty early at the UA game. What all have you been working on specifically between the end of your season and now?
SJ: It was getting ready for Penn State. A lot of workouts mixed in with footwork and conditioning stuff. I wasn’t just trying to bulk up. I think that was the goal and I stuck to that with the notebook [of drills].
FOS:: Lastly, you’ll be joined by another tackle, Paris Palmer, on campus. What’s your relationship like with him?
SJ: I first met him at the Michigan State game. He was there on his official. He’s an interesting guy. I knew we were recruiting him, and people were saying “he looks like your big brother” and stuff. We hung out after the game. He’s definitely a good fit and we’ll be able to gel together.