The Write Stuff for Maryland Lineman

With limited scholarships at its disposal this coming recruiting season, Penn State has been extremely selective in extending written offers to prospects. Add a name to the handful of recruits for whom the Nittany Lions have put it in writing: Nick Jenkins.

The 6-foot-3, 285-pound line prospect from Good Counsel High in Wheaton, Md., received a written offer from Penn State several weeks ago and is poised to be one of the most coveted big men in the country.

“It's been good,” Jenkins said. “It's going real well. It's coming at me really quick. Everything kind of blew up the first week it could blow up. Since then, it's been nonstop talking to coaches.”

Jenkins, who dropped from 310 pounds to 285 between his sophomore and junior seasons, has written offers from Penn State, Maryland, North Carolina, Kansas State and Rutgers. Other schools are in constant contact with the junior, as well.

“Other than that, I'm talking to Virginia, Texas A&M, Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State — mostly everybody,” Jenkins said.

The Nittany Lions are the most recent to give the versatile lineman an offer. While it was not a surprise for Jenkins, who has been recruited by the Nittany Lions since ninth grade, he was happy to see that the coaching staff kept its word in extending the offer.

“We talked about it during the summer, and they told me that if I produced and played well I'd have a scholarship,” Jenkins said. “On Feb. 3, they came through. They told me what to do, I did it, and they gave me an offer. I talked to Coach [Larry] Johnson for two months and they told me they had it for me and I got in the mail a few weeks ago.”

Johnson, who was integral in the Nittany Lions' signing of seven of the state of Maryland's top 10 football prospects this past recruiting season, has impressed Jenkins with his “family-first” approach to recruiting.

“Coach Johnson, he's a great guy,” Jenkins said. “Really, I look at him as a friend as well as coach and my recruiter. But definitely he's a guy I can talk to about anything. Family comes first for him, which is big for me, which is good because he wants to get the family involved in college. I think that's big. Not a lot of other schools are doing that. He's more of a friend than anything else.”

Jenkins indicated that he will take an unofficial trip to Michigan State and Penn State during his upcoming spring break. During the summer, Jenkins said he plans on taking trips to the schools down South. As far as a timetable for committing, Jenkins said he's wide open, but would like to tackle it sooner rather than later.

“I'd like to get it out of the way before senior season starts,” Jenkins said. “I'm just going to take my time. If I step on a campus and know that's where I want to be, then I'll commit. I have no idea right now.”

What has college coaches drooling at the thought of signing Jenkins is his versatility. Originally listed in's database as an offensive lineman, Jenkins clarified that he is slimmed down to 285 pounds and that the Penn State staff is considering him on both sides of the ball.

“Actually, since then I dropped weight to 285 right now,” Jenkins said. “They've told me that I'm athletic enough to play on either side of the ball. Either as an athletic guard, as far as pulling wise; they talked to me about nose guard.”

Does Jenkins have a preference? You bet he does.

“Of course I like defense because you get to hit people,” Jenkins said emphatically. “But I understand that the coaches are going to put me where I'm needed.”

As for leaders?

“I'm wide open, but … Michigan State, Penn State, Maryland and North Carolina are popping out because of the conferences they play in and their early interest,” Jenkins said. “Penn state and Maryland as far as the relationships with the coaches stand out. They've been recruiting me since 9th grade going into 10th grade which shows a lot.”


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