Rutgers looking at JUCO defensive tackle

Rutgers doesn't dip into the junior college ranks often, but the Scarlet Knights are looking at a defensive tackle from the southeast who is showing them strong interest. The player plans on graduation in December and enrolling at a four-year school in January. He was also recruited by the Scarlet Knights out of high school.

It wasn't until after Johnathan Jenkins' senior season, when he was preparing to play in an all-star game, Rutgers began showing interest.

An offer didn't come his way, and he wound up at Mississippi Gulf Coast junior college, but the Scarlet Knights have not forgotten about him.

Jenkins, a 6-foot-4, 350-pound defensive tackle, continues to be recruited by Rutgers, with assistant coach Kyle Flood staying in contact.

"I heard from coach Flood,'' Jenkins said. "They seem real interested in me, to be honest with you.''

Jenkins prepped at Maloney High of Meriden (Conn.). He will spend his second season at the Perkinston, Miss., school, and plans to graduate in December so he can enroll at a four-year school in January 2011.

"I was supposed to play in the Governors Cup, the New Jersey vs. Connecticut game, and a few people from Rutgers (heard) about me,'' Jenkins said. "The next thing you know, they brought me down there and went to see a practice.

"They didn't offer me, but they talked about me going to a prep school. I wound up in Mississippi when someone sent my tape to the coaching staff.''

He said is also being recruited by Texas Tech.

"I don't know too much about them right now because I didn't do my recruiting homework,'' Jenkins said. "All I know is they lost seven defensive lineman.''

Jenkins will have three years to play two one he moves to a four-year school, so he will be focusing on depth charts and recruiting classes.

"I'm looking for a good program, a school that I like, one that my mom likes,'' he said, "and a program that will benefit me in the long term if I do get hurt, and be able to continue my schooling. I want a family-loving program because I'm a big family man.''

He added his football ability has transformed since his move from Meriden to Mississippi, mostly because he can focus on playing defensive tackle.

"They've turned me into a whole different player in terms of being a lot meaner, more aggressive,'' Jenkins said. "I understand the game a lot more now because in high school I played so many positions, I didn't understand anything. I didn't understand anything about football. They told me to do something, and I did it. That was the kind of player I was.''


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