Versatile Jenkins is one to watch in-state

Lake Marion (Holly Hill, SC) is home to one of the most explosive and versatile athletes in the Palmetto State's Class of 2012. Junior Chris Jenkins plays quarterback, wide receiver, and DB for the Gators, and both of the major in-state programs have taken notice of his talents on the gridiron. Read inside as Jenkins discusses his recruitment, including his interest in both USC and Clemson.

Chris Jenkins, a 5-10, 170 pound do-it-all speedster for Lake Marion, has not yet picked up any offers in the recruiting process, but he is hearing quite a bit from both South Carolina and Clemson. Jenkins has already visited Clemson for their junior day, and he plans to visit USC for the first time this week.

"Everything's going good in recruiting. I'm scheduled to go to Carolina this Thursday," Jenkins said. "I went to Clemson two Saturdays ago for their junior day. It was nice up there."

While Jenkins has not yet visited South Carolina, he has taken notice of the progress that the Gamecocks are making as a football program, and he is looking forward to learning more about them.

"I feel as though they did a lot of improvement with the recruiting class this year. They did a good job of getting some of the top players. I think South Carolina is about to make some things happen," he said. "I'm looking forward to meeting the coaches on my visit, and if I can I'd like to talk with a few of the players. I want to ask them about the program and how things run. Do they take care of their athletes good and just the basics."

The versatile prospect also shared his thoughts on the Tigers after enjoying his trip to the upstate a couple of weeks ago.

"What really stood out to me was their academics and how they help their athletes. They have a lot of things to help their athletes with their grades. Their main goal is to get their athletes a degree. That really stood out to me to know that they invest so much in helping their athletes get a degree," he said. "I really felt like I created a bond with Coach Cheese (Charlie Harbison), he's like a father figure on campus. He wants you to keep your head straight."

Jenkins is very early in his recruitment, and he did not name a clear favorite between the two in-state schools. He did, however, mention one school that he would like to hear from in the future.

"I'm interested in East Carolina. I really like East Carolina for some reason."

Unsure of when he will receive his first offer, Jenkins said that he plans to attend a few camps this summer where he will have the opportunity to showcase his talents for college coaches. Most believe that Jenkins projects best as a wide receiver or cornerback on the next level, and Jenkins believes that he can be successful on either side of the ball.

"I would say on the offensive side, with the ball in my hands I make big, explosive plays. If I'm on defense, I'm just a go-getter. I'll find a way to get the ball in my hands on defense."

With offers expected to eventually come in as schools become more familiar with him as a prospect, Jenkins discussed what factors he will be looking for in a school, along with a potential timeframe for a decision.

"I'll look at how they treat their athletes, the percentage of their graduation rates for their athletes, and then some basic things. Is there a coach out there that'll be a father figure? Will he help you keep your head on straight and stuff," he noted. "I think I will keep my decision a secret until National Signing Day."

Lastly, the dynamic in-state prospect, who has helped turn the previously poor Gators' football program around with his outstanding play and leadership, shared his goals for his upcoming senior season.

"Right now, our team goal is we not only want to make the playoffs, we want to go far into the playoffs. We're looking forward to winning the region, going into the playoffs, and making some noise."

Jenkins rushed for 1,250 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, while also passing for 989 yards and 12 scores. On defense, he recorded 23 tackles, six pass break-ups, and a sack. He has been named an All-Region selection in each of the past two seasons.

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