4-star Receiver Talks USC Visit
It's not too difficult to discover why Terry Parker (Jacksonville, FL) 4-star wide receiver A.J. Jenkins is coveted as one of the top receiver prospects in the Sunshine State this year - He has speed to burn. The 6'2", 172 pound Jenkins was timed running a 4.37 second forty yard dash at Scout.com's Jacksonville combine, and that was considered a slow day for him.
With offers on the table from Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Carolina, LSU, Georgia Tech, Illinois and multiple others, Jenkins will have his pick of where to play college ball. While he is admittedly taking things slow on the recruiting front right now, Jenkins recently took unofficial visits to South Carolina and Florida to get a feel for what the two SEC-East rivals have to offer, and he shared his thoughts on his time in both Columbia and Gainesville.
"So far, I've taken visits to South Carolina and Florida," said Jenkins. "I went to South Carolina last weekend on an unofficial. Actually, it was really good. Me and Steve Spurrier had a good time out there. We just walked around the campus and looked at the facilities. We had a good time. They told me that they want some big time receivers to come to South Carolina as far as speed.-wise. That's why I'm probably on top of their board, because I'm that kind of receiver."
"For Florida, I really had a good time talking to Coach (Billy) Gonzalez, their receivers coach from Florida. We‘ve been talking about personal things, not just football. He‘s trying to get to know me as a person. That was a good thing. As far as the visit went, they had great facilities. They have a great campus and that was perfect in my book."
Jenkins, who finished his junior season with 32 catches for 500 yards and eight touchdowns, had glowing remarks about the relationship that he has developed with Steve Spurrier Jr, his Gamecock recruiter and potential position coach at USC.
"Steve Spurrier Jr. is recruiting me for South Carolina. He's a very funny man. I met up with him at the visit, and he's very open and very up front. He told me that he wants me, he loves me, he needs me to be a part of his program. He didn't beat around the bush about that. He's a good coach also. I definitely like him."
With only two visits in the books, Jenkins isn't ready to name any favorites just yet.
"I can't really answer that, because I haven't really taken all my visits yet. I'm just taking things slow."
According to Jenkins, he also plans to visit Georgia Tech, Miami, LSU and Illinois later this summer, and he discussed what factors he will be looking for at the different schools.
"I want to get to know the coaches on a personal level and get to know their background. Also, I want to know if I can play early. That's a big factor too. I just want to have a good time and enjoy it."
Jenkins had previously wanted to make an early decision, but with all of the quality programs that are pursuing him now, he plans to take his official visits in the fall before choosing his college destination.
"I did want to commit before the fall starts, but I want to take my official visits first. Then after that, I'll commit. I want to check out Georgia Tech, Miami, LSU, South Carolina and probably Florida again, but I may try to get a couple more colleges in there if I can."
With a good combination of size, speed and football savvy, Jenkins said that one word best describes him when he's on the gridiron.
"Everybody says they have one word for me - smooth. I guess I can describe myself as that word."
Jenkins was named Co-MVP of the Scout.com Jacksonville combine after testing off the charts and dominating in the 1-on-1 drills. He claims a 3.1 GPA and is scheduled to take the SAT in August.
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