Jordan Wilkins taking in games

Jordan Wilkins put together a strong junior season at St. Benedict at Auburndale High School in Memphis and will likely enter 2012 as one of the top seniors in the state of Tennessee. Wilkins rushed for 1,520 yards and 18 touchdowns during the regular season to help the Eagles go 6-3 in Division II-AA football. A trip to see Vanderbilt caught his attention.

"We just finished the season," said Jordan Wilkins. "We lost in the first round to Father Ryan out of Nashville. I had two touchdowns called back. The first was on a 60-yard run and the other one was on a punt return for 83 yards. We fought hard, but we're done for the year."

It's hard to pick a best game for Wilkins on the season. The 6-foot-1, 198-pound running back had 297 yards and three touchdowns against Briarcrest Christian. He followed that up with a 320 yard four touchdown performance against Jackson Central-Merry. Both were excellent, but many may argue it was the Carver game when he scored four different ways (80-yard kickoff return, 60-yard punt return, 53-yard pass reception, 12-yard run) in the first quarter.

"I became a better blocker this year in helping to protect the quarterback," said Wilkins. "I was more explosive by hitting my holes hard, making good cuts, and reading the field. I came into the season a lot stronger and felt my stamina was still there late in games."

The season didn't go unnoticed by college coaches. Wilkins currently holds offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Memphis, Cincinnati, Middle Tennessee, and Arkansas State. Last weekend he took in the big game in Tuscaloosa between LSU and Alabama.

"It was an unreal, crazy atmosphere," Wilkins said. "The campus was nice. I'm being recruited there by Coach (Mike) Groh. He's the type of coach I'd like to play for. It was a good visit."

This fall Wilikins has spent a lot of time on SEC campuses. He attended the Auburn-Arkansas game in Fayetteville, the Ole Miss-BYU game in Oxford, and the Vanderbilt-UGA game in Nashville.

"You know, I was hyped at the Vanderbilt game," said Wilkins. "I was there for a game last year with the old coaching staff. With the new coach, I saw a lot of changes have been made. You can tell how excited and pumped he is to be there. The team has really improved so much over a short period of time. I came away from the visit very impressed. I'm being recruited to Vanderbilt by Herb Hand."

The elite prospect's next stop on his SEC tour will be in Starkville for this year's edition of the Egg Bowl. While a decision may not come for Wilkins for months he's always keeping an eye out for what he wants to see in college program.

"Finding a coach who I would want to play for is one thing," said Wilkins in selecting a college. "I would like to come into a stable coaching situation with the likelihood the head coach won't be leaving while I'm there. I don't want to play too far from home. Early playing time is important, but I don't need to hear I can start right away. I just want the chance to get in games and earn the right to start."

A good student at St. Benedict at Auburndale, a private Roman Catholic preparatory school, with a reported 3.3 GPA. He plans on playing basketball during the winter months. The Eagles will practice in the spring for two weeks and have two scrimmages.

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