This past weekend, caught up with Parkersburg offensive tackle Josh Jenkins.

There is no disputing the fact that much has changed in the past 12 months for Parkersburg (W.Va.) offensive lineman Josh Jenkins. While he was still highly thought of at this time last year, he had yet to become one of the nation's most coveted prospects. Now, with roughly nine months left before National Signing Day, Jenkins is at the top of everyone's list.

Many have Jenkins listed as the best offensive line prospect in the country, and those that don't have the big man somewhere close to the top. Such a lofty status has led to several changes -- both positive and negative -- in the life of the young man.

"It's changed a lot," Jenkins said this weekend in an exclusive interview with "People think you're a hero, you know? I don't know what for, but that's how it feels.

"It's hard to go anywhere without people coming up to you and asking autographs or following you or stuff. That's not a problem for me, though, because that's how fans are. They support me."

Not all of the change has been positive, though. Although success brings recognition, it also tends to breed jealousy in the minds and actions of others.

"Everyone wants to try to be your friend, but at the same time there are people out there who are jealous and try to bring you down," explained the well-spoken big man.

"I'm definitely not a troublemaker. Some people will just talk behind your back, and try to make trouble. Still, you always have your core group of friends that will never leave you. Mostly everyone is pretty cool about it."

For his part, Jenkins has kept his head on straight through the entire process. His soft-spoken and level-headed approach to life off the field stands in stark contrast to the physically dominating prowess he displays between the hashes.

Another change that has taken place in the past few months which effects Jenkins is a changing of the guard on the Mountaineer offensive line. Veteran O-Line coach Rick Trickett has moved on to Florida State, with former Seminole offensive lineman Greg Frey ironically replacing the fiery Trickett at West Virginia. Jenkins, who gave a verbal committment to the Mountaineers back in September, has hit things off quite well with Frey.

"Coach Frey is probably one of the coolest guys I've ever met, really," noted the reigning Hunt Award winner. "He wants to play me in PlayStation, so we'll have do that sometime. We're more like friends than a coach and player really. We're getting to know each other. They consider me their number one recruit."

Developing a strong bond with Frey has likely quelled any fears that Josh may have had following the departure of Trickett, a man who many say is the best offensive line coach in college football.

"After some coaches left, it kind of made me waver a little bit," Jenkins admitted. "Getting to know (Frey) though, I just really like him a lot and I'm looking forward to getting to know him even better."

The proud Parkersburg native will have a chance to do just that on at least two occasions this summer.

"I'm going to be up at West Virginia at least two times that I know of," he said. "I'll be up there for the three-day camp, and also the one day senior camp. It will just be nice to go up there and hang out with some people."

Over the summer months, there will no doubt be more changes in the life of Josh Jenkins. And by the time the high school football season begins, he could very well have wrapped up his recruitment.

"I would love to be able at the end of the summer to just be able to tell everyone where I'll be and what I'll be doing for sure, just so they know," he said. "At the same time, I want to make sure that I make the right decision, no matter how long it takes.

"It's an honor to be recognized like this. I'm just trying to make the best of it."

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