Jenkins waiting for Wisconsin news

Racine Park wide receiver could catch Badger scholarship offer next week.

Last week Diondre Jenkins was walking through the halls of Racine Park High School with his recruiter from the Northern Illinois football program. They were on their way to meet up with Jenkins' coach at Park, Dennis Thompson. When they reached Thompson's office, however, a surprise visitor was in the room: Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst

"It was kind of a funny situation," Jenkins said in a telephone interview Wednesday night.

Jenkins, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound wide receiver on Park's Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 1 state championship team last fall, verbally committed to Northern Illinois in October.

The Badgers, though, continued to keep in touch, as they have since last spring, when they visited Park to assess Jenkins during the May evaluation period. During his visit to Park last week, Chryst informed Jenkins that by next week he will know whether or not the Badgers can tender Jenkins a scholarship offer.

"He told me by early next week they should let me know if they are going to offer me or not," Jenkins said. "I'm waiting on that to see what comes out of that, cause that will probably be my deciding factor on which school I will go to."

Simply put: If Wisconsin offers, Jenkins will in all likelihood switch his commitment to the Badgers.

Jenkins certainly did not expect to see Chryst while he was receiving a visit from NIU, but he was not surprised to hear that Wisconsin still harbors some interest in him.

"They had talked about offering me for a while," Jenkins said.

Now, however, the clock is ticking with the Feb. 1 national signing day fast approaching.

"Northern Illinois has been on me for a while but I want to play in the Big Ten," Jenkins said. "That's been a big thing for me from the get-go. It's been both exciting because I still might have a chance to play with the Badgers, but also frustrating because it's cutting it kind of close. Signing day is coming up."

Wisconsin has always been high on Jenkins radar.

"They've probably been No. 1," Jenkins said. "Before I really even got into football I wanted to go to Wisconsin, just period."

Northern Illinois obviously knows that Wisconsin is still recruiting Jenkins, but that has not been a topic of conversation between Jenkins and the Huskies.

"We haven't really discussed it that much, or at all really," Jenkins said.

As a senior, Jenkins caught 28 passes for 526 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was an Associated Press and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first-team all-state choice.

Jenkins also plays basketball and runs track at Park. A forward/center on the hardcourt, Jenkins is averaging 11.6 points per game, according to the Journal Sentinel.

Last spring Jenkins won a state championship in the 400 meters, covering the distance in 49.36 seconds. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.


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