Jenkins in the running

There's been a lot of attention focused on rookie linebackers Derrick Pope and Tony Bua this summer, and everyone also has been watching to see the development of 2003 top pick Eddie Moore.<P>With all that going on, it has been very easy to forget about Corey Jenkins.

Actually, just about the only time his name has been mentioned this summer was after his father was shot in the leg. But Jenkins has had a solid preseason as he continues to learn the nuances of playing linebacker.

Remember, this was a guy who went from being a baseball star to playing quarterback at South Carolina before switching to safety for his final two collegiate games -- and then shocked many by making the Dolphins' active roster last season.

"I am very, very proud of what I've done because I don't think there's anybody in history that has played quarterback in college and transferred the last two games and played safety and get drafted as a linebacker," Jenkins said. "Even though that's not in itself stuff that they may keep in the records books or the history books, but to me and even to these guys in here, the first thing they say is, man, that is amazing.

"My whole goal is I want to be one of those guys that people look at and say, that's an amazing athlete right there. A lot of people say it right now, but I'm not satisfied. I'm not satisfied with it at all. I've still got a lot to accomplish individually."

Jenkins made the team last year because his athletic ability made him a good special teams player, and he might be involved in a battle for a roster spot with Bua. The Dolphins usually keep six linebackers, and Moore and Pope look like solid bets to make it as two of the three backups behind starters Zach Thomas, Junior Seau and Morlon Greenwood.

Heading into the third preseason game, Jenkins was listed ahead of Bua on the depth chart, but he's certainly not taking anything for granted. On the other hand, he won't be nearly as surprised if he makes the team as he was last year.

"Everything was new to me, but I felt like I made the transition pretty well and when I went out and ran around and played the game during the preseason last year I think they saw it in me that this kid really has a lot of talent," Jenkins said. "I felt like I played fairly well, well enough to make the team. So hopefully I'm doing the same thing this year and getting better at what I needed to work on from last year and hopefully make the team again this year."

Jenkins has been under the radar so much this summer, he said nobody had talked to him about football until after the second preseason game. But the media did talk to him after his father was shot.

"With my dad being shot, not knowing the extent of the injury or the wound and what had really happened, that was very, very hard," said Jenkins, who pointed out his father was in rehab and on the road to recovery. "Something else happened at home that I don't really want to mention and it was something that was just as bad as my dad getting shot, but I didn't want to bring it up for the simple fact I didn't want people to feel like he has all this stuff going on at home, he's not focused on football.

"I love my family dearly and it was hard coming when things happened with my dad, it was hard coming in when other things happened at home, but I just said, Lord, give me strength, give me power to deal with both things at one time and be able to do the job well. And so far, so good."


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