January 6, 2011

UGA visit went well for Jenkins

Making a good impression on mom is often half the battle for college coaches trying to woo big-time football recruits.

Gulf Coast Community College defensive tackle Johnathan Jenkins won't argue with that.

Jenkins has made no secret that whatever school earns his signature, it will have to be with the blessing of his mom.

Along with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, Mark Richt paid Jenkins a visit to his parent's home in Meriden, Connecticut, a trip which Jenkins said allowed his family to meet the Bulldog head coach for the first time.

Apparently, Richt has made the proper impression.

"My mom liked Coach (Richt). She ran up and gave the coaches a hug, which is something I have never seen her do," Jenkins said in a telephone interview Thursday night with UGASports. "That threw me for a shocker."

According to the nation's 6th-ranked junior college prospect, Richt and Grantham didn't just pop in to say hello.

"It was a great visit, they were there pretty much the whole day," Jenkins said. "We ate at a local breakfast bar, then went to my high school and then to see my mom."

Jenkins added that the trip also included a stop at the local Boy's Club where he and Richt played a couple games of pool.

"We had a little pool tournament. I beat him in the first tournament but he got me in the second," Jenkins laughed. "He didn't want me to tell anybody that I beat him."

Jenkins said Richt has already promised to take him bowling when the 6-foot-4, 340-pounder comes on an official visit with his family Jan. 21.

Although he's still verbally committed to Oklahoma State, Jenkins said he's giving the Bulldog serious consideration.

"(The coaches) are very precise," Jenkins said. "They know what they're talking about and they have a plan."

Jenkins said he will make his college choice official when he signs his letter of intent on Feb. 2, National Signing Day.

"I'm being real level-headed about everything," Jenkins said. "I've got a lot going on, don't get me wrong. But I'm real cool with everything that's going on."

Jenkins said he's already done his homework as far as the Bulldogs are concerned.

He knows all about the fact that Georgia is coming off a disappointing 6-7 campaign. He also doesn't believe Georgia is far from getting back on track.

"I've done my homework. If I ever did commit to Georgia, I know there's not much missing. They have playmakers; I've seen the players. There are just a few spots where they need an impact player," Jenkins said. "I'm not dissing Georgia at all, but there are some guys (at nose) where if you were to put them at an end spot, they'd be outstanding. They (the Bulldogs) just have a small, small, small little piece missing. If they can just take care of that, they can be a BCS contender, I think."

Granted, the Bulldogs have plenty of competition for the affable Jenkins.

Mississippi State and Florida were both in to visit the player on Tuesday, with Arkansas scheduled for Saturday. Oklahoma State, Miami and Auburn have been by as well.

"I'm just taking it all in," said Jenkins, who will return to school in Mississippi Sunday.

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