December 19, 2011

Warming to the Dawgs?

Big time programs will often refuse to throw in the towel when it comes to elite, in state talent, and Harris County defensive end/outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins is a perfect example.

According to Jordans' father, R.J. Jenkins, Georgia got off to a slow start with their family, and had trouble making up ground.

Jenkins is one of the top players in the Peach State for 2012, and analysts across the country agree that he has the ability to come in and make an early impact. Due to his immense talent and character, it is no wonder Georgia fans were up in arms about his lack of interest in the Georgia program.

Head Coach Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham decided to keep fighting for the four star prospect, and after persuading him to take an official visit in November, it appears as if things have gone from cold to much, much warmer.

"Georgia has made a big push here lately," said R.J. Jenkins. "The official visit to Auburn was big for us and we were very impressed. Plus the in-home visits have been impressive as well. Georgia is coming on strong."

After starting the season with two straight losses, Georgia reeled off 10 straight wins to earn a birth in the SEC Championship game.

This on-field success had a great deal to do with the Jenkins' renewed interest in the Georgia program, but it was a Georgia coaches personality and ability to develop players that really captured the Jenkins family's attention.

"Coach Grantham is a guy that we trust and admire," said Jenkin's father. "He stands up for his players and is just an impressive man. His credentials speak for themselves when it comes to outside linebackers and defensive ends. He did a great job with (Justin) Houston last year and has done a great job with (Jarvis) Jones this year."

The Georgia defense finished at or near the top of the SEC in all major statistical categories in 2011 under Grantham, and it was his ability to coach up the entire defense that also impressed Jenkins' father.

"It is impressive just to see him game-planning and breaking things down on the opposing team. He is talking about specific situations and how they will defend them, then they just happen exactly like he says they will," said R.J. Jenkins. "He taught it in such a way that the players could understand, I could understand it, and Jordan could definitely understand it. We were all able to understand him, and we were really impressed."

The Jenkins family hasn't been shy about their appreciation of Coach Grantham, but they also hold Georgia's Head Coach in high regard.

"We have great respect for Coach Richt," he said. "He is a man that stands for something and we really like that. Our only problem was that we were a little worried about his future coming into the season and after the start. We know he is a great man who has been successful, and we enjoy him very much."

While the Georgia coaches are working hard to keep put themselves in a good position for Jenkins' services, a certain UGA commitment is also doing his part to persuade the Peach State star.

"Jordan and John (Theus) have a great deal of respect for each other," he said. " They talk here and there and John talks to him about coming to Georgia, but they have had a good relationship for awhile. It goes all the way back to Dawg Night where they faced off and there was so much hype around that match up. It was intense."

It was a Twitter conversation between Theus, and another Georgia commitment, Keith Marshall, that also peaked the interest of the blue chip defender.

"Jordan saw that conversation on twitter between John (Theus) and Keith Marshall where they were talking about him joining the 'Ring Team,'" he said. "He really got a kick out of that. He liked it."

According to R.J. Jenkins, all of the schools are still in play for his son's signature and he will decide for the school of his choice on January 5 at the Under Armour All American Bowl.

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