January 12, 2012

Coach's Corner: Jordan Jenkins

HAMILTON - Harris County Head Coach Tommy Parks has had a front row seat to the show that outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins has put on for the last few years.

Jenkins shocked many with his commitment to the home state Georgia Bulldogs on Monday, and Parks knows exactly what the Bulldogs are getting.

"Jordan is unique in the fact that he is a hard-working kid and didn't let all the fame and attention go to his head," said Parks. "He was the same Jordan Jenkins as a freshman that he is right now. The kid works hard, comes to practice every day, and sets the bar on how work hard in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the football field. Whether he is taking a test and getting and "A" or running sprints and finishing first, that is probably his greatest commodity as a player. He is self motivated."

Jenkins has garnered all sorts of praise for his physical tools and huge upside at the next level, but Parks believes he has other attributes that make him even more special on the football field.

"I think he is unique in the fact that he can play so many different positions," said Parks. "He can play inside in a four-point stance, come off the edge in a three-point stance, or he can stand up and play in a two-point stance. So obviously, for me, he is like a utility infielder in baseball. He can do anything. You can put weight on him and put him down or stand him up and let him be the athlete he actually is. You can't really limit what he can do."

Often times, a player who is extremely talented may lack the competitive spirit of a lesser talented player and the player that is more limited physically, is the one that shines.

According to Parks, Jenkins is the best of both worlds.

"He wants to be the best at whatever he is doing. Whether it is a football game, power cleans, or checkers, he wants to win, he said." His greatest attribute is that he is so competitive. There have been many times where I have had to back him off at a combine or his dad has had to back him off at a combine. I've had to back him off at practice. That is a good thing. The worst day of practice for him was when we are in shorts and helmets because he is out there killing everybody. He'll be able to compete for a job early on because of his competitive nature."

One of the main stories in Jenkins' recruitment was the involvement of his family, and his Head Coach knows that family is an every day resource for the Peach State star.

"He has been able to experience the support from both sides. He has the support on the academic side and not just the football side," said Parks. "His grandfathers were both engineers and his family is education minded. They understand the importance of education. He'll be a football player for, if he is lucky, for eight to ten years, and he'll be an engineer for the rest of his life. That is the approach that his family took.

Now that Jenkins has made his choice, Parks has seen enough of his four star player to know what to expect at the next level.

"We've had five kids leave here and play at the next level, and they have always competed," he said. "There is no doubt in my mind that he is as competitive as any player I have ever coached, and he has the physical attributes to go with it. I think he is going to play early and play often, and staying healthy and getting stronger are going to help. He'll get nailed down in one spot, and learn a position. He's an unselfish player and will play where the coach wants him to play. Once a gets in a system and understands the scheme, the sky is the limit."

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