Outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins is just about as physically impressive as any rising junior that you'll hear about. At 6-foot-0 and 203 pounds, Jenkins runs the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds and still has plenty of room to grow. Two ACC schools have already extended verbal offers to Jenkins, but the Wheaton (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel prospect grew up as a fan of another program.
As a sophomore at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Jenkins rushed for 700 yards and 12 touchdowns while recording about 60 tackles. He used his speed to move sideline to sideline with ease, beating opposing linebackers outside the tackles and dragging down running backs from behind.
He was so impressive the coaches at Maryland and Virginia have already verbally offered scholarships, and that should translate into two written offers once he is allowed to receive them, according to NCAA guidelines. There is, however, another national power that is at the top of Jenkins' list.
"Yes, Maryland and Virginia have verbally offered," Jenkins said. "I'd say those two, along with Penn State, Rutgers and Ohio State are showing the most interest right now. This summer I've just been working out with my team and running track, so I haven't had a chance to take many visits.
"Personally, I've always like Florida. I'm just really high on them. Right up there near them I'd put UVa. I've been up there a lot because both of my stepsisters go to school down there."
Jenkins said most schools are recruiting him as a linebacker but a couple have left open the possibility of moving him to fullback. Jenkins' speed is his greatest asset, but his instincts are impressive as well. He can get into the opponent's backfield but may be at his best when he's matched up against tight ends or running backs in coverage.
What is Jenkins looking for in a school?
"A team where I can help them out early and get playing time," Jenkins responded. "I'll look at academics, too. I'm thinking that I want to major in something like kinesiology."
Jenkins is an excellent student and carries a 4.0 GPA.