Jordan Jenkins not fazed by process
The UA All-American has over 30 offers, but it hasn't changed him one bit
HAMILTON, Ga. -- How good are the defensive line prospects in Georgia? Over three dozen defensive tackles and ends already have offers, including Hamilton (Ga.) Harris County DE Jordan Jenkins, an Under Armour All-American who already over over 30 offers.
"Right now I am open," Jenkins said. "Teams like Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Florida are all right there. I want to make sure I get a good look at them all before I make a decision."
This summer, Jenkins plans on visiting Notre Dame and Michigan. He also intends to camp at Tennessee in early June and Alabama, Auburn and Georgia Tech in July.
"I will take all my official visits after the season," Jenkins said. "I hope to make my decision in January or early February."
While the recruiting process can be crazy and distracting to some, it hasn't really fazed Jenkins one bit.
"Jordan is getting new offers every day," Harris County coach Tommy Parks said. "Everyone around here has offered and then you have teams like USC and Notre Dame and everyone in between. He carries a 3.7 GPA and has scored a 20 ACT. But it hasn't gotten to his head. Jordan is a great kid and a great ambassador for our program."
Nicknamed "The freak" as a freshman, Jenkins continues to surprise his coach, even off the field.
"The other day he power cleaned 385 pounds and almost got 400," Parks said. "Most college kids can't do that after five years in college. He is a freak."
Jenkins isn't the only prospect at Harris County. They have an up and comer in linebacker Jaggar Buggs.
"The kid has grown right before our eyes," Parks said. "Last season he played at 200 pounds. Now he's 6-2 and 230 pounds and is a good looking middle linebacker. I mean he came out of now where. He's so aggressive, runs well and loves contact. Georgia State has offered him. Kentucky is coming to see him and teams like South Carolina and Mississippi State really like him. He's still growing and has a lot of upside."
Harris County is also home to two 2013 recruits in defensive tackle Jay Ellison (6-2, 285 pounds) and running back/defensive back DaQuan Roberts (6-0, 180 pounds).
"Ellison is a big kid that can move," Parks said. "He's explosive and squats 600 pounds. Roberts plays everywhere for us -- cornerback, safety, running back, punt and kick return. He's our best athlete and he runs 4.4. They are two very good players that you will be hearing a lot about."
Passion for the game
It's never too early to look ahead and Georgia has a collection of elite 2013 players. By now, most everyone knows Grayson defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who could very well be the top recruit in the state next season. But keep an eye on middle linebacker Reuben Foster (LaGrange, Ga./Troup County), who could challenge Nkemdiche for that title.
"Reuben is a tremendous worker who just loves to play the game of football," Troup County coach Clarence Flowers said. "When I say that I mean that. He practices hard. He plays the game hard. The game of football means so much to him.
"Reuben is so intense out there. He's confident. He wants to hit everything in sight. He's so big, so strong and he runs so well."
Foster, 6-1 and 228 pounds, is a two-year starter that recorded 112 tackles last season and 110 as a freshman. He now has verbal scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Florida, among others.
"When the plays begins I just want to hit somebody," Foster said. "I love the contact. Love it. There's nothing like it."
Foster said he grew up an Alabama fan, but is now a fan of the Southeastern Conference in general.
"I want to play in the SEC," Foster said. "But I also want to check out some west coast teams like USC. I also like Texas."
Foster said he hopes to camp this summer at Alabama and Oregon.
Troup County is also home to another 2013 defensive lineman Maurice Swain, a 6-4, 305-pounder who plays both defensive tackle and end.
"He can move for a big man," Flowers said. "Maurice is also a good athlete that doesn't stay blocked long. He has a chance to be special like Reuben."
Hoganville (Ga.) Callaway's Ricky Parks (Hoganville, Ga./Callaway) is among the nation's top tight ends and he's narrowed his list down to Georgia, Auburn and Alabama.
"All three are dead even," Parks said. "I have been to all three schools multiple times and I can't separate them. I have had a great time at all three places and I love all those coaches. I feel comfortable at Georgia, Auburn and Alabama. I would love to commit before the summer ends but I almost need to extend the process to I can figure it out."
Parks father, Unricky, says one team has to emerge at some point.
"We are hoping to come up with a decision before the season," his father said. "That would put his mind at ease. But this is hard. We are going to see all three places again this summer. They are all even and we are looking for one team to have that edge."
Parks, 6-4 and 230 pounds, is one of the state's top overall athletes and a member of the ESPNU Watch List. Last season he took over at quarterback and will once again be the Callaway signal caller.
"First off, Ricky has great character," Callaway coach Pete Wiggins said. "He's humble and has a plan to be successful. He works hard each and every day in the classroom, the weight room and on the field. As a player, he's physical, has great size and can really run. He's also versatile and runs good routes. He catches everything and that's why we have called him 'Sticky' since he got here. He's a guy that can play H-back, flex out or line up next to the tackle. Ricky can block. He can do it all."
Parks has a younger brother, RickTez, who is a quarterback and a member of the class of 2014. Already 6-2 and 180 pounds, he looks to be the next in line for the Parks family.
"He's going to be a special talent," Wiggins said. "And he will be 6-3, 6-4 before it's all said and done. Tez can run and has a lot of great skills."
Callaway has several other prospects in the class of 2012, including linebacker Jeffery Cameron (5-10/205), defensive end/tight end DeVonte Cameron (6-4/215), linebacker Albert Trammell (6-1/205) and athlete John O'Neal (5-7/140).
"Jeffery Cameron is the most physical player I have ever coached," Wiggins said. "He was the defensive player of the year in this region. What does that tell you? Isaiah Crowell was the offensive player of the year. He will be a four-year starter for us. DeVonte grew a few inches since last season and looks the part. He's long and runs well. Trammell never came off the field for us and he's just a super football player as a fullback, linebacker and on special teams. John can fly. He's small but is a guy that can kill you in space."
Eagles flying high
McDonough (Ga.) Eagles Landing Christian Academy is home to a handful of prospects. Rising senior defensive end Justin Thomason leads the charge and been getting a lot of attention from college programs across the nation.
"Justin put on 20 pounds of muscle during the offseason and is really playing well right now," Jason Carrena said, the Eagles Landing Christian Academy quarterbacks and defensive backs coach said. "He has such a long wing span, is quick and is strong [315 power clean]. He now has scholarship offers from Boston College, UCF, Vanderbilt, Washington State, and Buffalo while teams like Illinois, Indian, UAB and others are on the verge of offering him soon."
And Thomason is enjoying the process.
"All the attention is exciting and I didn't see it coming," Thomason said. "But I am bigger and playing better. Right now my top three are Vandy, UCF and Boston College."
Running back/cornerback John Tatum has an offer from UAB, while quarterback Aaron Spratlin could end up somewhere in the Ivy League as Yale, Cornell, Columbia and others are all over him. There's also Sandy Creek transfer Joe Walker, who has been turning heads this spring playing defensive back.
As good as these 2012 prospects are, the headliners are a pair of 2013 prospects -- running back Keyante Green and offensive tackle/defensive lineman Isaac Rochell. Both already have over a dozen verbal scholarship offers.
Green, 5-8 and 190 pounds, is the more heralded of the two. Last season, despite missing most of the first three games with a shoulder injury, he still rushed for close to 1,300 yards. Georgia, Virginia Tech, South Carolina and Kentucky, among others, have offered him.
"Keyante has unbelievable vision and balance," Carrena said. "He's strong [295 power clean] and hard nosed. This is a kid that has great hands and loves to block."
Rochell, a 6-5 and 245 pound offensive tackle or defensive lineman, has unlimited potential.
"Isaac has no negative," Carrena said. "None. "He has speed and once he gets his hands on you it's over. He can be a really good defensive lineman. He can be a great offensive tackle. He has a tremendous long term upside."
Eagles Landing Christian High School also has a rising sophomore to watch for in offensive tackle Andrew Williams. He's 6-4 and 230 pounds and is the younger brother of Georgia Tech's Amp Williams.
Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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