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Thread: Jenkins leads WVUs O-line into 2010

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    Default Jenkins leads WVUs O-line into 2010

    Jenkins leads WVU’s O-line into 2010
    Mickey Furfari / Fan Fare
    POSTED: July 21, 2010

    MORGANTOWN - Josh Jenkins, the state's top recruit and prep All-America tackle, is a leader on West Virginia University's improved offensive line this year. "I played in only five games, before injuring a knee, as a true freshman in 2008," the 6-foot-3, 300-pound junior from Parkersburg recalled. "But I'm 100 percent healthy now."
    Jenkins started at left guard in all 13 games last fall. He has added about 20 pounds but moves his feet well. He said, "Actually, I've gained a lot of speed since last season. It makes me feel more useful and more comfortable."

    He saw action in 858 plays as the Mountaineers posted a second straight 9-4 record, including a season-high 80 plays in the loss at Auburn. He participated in 60 or more plays in 10 contests. Jenkins was credited with 10 takedown blocks and 46 knockdowns. He helped WVU produce a 1,000-yard rusher and a 2,000-yard passer. The team was No. 1 the Big East in rushing yards per game and 24th nationally.

    In addition to Jenkins, returning starters are left tackle Don Barclay, center Joe Madsen and right guard Eric Jobe. They will be the keys to how successful the O-line is this fall. Selvish Capers, the other starter in 2009, graduated. He and those four veterans accounted for more than 90 percent of the blocking efforts up front. Sophomore Jeff Braun emerged from spring practice as the likely starter at the other tackle position.

    Like others, Jenkins said summer conditioning drills and workouts have been the toughest the Mountaineers have had since he's been here. While they supposedly are not mandatory, everyone knows they're necessary to be ready for the opening of fall camp on Aug 7. "Things are coming along pretty well," Jenkins said. "This summer is a ton of surprises. It's really tough. I've been picking up something new almost every day. "I missed a lot of work when I was a freshman and got hurt. But I've strengthened my legs. So I'm back in other aspects, too."

    Jenkins thinks the offensive line will be stronger this year. There's more experience and more material (depth). He anticipates that as many as seven or eight will see action on the O-line. "This year we know more about each other and are picking up more things," he said. "Our communication should be better and we know more about what's expected of us." Jenkins noted that each lineman's steps must be in unison if plays are to work. If one blocker is out of sync, that could be costly.

    "We have so many calls to make on each play," he continued. "I think the offensive line is very important to the skill players, just as the defensive line is to the defense. "Yes, I think we're just as vital to the team as pitching is to baseball." The linemen don't mind being unsung heroes. He reasoned, "Part of being an offensive lineman is that you don't get much, if any, credit."

    Jenkins believes he's in the best condition of his football-playing career. Because everyone is working harder, he believes WVU could have an even better record than the 9-4 mark of each of the past two seasons. "We're going to keep grinding it out," Jenkins said. "That's how we can become a better team."

    He was given the Gridiron Gladiator Award by WVU coaches for his play in 2009. Jenkins and Mountaineer sophomore Matt Lindamood also were teammates at Parkersburg High School. Jenkins was named to the All-Big East third team by Phil Steele last year. He was the first player from the Mountain State to perform in the U.S. Army All-America Bowl at San Antonio, Texas, as a senior.

    As an All-America prep standout, Jenkins graded out at 98 percent for his last year with the Big Reds. He had 156 pancake blocks and 113 tackles in playing both offense and defense there. Jenkins made numerous All-America prep teams.
    Last edited by Skeeter; Jul-25-2010 at 01:43 PM.

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