Big John Jenkins says he bought into UGA’s vision of ‘Dream Team’

Big John Jenkins became the last remaining piece of Georgia’s “Dream Team.” The junior college All-American nose guard chose the Bulldogs over Florida in a signing ceremony on Saturday at Maloney High school in Meriden, Conn.

John Jenkins and his mother Maryanne Baker sign his letter-of-intent Saturday to play football at the University of Georgia. (Photo by Fletcher Pake provided by DawgPost.com)

John Jenkins and his mother Maryanne Baker sign his letter-of-intent Saturday to play football at the University of Georgia. (Photo by Fletcher Pake provided by DawgPost.com)

“I’m a Dog,” Jenkins said after handing a Florida cap to a little boy standing nearby and placing a UGA cap on his head. “Georgia will be the school I attend.”

Jenkins (6-foot-4, 340-pounds) starred at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College the last two seasons. He said there were lots of reasons he chose Georgia over a slew of SEC offers, including the defensive scheme, immediate playing time and a close personal relationship with coach Mark Richt. But with the help of new friend and fellow recruit Ray Drew, he bought into the vision the Bulldogs’ were trying to sell with their Dream Team theme.

“Drew, I heard your calling, bud,” said Jenkins, acknowledging the message Drew delivered to him a week ago.

“The thing about the Dream Team, OK, everybody has the special thing they want to sell and everything like that,” Jenkins said in a telephone interview after his ceremony. “But what made me want to be a part of it was it was a bunch of really good players who work hard. I watched Ray Drew’s film. I watched Isaiah Crowell’s film. I did my homework. And not only are those guys great players, but they’re workers. Dream Team or not, I wanted to be a part of a bunch of guys who want to work to win.”

Jenkins was ranked the No. 6 junior college player in America, according to Rivals.com. He becomes the 26th and final member of Georgia’s 2011 recruiting class, which was already ranked No. 5 nationally by Rivals and No. 6 by Scout. Chad Simmons, South recruiting manager for Scout.com and FoxSports.com, said he expects UGA to rise to No. 4 on their list with Jenkins’ addition.

The Bulldogs are hopeful Jenkins can have the same kind of impact for them that fellow noseguards Nick Fairley had at Auburn and Terrance Cody at Alabama. Both players were also junior college transfers (Cody also attended Mississippi Gulf Coast) before they came in and helped lead SEC schools to BCS national championships.

Jenkins said he knows he’s going to be counted on, but that he doesn’t feel pressure about it.

“Like I told every coach that was interested in me, I’m the type of player that’s going to work,” he said. “That’s what got me here. I’m not saying I’m going to come in and dominate. But I’m going to work to become dominant. And when it’s time to open that Georgia Dome, I’m going to be ready.”

Jenkins eliminated Auburn and Miami from his list of finalists in the final week. He was recruited by almost every SEC team, including Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. The Gators came on late and very strong for Jenkins, who made his final official visit to Gainesville just last weekend. Jenkins was impressed with their recruitment of the Northeast and of Connecticut in particular. Florida has two signees in this class from Jenkins’ home state and a couple of others already on the roster.

But nobody has recruited Jenkins harder the last two months than Georgia, who identified the 6-foot-4, 340-pound athlete as the “missing link” to defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s new 3-4 defense. Grantham and defensive line Rodney Garner have vigorously pursued Jenkins, who at one time was committed to Oklahoma State. The Bulldogs were the only coaching staff to make two in-home visits with Jenkins in his family at home.

“Man, I just felt a belief in me,” Jenkins said. “I felt they really needed me. Everybody else said they needed me, too, but at Georgia it just felt right. It felt like home.”

Jenkins was best known as a basketball player and for being a 300-pound fullback when he left Meriden two years ago to come South and reset his football career. Academic issues prevented him from signing with a major college out of Maloney High School.

“To be honest, I never thought I’d be in this situation,” Jenkins said. “When I graduated from high school, I had a lot of doubters. I went to Mississippi to get away and to become a better person. To have the final choices of Georgia and Florida I can see now that I did a good job. It was a blessing to have the options I had.”

Jenkins planned to drop by to visit a few friends in Meriden on Saturday afternoon, then go out for a nice dinner to celebrate Saturday night. Sunday he’ll travel back to Mississippi and return to MGCCC. After completing his final semester of coursework there he plans to enroll at Georgia in June.

“Man, it feels so good to be part of the Dawg Nation,” Jenkins said. “That was the catch for me. Now I can finally put some Georgia pictures up on my Facebook page. Go Dogs.”

Here’s video of the main portion actual announcement courtesy of YouTube.com:

By Chip Towers, The College Recruiting Blog

697 comments Add your comment

RabidDawgFan

February 5th, 2011
12:55 pm

What does it mean when I post first? Who cares? Go Dawgs! We got Jenkins!

BURGER

February 5th, 2011
12:57 pm

BURGER

February 5th, 2011
12:57 pm

thanks for the link, watching live now

Chip Towers

February 5th, 2011
1:00 pm

You guys will be seeing this the same time I will.

For what it’s worth, I think he’s going to select Georgia. The only reason I think that is his coach up there wanted so bad for us to come up there. Sorry we couldn’t make it,

Chip Towers

February 5th, 2011
1:02 pm

started right on time. . . Impressive

Chip Towers

February 5th, 2011
1:03 pm

That’s Coach Gio, his closest confidant

Murphy

February 5th, 2011
1:05 pm

Chip,

This is the missing link for UGA

bgdawg

February 5th, 2011
1:05 pm

watching live as well.

Thanks Chip!

February 5th, 2011
1:06 pm

Thanks for all your diligent hard work Chip. You made following this crazy recruiting process a lot of fun and really seem to bring out the personalities of these kids which can be hard. Thanks!!

bgdawg

February 5th, 2011
1:06 pm

here we go come on big john jenkins!!!

southerndawgballer

February 5th, 2011
1:07 pm

Jenkins is massive!

ATLSportsNation

February 5th, 2011
1:07 pm

If you’re an Atlanta/Georgia Sports fan and want to talk with other fans, check out our NEW message board.

http://www.atlsportsnation.com/forum

We have team forums for the Falcons, Bulldogs, Hawks, Braves, Yellow Jackets, Thrashers, etc. Please register and post! Be apart of a huge site in the early days of existence. See ya there!

Newnan Dawg

February 5th, 2011
1:07 pm

Come Jenkins select the Dawgs!!!

valyboy32

February 5th, 2011
1:07 pm

we get him!!!!!!!!!

bgdawg

February 5th, 2011
1:08 pm

he’s talking about ray drew!!!

bgdawg

February 5th, 2011
1:08 pm

and the dream team

German Dawgs Fan

February 5th, 2011
1:09 pm

YES!!! DAWGS!!!

Murphy

February 5th, 2011
1:09 pm

Cant get the feed-please keep me posted-gotta have this guy!

BURGER

February 5th, 2011
1:09 pm

JENKINS CHOSE UGA

Rob

February 5th, 2011
1:09 pm

He’s a dawg!

joel

February 5th, 2011
1:09 pm

nice shirt and hat – go dawgs

JB

February 5th, 2011
1:09 pm

This is Big…He is big…… He could make the difference in 1 or 2 wins next year.

BigGAdawg

February 5th, 2011
1:10 pm

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Murphy

February 5th, 2011
1:10 pm

well has he picked?

elvisaintdead

February 5th, 2011
1:10 pm

CDawg

February 5th, 2011
1:10 pm

HE IS A DAWG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Army Dawg

February 5th, 2011
1:10 pm

He all Dawg, congrats to Richt and Company

urban

February 5th, 2011
1:10 pm

dang another dawg! Glad I got out when I did

dawggirl

February 5th, 2011
1:10 pm

Awesome, great news to wake up to!

DawginOH

February 5th, 2011
1:11 pm

Awesome!!! Welcome to UGA, John! GO DAWGS!!!!

German Dawgs Fan

February 5th, 2011
1:11 pm

“Ray, I heard your call!” Awesome stuff…

CMR

February 5th, 2011
1:11 pm

Yes….That was huge. In a 3-4 defense you need to have a monster work the middle. We got him.

JB

February 5th, 2011
1:11 pm

Ok. give Richt 11 and 12 to make this work… WOOF WOOF

The Watergirl

February 5th, 2011
1:12 pm

Dream Team is complete!!!

Hobnaul Boot

February 5th, 2011
1:12 pm

Oh yeah, Jenkins is a DAWG

Army Dawg

February 5th, 2011
1:12 pm

Is there any chance he stays more than a year? I hope so, but I think he is too good to last for 2!!!

AdMan

February 5th, 2011
1:12 pm

Jenkins is a Dawg……we just secured the middle of th defensive line for the next three years….its great to be a Georgia Bulldawg!

Worm

February 5th, 2011
1:12 pm

Welcome big guy!

dawggirl

February 5th, 2011
1:12 pm

They need to put the mike closer to him, pretty tough to hear.

Bulldog huff

February 5th, 2011
1:12 pm

come on jj !

JB

February 5th, 2011
1:13 pm

Haters are running like roach’s when the lights come on……. YES !!!!!!!!!

insider not Lowndews25

February 5th, 2011
1:13 pm

DREAM is a REALITY and now 2011 will be a DREAM Season. Go DAWGS!

Steve

February 5th, 2011
1:13 pm

So how is Tech’s recruiting class doing? HA HA

Pecan

February 5th, 2011
1:13 pm

The “Rock”

RRTDawgs

February 5th, 2011
1:13 pm

What we have needed for a long time great job Todd Grantham and Mike Bobo this best class we have ever had go dawgs .

Vandy Dawg

February 5th, 2011
1:13 pm

This is a big moment. I am sure he is ours. SEC Championship on the way. Just like Bama and AU. Chip you da man.

J Clay

February 5th, 2011
1:13 pm

How bout them Dawgs! IMO a bigger pick up than Crowell….Well done Ray Drew – team captain as a freshman? Might not be a bad idea….

Lance

February 5th, 2011
1:14 pm

in the very first video he is the tailback. HOLY COW he can move for a giant man.

the rest of the videos on this clip he is NG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTibvdL-VEQ

BURGER

February 5th, 2011
1:14 pm

I like what he said drew him to Mark Richt

SouthSide Dawg

February 5th, 2011
1:14 pm

Welcome Aboard, Jenkins! Go Dawgs!!!!!!