John Theus vs. Jordan Jenkins

Jordan Jenkins, John Theus

The instant classic between elite college football prospects John Theus (right) vs. Jordan Jenkins (left, yellow shorts) at Dawg Night. They are ranked the No. 1 overall prospects in Florida and Georgia by some. (Photo courtesy of UGASports.com's Radi Nabulsi)

Both are great prospects. Which do you predict will have a bigger impact in college?

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John Theus vs. Jordan Jenkins.

It sounded like a headliner on a fightcard you’d see for a UFC, MMA or boxing match. But this showdown was about football.

John Theus vs. Jordan Jenkins.

Before we move forward to the start of the high school football season later this week, we thought we’d take a look back at the best head-to-head matchup of football prospects at a summer college camp.

We voted for “Theus vs. Jenkins,” which featured Florida’s No. 1 vs. Georgia’s best. The location for the showdown was Athens, Ga., at UGA’s “Dawg Night” camp last month.

In one corner, you had Theus, the 5-star offensive tackle from Jacksonville, Fla. The 6-foot-6, 290-pounder is ranked as Florida’s No. 1 prospect by Rivals.com, and he decided to follow in his older brother’s footsteps (Nathan Theus signed with UGA last Feburary) by committing to the Bulldogs by the end of Dawg Night.

In the other corner, you had Jenkins, the star-studded defensive end from Harris County High School. The 6-4, 250-pounder is ranked as Georgia’s No. 1 prospect by  247sports.com, and he has Alabama, Florida and UGA as his top three, although Auburn is making a charge. “Auburn is in the mix a little bit,” Jenkins said. “Auburn and Georgia are fighting for that third spot. It’s about dead even between the two.”

Back to Theus vs. Jenkins: The first time they went head-to-head was at last year’s UGA camp. Recalled Theus, “I didn’t know who Jordan was, but once he got in front of me I knew he was a big-time recruit. I think the first time we went against each other last year, I kind of got the best of him. That’s when I started to go on the rise [in the recruiting rankings]. A lot of people — college scouts and recruiting reporters — had a lot to say about us going against each other. So I knew this year Jordan wanted to go at it again and get his best shot in.”

Jenkins had a different memory of last summer’s first meeting. “I drove him back about 5 yards and then we had a stalemate. John and I talk about that one, even to this day.”

5-star OL John Theus will play football with his older brother at UGA (Special)

5-star OL John Theus will play football with his older brother at UGA (Special)

That takes us to this summer, when circumstances had changed radically for both elite prospects. Both are among the most-heavily recruited seniors in the nation, and didn’t have too much to gain by attending any college camps. They already had all the big offers long before the summer. Nevertheless, they both decided to square off again in one of the most highly-anticipated matchups between blue-chip prospects this summer.

Near the end of Dawg Night, the two players lined up against each other for “Theus vs. Jenkins.” It was a 1-on-1 drill with the object being for the defensive end (Jenkins) to rush past the offensive lineman (Theus) to touch the QB (which was a big padded bag). The goal for the offensive lineman is to deny it. Theus and Jenkins went at it twice. We’ll let them take you through it:

Said Theus: “The first time, he tried to speed rush me off the edge, and I kind of expected it. I was ready for it. I stood my own against him, I got him. He was pretty pumped after that, and we went right at it again for a second time. He came off the edge again, and his speed just got me. He won one, and I won one. The kid is a great athlete; everybody knows that. He’s awfully quick off the edge. I held my own against him, so I was kind of happy about that.”

Said Jenkins, “On the first one, I went outside and then when I went to rip under him, I got stuck under his elbow or something. Then I went to spin move and he got me stuck right there. On the second one, I just went by him on the end. I guess it ended in a tie.”

It got a little heated between the two, but it was all in the spirit of competition. In  fact, Theus tried to convince Jenkins to join him into pledging to UGA that same night. Said Jenkins, “John said ‘I just committed and you’ve got to come be a Dawg with me, bro.’ We walked around and talked a little bit.”

Said Theus, “What happens on the field, stays on the field. Afterwards, I went to up to Jordan, because he is a great player and a great athlete, and told him that he would be a great addition to the Bulldog nation. I know with him and me being on the same team, we could make each other better in our college career. Hopefully something like that could happen because I have a lot of respect for Jordan and his game.”

Alabama and Auburn are the frontunners for Jenkins, with UGA and Auburn battling it out for third. Jenkins on UGA: “I like [defensive coordinator Todd Grantham] and I enjoy working in his defense. Another thing would be playing with Ray Drew because he’s such a great guy.” Jenkins on Auburn: “That’s another place where I have good relationships with the coaches and players. I’ve known Gabe Wright for a while, and Jeffrey Whitaker is a really, really funny guy and always making me laugh. Auburn also offered my teammate [2013 Harris County DL Jay Ellison], and that’s a big plus.”

  • Central Gwinnett LB Trey Johnson committed to Auburn over Florida, FSU, Clemson, Tennessee and South Carolina (click on story link)
  • Nation’s No. 1 RB will make official visit to UGA (click on story link)
  • WE’VE MOVED!!! Visit the AJC’s NEW Recruiting page by clicking here or going to ajc.com/sports/recruiting

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    Harris County DE Jordan Jenkins has Alabama, Florida, and UGA as his leaders, with Auburn charging hard. (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

    Harris County DE Jordan Jenkins has Alabama, Florida, and UGA as his leaders, with Auburn charging hard. (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

    – By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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    Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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    99 comments Add your comment

    Lowcountry Bulldawg

    August 16th, 2011
    9:40 am

    Would love to see some video on that battle for sure!

    Anteater

    August 16th, 2011
    9:40 am

    Come on along JJ ! DAWGS need you !

    Iowa Corn fed Dawg

    August 16th, 2011
    9:41 am

    We desperately need some corn fed hawg molies up front. No more show boating defensive players. Gotta get UGA to Run Rlock to survive in the SEC.

    Swami Sez

    August 16th, 2011
    9:46 am

    Bama is a lock on JJ because Saban can deliver championships… not so much for CMR.

    GtDawgGa4life

    August 16th, 2011
    9:51 am

    The best performance by a lineman was by Chester Brown. He looked pretty good. Theus did not have a good showcase. Jenkins made him look bad. But he will only get bigger, stronger and better. Heres the Vid from “DAWG NIGHT”
    http://rivals.yahoo.com/video/recruiting-football/2011-Dawg-Night-1096572

    Ronald McDonald

    August 16th, 2011
    9:51 am

    I like Johns hair………

    BigTimeTechFan

    August 16th, 2011
    9:53 am

    I like the WR vs CB battles at these camps. special CB’s are the hardest to find so when you see a good one stick to all the big time receivers it’s awesome to watch.

    what was the best CB vs WR battle?

    GtDawgGa4life

    August 16th, 2011
    9:54 am

    @ Swami Sez. Saban didnt deliver last year.

    Swami Sez

    August 16th, 2011
    9:59 am

    @ GtDawgGa4life…… When will Richt deliver? Time is runnig out…..

    GtDawgGa4life

    August 16th, 2011
    10:02 am

    Basically I will love Ga football win or lose. When Richt was winning nobody had nothing negative to say. What coach hasnt had a couple of bad seasons?? Saban? Yeah, he had his.

    GtDawgGa4life

    August 16th, 2011
    10:06 am

    Back to the subject at hand. I see JJ imitating Ray Drew. I believe he will be a Dawg after the season.

    Shamed

    August 16th, 2011
    10:12 am

    So UGA is 3rd for Jenkins ? Wow ! 3rd rate for one of the best players in Georgia high school. 3rd best gets nothing just like 2nd best doesn’t….

    Shamed

    August 16th, 2011
    10:14 am

    Why isn’t Georgia “charging hard” for him ? UGA needs new recruiters…

    AdMan

    August 16th, 2011
    10:16 am

    When Saban has a bad season….he usually leaves town shortly thereafter…..People forget….Bama lost five games last year…five games with all that talent coning back…whats up with that?

    .

    August 16th, 2011
    10:17 am

    @Shamed — Throwing his hat in for TROLL of the day. You are coming out of the gate strong, but remember my man it is a marathon and not a sprint. Keep up the good effort through. Being a big league TROLL requires committment.

    Shamed

    August 16th, 2011
    10:18 am

    And Bama is ranked pre season # 1 ? Your point ?

    Shamed

    August 16th, 2011
    10:19 am

    Thanks. I’m just saying what everyone else thinks but is too scared to say…

    Shamed

    August 16th, 2011
    10:21 am

    It doesn’t bother any of you UGA fans to read about 6 top players at their positions from Georgia high schools saying they will choose between Auburn,Fla,Bama,LSU,Tenn,etc. Not even considering UGA with all the holes we have ? Amazing.

    Swami Sez

    August 16th, 2011
    10:21 am

    I mean Richt has been @ UGA for 10 years and in that time hasnt played in the MNC. Florida has won two, LSU two, Bama 1 and Auburn 1. Whats up with that?

    Since Vince

    August 16th, 2011
    10:23 am

    @ Swami Sez, its called coaching.

    Shamed

    August 16th, 2011
    10:23 am

    The reason is right in front of you Swami. Those SEC teams get the top players from Georgia,Bama,and Fla every year. UGA gets the scraps.

    .

    August 16th, 2011
    10:25 am

    @Shamed — That’s what I am talking about bro. Having a won’t be denied attitude. I like it!! Keep up the good work. You have it in you, but you just have to sell out emotionally and physically to the idea that you are the biggest and baddest TROLL on these boards. Keep at at my man. This is good stuff.

    Shamed

    August 16th, 2011
    10:26 am

    Last year was Richt’s first top recruiting class in 4 years. Add the fact that a lot of expected stars have left the team (A.J.,Ealey,King,Dowtin,Jr.,etc) then you’ve got a young team where you count on Freshmen to lead you like UGA does. Sad.

    Shamed

    August 16th, 2011
    10:27 am

    I defer to Swami.

    GtDawgGa4life

    August 16th, 2011
    10:27 am

    And where is the top player in Alabama going……..Yeah out of state to FSU.

    Scoota poot

    August 16th, 2011
    10:29 am

    CMR is a sinking ship. A lot of UGA fans are just in denial. It will come to a head this December. CMR will go down like UGA playa’s on scooters.

    GtDawgGa4life

    August 16th, 2011
    10:31 am

    Name one impact player for Alabama that they recruited from Georgia……NO ONE!!

    Ronald McDonald

    August 16th, 2011
    10:32 am

    I like red hair… Whatever happened to Joe Cox?

    Swami Sez

    August 16th, 2011
    10:35 am

    All I can say is that Richt needs to deliver in a hurry.

    Ghost13

    August 16th, 2011
    10:42 am

    Shamed, perhaps you should look at the recruiting rankings from the past 4 years before you post and prove how clueless you are.

    Shamed

    August 16th, 2011
    10:47 am

    UGA has been behind Bama,UF,Auburn,and LSU in recruiting over last 4 years (prior to last year’s great class “Dream Team”). You go look.

    wareagleaj

    August 16th, 2011
    10:49 am

    geno smith pick who on 8/16/11 ?

    Troll Police

    August 16th, 2011
    10:52 am

    Lotta Trolls on the boards this morning. I’m coming to getchya.

    CMR will be the coach for the next 10 years. It would be nice if he did leave, right Trolls? Then UGA would be in the dump just like your program. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

    Go Dawgs!
    Win With Richt!

    Nate the Great

    August 16th, 2011
    10:53 am

    @Shamed: 1) Its August, so where Jenkins has the teams currently ranked is irrelevant. Where he has them ranked is November IS relevant. The thing is he still has the Dawgs on the board.
    2) When did a preseason ranking make someone a national champion? How was the consensus preseason #1 last year? Oh thats right you finished 10-3, the same record as UGA when we were the preseason #1. Going out on a small limb here, but I’m pegging Bama at 9-4.
    Same target as last year – McIllroy-Ingram-Julio Jones + easier schedule = Same to worse results. And you call UGA fans delusional, haha.

    We start winning some games and NCAA ratchets up its investigation into the state of Alabama, it’ll be down to us and UF before the end of September. Muschamp/Weiss begin to struggle and then the program implodes internally, leaving him to be all dog in November, WHEN IT MATTERS!!!

    Troll Police

    August 16th, 2011
    10:55 am

    Swami Sez and Shamed

    Why does Richt need to deliver? You want him to continue beating your team? You are not a UGA fan, so don’t even try.

    Troll Police

    August 16th, 2011
    10:58 am

    They’re not even an SEC fan. They are just mad Yech fans with nothing to brag about. What time does the tickle pile start fellas? Should I bring my TI-83?

    Nate the Great

    August 16th, 2011
    10:59 am

    @Shamed, The Dream Team was ranked behind Auburn’s and Alabama’s. Look it up.

    Dawg Gone

    August 16th, 2011
    11:02 am

    Man I bet it really chaps the butts of the coaches at Miami, FSU and UF that the number 1 prospect in Florida will be a Dawg….that’s gonna leave a mark…

    Ghost13

    August 16th, 2011
    11:04 am

    Some years yes , some years not they are all in the top 10 most years. Nothing wrong with Richts recruiting. Bama has 2 starters in 2011 from state of Georgia. Florida didn’t sign a player from Georgia in 2011. Lsu finished ahead of UGa 2 years , Georgia ahead of LSU 2 years. To say UGA gets scraps is absurd.

    YankeeDawg

    August 16th, 2011
    11:08 am

    Michael,

    Do you suspect Coach Richt’s tenuous future, being top 5 on the hotseat, is why UGA has had to go to future recruits like 2013 to try and land some big guns? Looks like big time prospects have very little faith in Coach Richt.

    Do you think AD McGarity signing Richt to an extension now would help?

    CPJ is looking around

    August 16th, 2011
    11:27 am

    GT’s CPJ is looking around for a new gig and in fact, after his team was stomped and physically whupped by German American farm boys in the 2010 Urange Bowl, he has been sending his resume anywhere to get out of Atlanta.

    THAT was all BEFORE the current but SECOND NCAA CHEATING DISGRACE by GT in what? 8 years??? Twice caught cheating in less than a decade. Shameful ……………..now that is shameful, along with that drug OD on campus about 4 years ago and the Ethel St. crime and the professors at GT bilking the school for phony expenses and the drug dealing players and that DE Robert Hall who slapped his gal around last year. Hmm, hmm, disgraceful GT is.

    CPJ knows that after three years and with declining recruiting, he has accomplished nothing there at GT ………………no bowl wins, no titles, no nothing. He is looking.

    Destin Dawg

    August 16th, 2011
    11:29 am

    Parade magazine says ” UGA #2 large State University education, plus Big time sports ” in a great college town.. Athens, Ga… Go Dawgs !!

    CPJ is looking around II

    August 16th, 2011
    11:30 am

    CPJ is also looking to have a sell out for once in his tenure at Grant Field, that is not driven by Clemson or UGA or NC fans.

    Buy one GT season ticket and receive absolutley free a vacation to Villa Rica, Ga. with all expenses paid by the GA Tech Trust Fund. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHA

    Destin Dawg

    August 16th, 2011
    11:31 am

    Just win the 1st two… recruits will come !! Go Dawgs !!

    shankit

    August 16th, 2011
    11:48 am

    Alabama – 7 coaches in last 11 years.
    Georgia – Same coach for last ten years.
    Saban’s statue is mounted on a trailer with a 2 1/2″ hitch ball.
    No telling who you’ll be playin’ for in Tuscaloosa.

    Randall "Pink" Floyd

    August 16th, 2011
    12:01 pm

    Amazing. This article focuses on the top player in the state of Florida, who is also one of the top players in the country, and all some of you care to focus on is the player who isn’t committed to UGA (yet) and pointing fingers as to why.

    Hard Truth Soldier

    August 16th, 2011
    12:21 pm

    Alabama,South Carolina. honestly the most over hyped teams going into 2011. Lets look at the facts. Carolina loses games they should have easily won last year and who games that nobody thought they had a chance. There QB, WHO IS THE CONFERENCE DRUNK and PARTY BOY is at best the worst example of decency. Alabama, who looses Ingram,Jones, McElroy and a beast of a D tackle ain’t replacing all that talent. Yeah the media says this and that, but the reality is if there guys who were behind these guys were better then they’d been getting the playing time. Listen bloggers, No team, and I mean no team loses what three to four first to second round players and just comes back as business as usual. The team Nobody is talking about is Miss State who drasticially improved last year. Look for them and LSU to really put a strain on the West. As far as the East is concerned, it’s Georgia’s to lose. Get past Boise, and South Carolina and There only real problems become Miss State, and we know UF (WHICH IS MORE PSYCHOLOGICAL) than physical. Look for a repeat of 2005 with UGA and LSU fighting for the rights to represent the champion of the SEC. but this time Nat’l Championship aspirations will be on the line.

    7576DAWG

    August 16th, 2011
    12:42 pm

    If UGA doesn’t lose more than 3 games then our coaching staff will remain the same . Actually our biggest problem will be paying Grantham enough to get him to sign an extension. The reason that is important is a lot of fence sitting recruits. Jenkins is going to wait to see how each team end up at the end of the year. He will be a great addition at UGA but we are going to have to win his loyalty by proving we have a winning program and good coaching staff. Some recruits will come to Georgia just because the are die hard Dawg fans , other will have to be convinced that Georgia will be their best choice.

    bulldogmaniac

    August 16th, 2011
    1:44 pm

    You people crack me up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UGA cant get them all!
    Sometimes a kid just wants to go out of state (see Theus from Florida, #1 in his state comming to UGA). The kid needs to go where he wants to go! If it is UGA then GREAT….if not….oh well.

    Pathetic

    August 16th, 2011
    1:46 pm

    @ Randall Pink Floyd – that’s all these losers do everyday! Negativity! Rankings mean nothing!!! Most of these jacklegs seem to believe that since Rivals has a player highly ranked that Uga should automaticly recruit them heavily and if they don’t then they need new recruiters. Uga doesn’t do the whole over signing thing like the almighty Saban does. I’m alright with that. Most of these kids flip flop so bad anyway between now and February. I’m not sure why most of them even commit so early.