NOTE: Check back on this blog every few hours for updates on Jenkins until he announces.
Jordan Jenkins, who is considered the state’s No. 1 overall prospect by many, has heard all the conspiracy theories about the timing of his college announcement and says they are untrue.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive end from Harris County High School has listed Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Auburn as his finalists. He will announce his decision on “The Next Class” show on FOX Sports South at 7 p.m. Monday – 90 minutes before his longtime co-leader, Alabama, takes the field to play for the BCS championship.
The father of the AJC Super 11 selection said that there is no connection between the scheduling of events. “Yes, everybody thinks that; we’ve heard those rumors, too,” Ronald Jenkins said with a laugh. “Actually, we were supposed to do it on Tuesday. Then the network wanted to change it to Monday, not us.
“But, no, we didn’t try to plan it as the same day that Alabama was playing. We never gave that a thought. Besides, if anything, I would think less Alabama people would be watching what Jordan does when there’s a national championship game to watch that night.”
AJC Super 11 DE Jordan Jenkins said timing of Monday's decision has nothing to do with Alabama playing for BCS title that same night (AJC)
The elder Jenkins said there is no guarantee that his son will pick Alabama, which has been listed as the leader since last summer until recently. “To tell you the truth, after this week, I don’t even know where he is going to school. Jordan really likes things about all of the schools. This weekend, we’re going to sit down and go over each school again and iron out any differences. We’ll get everybody’s viewpoints in black and white out on the table. My wife and I will give our input, and it will be Jordan’s final decision to make.”
Georgia has emerged as the darkhorse candidate for Jenkins. He nearly cancelled his official visit with the Bulldogs twice because of speculation over Mark Richt’s future. Jenkins ended up making a recruiting trip in November and bonded with Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.
“Georgia came at us at a different pace than the others,” the elder Jenkins said. “They were one of the first ones to offer, but we didn’t feel the same intensity early in the process as we did from the other schools. Then they came on late.
“Coach Grantham has impressed our family. He definitely let Jordan know how much he wants him there. Coach Grantham and Jordan have a few things in common outside of football, such as fishing. We like Georgia. I guarantee you that Georgia is in it for Jordan.”
UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham would have a signature recruiting moment if Jenkins picks UGA
This could be a defining recruiting moment for Grantham. Despite the second-half collapses by UGA’s defense in its final two games against Michigan State and LSU, Grantham is still considered one of college football’s rising stars at defensive coordinator. Some think Grantham is on track to one day to a candidate as a head coach. However, a top assistant coach hasn’t really “arrived” as a big name until he can use his reputation to make a big splash in recruiting – either flipping a top defender committed elsewhere, or secure an elite recruit against fierce competition. Jenkins is an opportunity for Grantham to do the latter.
Grantham is a main reason why Jenkins is seriously considering UGA. He was also the coach who had the last opportunity to spout UGA’s sales pitch, flying to meet Jenkins in a Florida hotel on Friday to speak with Jenkins and his family after an all-star game. Jenkins also met with Florida’s assistants.
Back to Jenkins and conspiracy theories: His father confirmed that Jordan has not taped his announcement in advance of Monday’s show. Jenkins will travel to Atlanta and reveal his choice “live” in front of a regional TV audience.
“We’ll see what happens. I’m his father and I’m telling 100 percent that I don’t know where he’s going right now. I know where he said he’s leaning … I’ve got a funny feeling that it’s going to be interesting.”
OTHER GEORGIA RECRUITING NEWS
- UGA and Florida are co-leaders for another one of Georgia’s top uncommitted prospects (click on story link)
- One of Georgia Tech’s top targets, DB Elijah Shumate of New Jersey, committed to Notre Dame over Georgia Tech, Rutgers and South Carolina. You can read more here
- Colquitt County TE Ty Smith couldn’t make it to UGA last month for the big recruiting weekend because his team was still in the playoffs. Smith has scheduled his trip for Jan. 13.
WR Jason Croom met with Derek Dooley
- Tennessee coach Derek Dooley had an in-home visit on Thursday with Norcross WR Jason Croom, who was recently offered by Oklahoma State. I guess Croom liked whatever Dooley had to say because he’s decided against visiting Oklahoma State. He will go to Tennessee this weekend. “I am not visiting any other schools other than Tennessee,” Croom said.
- Things are finally picking up for Grayson QB Nick Schuessler, who his coach compares to former UGA QB David Greene. Schuessler finally picked up his first offer from Middle Tennessee State, is working out an official visit to Mississippi State, and may possibly go on a trip to Ole Miss. Schuessler is a best friend of Grayson DE Robert Nkemdiche, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect for 2013.
- Lassiter FS Kenny Orjioke (6-4, 210) committed to UCLA without ever making an official visit last month. He will make a recruiting trip to ULCA on Jan. 20, but is traveling to Arkansas this weekend. “I might take another visit on the last weekend; I’ll know after my ULCA visit,” Orjioke said. “I’m 100-percent committed to UCLA.” Orjioke, who has nearly 20 offers, skipped a year in a school and is a 16-year old senior.
Vasty underrated TE Zach Gordon
- Carrollton tight end Zach Gordon said there’s no truth to the rumors that Auburn was flirting with him. Gordon, one of the state’s top five most under-rated seniors, is committed to Wake Forest and will take this official visit this weekend. Auburn was at his high school but to scout DB Jonathan Jones, who is already committed to Tigers. Jones will take his recruiting trip to Auburn this weekend.
- Woodward Academy DT Jordan Watkins, who committed to Stanford over UGA, took his official visit with the Cardinal for the Notre Dame game. He may go back to Stanford for an unofficial visit this weekend.
- Central of Carrollton DT Pat Gamble said he is 100-percent committed to Georgia Tech and has no plans to visit anywhere else. Gamble took his official visit with the Yellow Jackets last month.
- Lithonia OL Joe Harris, who committed to South Carolina over UGA, will take his official visit to South Carolina this weekend. No other trips are planned.
- Eastside DE Sheldon Rankins, who broke his leg during his senior season, will take an official visit to Wake Forest on Jan. 20.
Tennessee-bound LB Justin King
- Others taking official visits to schools they are committed to: Tucker LB Jacob Sealand to Vanderbilt on Jan. 20, Dunwoody LB Justin King to Tennessee this weekend, Brookwood RB Nick Tompkins to Michigan State on Jan. 20, Cairo DB TJ Gurley on Jan.13, Callaway TE Ricky Parks to Auburn on Friday, Flowery Branch QB Kanler Coker to East Carolina on Friday, Collins Hill WR Nick England to Florida International on Friday, East Paulding DE LaDarius Banks to Vanderbilt on Jan. 20, Stephenson DB Kyle Fleetwood to South Carolina this weekend, North Gwinnett DT Jordan Washington to Mississippi State on Jan. 20, Stephenson DE Jarontay Jones to Virginia Tech on Jan. 27, Stephenson WR DeMarcus Sweat to Kentucky on Jan. 20, Buford DB CJ Moore to Virginia on Jan. 20, Lassiter WR Charlie Hedegus to NC State this weekend,
- Central Gwinnett WR Malachi Jones will take trips to Louisiana-Monroe on Jan. 13 and Appalachian State on Jan. 20. He’s also talking with Georgia Tech, Central Florida and Toledo. His older brother plays at Notre Dame.
- Sandy Creek RB-DB Mike Hilton has stuck with his commitment to Ole Miss through the coaching change. He only has one official visit scheduled for now: Jan. 20 to Ole Miss.
- Carver-Columbus DT Derious Bennett has visits scheduled for Middle Tennessee State on Jan. 13 and Colorado State on Jan. 20.
- Buford long snapper Reid Ferguson, who is committed to LSU, has graduated early and will move to the LSU on Wednesday
LB Raphael Kirby enrolls at Miami on Jan. 17
- Stephenson LB Raphael Kirby has graduated from high school and will enroll at Miami on Jan. 17.
- ML King safety Jarnor Jones, who flipped his commitment from Middle Tennessee State to NC State after taking an official visit, might go see the Wolfpack again. “I might do it just to get more comfortable up there but I haven’t decided when,” Jones said.
- Milton DE Josh Manley will visit Syracuse on Friday. “I have a new school on my radar close to offering me and that’s UCLA,” Manley said. “I’ve talked with one of the coaches and he said he likes what he sees on film. He would love to get me there. He’s going to show my film to the other coaches there.”
- Coffee County QB Will Gardner was committed to Louisville when he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Gardner said he was told by Louisville that it would still honor the scholarship and he will visit there this weekend.
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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