Jordan Jenkins, other new Bulldogs start adjustment to college football life

Jonathan Taylor and Jordan Jenkins pose for their first photo as roommates at the University of Georgia on Tuesday. (Jenkins family photo)

Jonathan Taylor (L) and Jordan Jenkins pose Tuesday for their first photo as roommates at the University of Georgia. (Jenkins family photo)

ATHENS – It has been an emotional couple of days for Ronald Jenkins and his wife Phyleshia. But they have a good attitude about it.

Of dropping off his son Jordan Jenkins at UGA this week and leaving him behind to try to fulfill a dream, Ronald Jenkins quipped, “Well, our grocery bill will be considerably less.”

That’s true. But the reality is, it is a watershed moment for players and parents when these kids start their college football careers. It’s exciting and nerve-racking for both. And the process the Jenkins are going through is being repeated about 14 times over early this week. That’s how many new Bulldogs are showing up to begin classes by Friday and off-season workouts sometime next week.

Three of Georgia’s 19 signees enrolled in January and have been with the team for six months now. Two others — defensive tackle John Atkins and defensive end Leonard Floyd — are still working out their academic requirements, as detailed HERE on the AJC Recruiting Blog.

But 14 others were being dropped off Monday and Tuesday, moving into the East Campus Village dormitory and going through orientation this week.

These, as they say, are interesting times.

“It’s a special experience,” said Ronald Jenkins, whose son was considered one of the top recruits in Georgia for 2012. “You think about back in the day when they were young and watching them play.  To finally get to where they’re playing on a college scholarship and playing for a big-time program is humbling.”

The Jenkins have been staying at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education since Monday. They’ll drive back to Harris County on Wednesday as empty-nesters. Their daughter Aysha left for Albany State last year.

Much will be on their minds on the way home.

“You wonder about how he adapts to the college life and being independent, going to classes and working hard on the football field and how he combines all that together,” said Jenkins, who met his wife at the University of Washington. “It’s a big phase for kids, to step out there and start going to classes and getting into the workout program and stuff like that.

“My thing is I just want him to stay focused and work hard. Like I’ve always told him, ‘when you’re doing well and you know you haven’t done your best, then you know you still have work to do. You don’t ever allow an opportunity in life to have regrets because you feel you could have done better in something because you got content.’ Being in the SEC, there’s some tough competition out there and you have to work hard for anything you want.”

There’s another transition signees must make. Until now, they’ve been wooed and charmed by college coaches. Their future encounters will be mostly of the in-your-face variety.

“We’ve talked about that,” Ronald Jenkins said. “He prefers to have somebody in his face pushing him. If he does it right, he’ll be fine. If he doesn’t do it right, he’ll get chewed. That’s the way he prefers to be coached, to tell you the truth.”

Starting tomorrow, it will be up to Jordan Jenkins and 13 others to deal with the transition. Ronald Jenkins believes his son is up for it.

“It seems like he’s looking forward to it,” he said. “I haven’t seen anything but smiles on his face. He’s happy to be here.”

– Chip Towers, The UGA Blog

92 comments Add your comment

Mark Richt

June 5th, 2012
1:42 pm

YEAHHHHH BUDDY!!!!!!

shankit

June 5th, 2012
1:43 pm

Dr. Phil

June 5th, 2012
1:51 pm

First step: Drivers’ Education

trueUGAfan

June 5th, 2012
1:56 pm

“Time to make the doughnuts”…

Burdell

June 5th, 2012
2:01 pm

Good luck to this newest batch of Bulldogs (except for that last weekend in November of course)!

Dawg Daze

June 5th, 2012
2:01 pm

Good Luck Jordan!! Enjoyed seeing you at Harris County High School and wishing you well!!

RHall55

June 5th, 2012
2:03 pm

Can’t wait till some of these guys step on the field!! Just wish we had more bodies coming in: Will Friend, more OL!! Coach Lakotos, more DB’s!!, Coach Ball, more WR’s!! Coach Rodney Garner, c’mon man, protect the borders for the upper talent!!

Austin

June 5th, 2012
2:05 pm

Just stay away for the pot brownies….Please.

cantondawg

June 5th, 2012
2:11 pm

I envy these kids. First year in college in the most exciting time of life. Just remember that Hot babes and cold beer will get you in trouble.

JB

June 5th, 2012
2:12 pm

Good luck to these huys….and their parents. It’s hard to turn your child away to other folks. They look like good players.

Taco Meat

June 5th, 2012
2:16 pm

LOL @ Austin! Good luck to all the new pups! September can’t come fast enough!

Destin Dawg

June 5th, 2012
2:18 pm

Missouri on the road in Columbia, Mo. is going to be a HUGE game !!!

JMLDawg

June 5th, 2012
2:46 pm

From a fellow Harris Countian, best wishes Jordan! You are a special, extremely talented young man from a wonderful family. All the best in the classroom and on the field!

jonkdawg

June 5th, 2012
2:54 pm

All the kids will be doing just fine , just don’t break the rules whatever it is rules like being stupid smoking weed and such…like you know who? your future is still to come, don’t screw up now.

piermontdawgny

June 5th, 2012
3:18 pm

LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FIELD NEW DAWGS!!

Gary

June 5th, 2012
3:27 pm

I hope this new class takes more seriously the fish bowl atmosphere of big time college athletics and stays out of trouble. Maybe its not fair that every little mistake a college student is bound to make will mean headlines or a suspension if made by a scholarship athlete. But it is what it is, and if you want the “big bucks” reward at the end of your college career, you have to make that sacrifice. If you want to be a dawg, man up as a freshman, follow the rules and give it your best. Go Dawgs… 2012 SEC champs!

Jacket Man

June 5th, 2012
3:37 pm

Best of luck in their transitions from high school to college life. Here’s hoping they appreciate the education that comes along with the athletic scholarship and they take advantage of it so they can be prepared for a life after their football “career” is over. Enjoy healthy careers on the field of play.

The Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

June 5th, 2012
3:39 pm

I wonder if UGA will win a title before the next transition of Venus? Thoughts?

Lilburn_dude

June 5th, 2012
3:44 pm

Jordan seems to come from a good well balanced home….he’ll be fine. Go Dawgs!

Atlanta87

June 5th, 2012
3:46 pm

Haha @ The Tide. I’m an Auburn fan and that’s funny.

Atlanta87

June 5th, 2012
3:46 pm

Oh and my answer is probably not.

G-Dawg

June 5th, 2012
3:56 pm

The clowns are out in full force again today….
Especially the one clown posting the same comment on every article…looking desperate for attention. Poor guy!!

Neutral

June 5th, 2012
3:58 pm

@the tide is rolling……

Did you know that UGa has a higher winning percent than Bama since the SEC split?
Very impressive since the SEC east is historically tougher than the west….with the top teams being: UF, TN, UGa…..and in 4th place is your beloved Tide. Yes indeed you have more championships and some recent success, but the bottom line is you are lagging since the SEC split…so save your bragging for after you pass the Dawgs!!!

The Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

June 5th, 2012
4:04 pm

Pass the Dawgs!?!?

BYU has won a championship since UGa.

The Tide is lagging?!?
Two out of three National Titles.

You sir, are too dumb to be on a UGA blog. (I don’t think I could be anymore insulting)

Columbus

June 5th, 2012
4:11 pm

@The Tide is Rolling….

How does 2012 sound to you? UGA will be in the SEC Championship game at LEAST 4 out of the next 6 years. Sure Bama won a couple SEC Championships lately(FINALLY) but so has UGA AND UGA has been to the SEC championship game 4 times in the last 10 years. Bama hasnt been that many. only LSU. UGA won 2 SEC titles during that period. I believe Bama won 1, maybe 2 during that time also. So whats your point? Thats my comment along with after the next few years, UGA will have a few more. You better worry about getting a new DC and head coach. Who are you going to BUY next time as a head coach?

Im a UGA fan and we can settle this on the field at the end of the year. If you can win your division this year…..

CDAWG

June 5th, 2012
4:12 pm

well alrighty then!

Neutral

June 5th, 2012
4:15 pm

No my friend, you are the dumb one for responding before reading. I stated the Fact that you are lagging behind Uga in winning percent since the SEC split…..nothing else. I even gave Bama credit for RECENT successes and championships. Get back IF Bama catches up…..you laggards!

gtfanfrom1951

June 5th, 2012
4:19 pm

Better do it this year because UGA will be rebuilding next two.

Neutral

June 5th, 2012
4:19 pm

@Columbus
Good comments……heck, Bama won the NC in the “mulligan game”, but they weren’t good Enough to make it to the SEC title game.

Columbus

June 5th, 2012
4:23 pm

It is about time for Saban to move on isnt it? Mike Shula available? If not for Saban where would Bama be without buying wins? Auburn would be the king of the state of Alabama.

Saban has won one SEC Championship since getting there in 2007 WHEN Alabama GUARANTEED him 32 million dollars over 8 years. Bama BETTER win! ANYTHING less than a national championship is a FAILURE. Bama fans are failures anyway with the exception that they are not Auburn fans. They are the worst. But gaining on Bama. Maybe Saban is ready to go try the NFL and give it a real shot before 32 million came knocking and he gets too old…..Bama sure is scared of Auburn lately. Had to go buy Saban since Auburn was thrashing them.

At LEAST Auburn did not go and buy the best coach for 8 years, they only bought the best player for one…..Alabam fans are Ok until they star ttrash talking unprovoked. Why come on here? Why not go to an Auburn board while you still can talk smack to them?

Neutral

June 5th, 2012
4:24 pm

Hey guys, I need to sign off and write 5 more letters of recommendation for HS kids applying to Bama after being rejected by UGa……no joke. Have you ever heard the reverse?

The Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

June 5th, 2012
4:27 pm

4 of the 6 years? Yeah, if they keep their schedule. Face it, the Dawgs couldn’t beat a real team last year. Every decent team they played lit up the scoreboard. UGA is only good when UF and UT are down. UGA’s best quality is that they have been almost consistently mediocre under Richt.

Neutral, if you want to talk winning percentage, why stop at the SEC split? We measure success the way the other top programs do; championships.

The Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

June 5th, 2012
4:29 pm

I thought Saban was leaving after two years?

Joey

June 5th, 2012
4:29 pm

Lordy Neutral. You and 2 or 3 other Dawg fans care about “winning percent.” I can’t stand Bama, but I would laugh with their fans at that silly stat. Seriously, is that a source or pride for you? “Winning Percent?”

A very large percentage of us UGA fans care about the lack of beating quality opponents in the last half-dozen seasons, as well as no BCS or even SEC Titles.

We watch these kids come through Athens on their way to the NFL, and we have nothing to show for it since ‘05, other than a win vs Hawaii – after getting upset by UT and SC, which kept us out of the Big Game.

Do you realize that was 5 years ago?

The Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

June 5th, 2012
4:32 pm

Joey, it’s all they have besides Herschel

The Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

June 5th, 2012
4:39 pm

Look, I’ll level with you guys. UGA could/should be a top tier program, BUT they are NOT and have not been since 1982. They are second fiddle to the BIG boys and may reach the SEC championship just because no one is better.

The Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

June 5th, 2012
4:41 pm

AND if you think UGA has a good defense, you are part of the problem.

bucket

June 5th, 2012
4:52 pm

Looking forward to seeing Taylor and Jenkins between the hedges! Here’s hoping both of these young men come in hungry to stay straight outside of the classroom and determined to perform well in the classroom and on the field. They are both going to be essential to the program moving forward beyond this year.

here we go again

June 5th, 2012
5:11 pm

dont feed the trolls

pity them for they have no lives

The Tide is trolling and nothing can stop it

June 5th, 2012
5:12 pm

look at me! look at me!

Neutral

June 5th, 2012
5:22 pm

@tide is rolling

Wow dude…..you are sure on the defensive tonight!!!

TampaGator

June 5th, 2012
5:23 pm

Obviously, from a great family. You should have been a Gator but, then, you going to Georgia opened to door for the Gators to get Donte Fowler. Good luck to you……except late in October….then you are Gator meat.

GtDawg

June 5th, 2012
5:26 pm

Jonathan Taylor is a BIG boy, He’s gonna man the middle quite nicely for the next 3-4 years.

pj

June 5th, 2012
5:42 pm

I like the attitude of those parents. They sound educated and grounded in reality and hard work. Parenting really makes all the difference with these young men. I betcha this young man will be a DGD.

@gtfanfrom1951

June 5th, 2012
5:45 pm

Reloading , not rebuilding.

JB

June 5th, 2012
6:25 pm

OH no….I say no to a SEC network. Most of us now pay about 50-150 per month for cable. You can bet the farm that in 3-4 years of starting, the SEC network will charge 10-20 bucks per game for a pay per view format….and 40 bucks or so for a big time match up of say a 1 Bama vs 2 ranked LSU. Just hang on and watch. To good of product and to much money to leave on the table !

JB

June 5th, 2012
6:26 pm

Let’s see…..2 million homes at 40 a pop…………..=80 mil for ONE GAME.

JB

June 5th, 2012
6:27 pm

don’t forget ad revenue. another 5 mil. ouch.

jj

June 5th, 2012
6:56 pm

Sounds like Jordan Jenkins has outstanding parents.

Delbert D.

June 5th, 2012
7:00 pm

I hope that they don’t ride those little scooters. That warning should be part of the indoctrination info.