If you thought Jordan Jenkins was feeling a bit nervous about the possibility of taking over the role of “leader” on Georgia’s defensive line next season, then you haven’t been reading his quotes much over the last few days.
When he’s not talking about breaking records, “I told (Jarvis), don’t worry as soon as you leave I’m breaking your record. You can break Pollack’s record, just know that when you leave that record’s gonna be mine.”, then he’s making a statement that ensures everyone knows he’s going to be the ‘man’ in 2013, “I’ll be able to lead this defense and lead this team next year off of what they showed me.”
And, just in case you need a little more proof, Jenkins is also being vocal about what he feels other teammates need to do in order to get better as well…teammates like Josh Harvey-Clemons.
“I might start making him use his right weight on some workouts, because he definitely needs to gain some weight for next season. Right now, he’s a little bit too skinny. He could eat a couple more Wheaties in the morning. He definitely needs to gain some weight.” (Gentry Estes, Dawgs247)
Like I said, Jenkins isn’t shy, and to play the position with as much success as he’s played it this season, you can understand why he’s feeling so confident and sure of himself.
Jenkins ended the regular season with 30 tackles, seven tackles for loss, and four sacks, but his numbers belie how often he was around the ball, disrupted a pass play, or made it difficult for a quarterback to be effective inside the pocket. And while it might have been clear early on that he was a bit green, particularly where picking up some of his assignments was concerned, you could also see the light beginning to come on more with each snap he played. By mid-season it was tough not to notice No. 59′s presence on the football field.
Will Jenkins be ready to fully own his defensive role in 2013 in much the same—or at least a similar manner—way as Jarvis Jones commanded his during this, his likely last, season? The proof will be in the pudding on that one, but he’s certainly talking the talk.