Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
Nose tackle John Jenkins has emerged as an NFL-caliber talent on the Bulldogs' defense.
John Jenkins has gone from an out-of-shape JUCO transfer to a force on the Georgia Bulldogs' defense, writes Roger Clarkson of the Athens Banner-Herald. The 6-foot-3, 350-pound nose tackle is now a likely NFL draft pick. His teammates, like guard Chris Burnette wouldn't be surprised:
"John is just a dominant force. He is probably the heaviest guy I've ever had to block. If you have to try to block him on a bull rush, you're just hoping you can slow him down just enough because he's that type of player. He is big and he is strong and he cam really move out there. You don't see that combination a whole lot."
Johnson has filled a need on the Bulldogs' 3-4 defensive scheme as a stalwart in the middle that takes up blocks. But he's also putting up numbers, ranking sixth on the team with 23 tackles. He's even seen time at defensive end with an injury to Abry Jones, and the defensive line coach, Rodney Garner, plans to keep him in the rotation at end even when Jones is back:
"God was good to him from an athletic standpoint. When we were recruiting him, you couldn't help but notice this big, massive man who was still athletic and making plays. He could be a very disruptive guy. That's what you saw when you looked at his film. That's what you're hoping when we got him here is that was going to translate over. Of course there was a learning curve and everything but I think the kid has worked really hard to put himself in this position."
Jenkins and the No. 13 Bulldogs are on the road on Saturday to face Kentucky. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game will be televised by FOX Sports South.