Freshman CB Jenkins optimistic about return
We reported a few days ago on incoming freshman cornerback Ricardo Dixon, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, and there's another incoming defensive back still on the mend: St. Petersburg Lakewood's JaQuez Jenkins.
It's been six months since Jenkins, who confirmed the correct spelling of his first name has the capital Q in the middle, had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left knee. Jenkins he's making "good progress" in his rehabilitation and remains optimistic that he'll be able to participate at full strength when preseason drills start in early August. "That's what I'm aiming for," said Jenkins, still working on running at full speed and making lateral movements as he gains confidence in his repaired knee.
Jenkins was the Times' Pinellas County Offensive Player of the Year after making his name as a dual-threat quarterback at Lakewood. "The quarterback runs like a gifted running back, throws like Peyton Manning and has the winning instincts of Joe Montana," we wrote in giving him the offensive honors in December. He'll get his first look at safety at USF, joining a talented group of high school quarterbacks.
-- You might remember another St. Pete defensive back, Northeast's Jaruez Wynn, who made an official visit to USF late in the recruiting season but didn't have the grades to join the Bulls. Wynn is headed to Butler County Community College in Kansas, where USF recruited receiver Edgard Theliar and cornerback Rudell Crim last season.
Wynn was not placed at Butler by USF -- former Northeast assistant Kenny Crawford, now head coach at Pinellas Park, helped get him there after a successful freshman year by former Northeast defensive tackle Javonta Boyd. Boyd, who signed with Kansas State last year and is expected to join the Wildcats in January, will by Wynn's roommate.
Wynn said his recruitment will be wide-open after two seasons at Butler, but he has the same high interest in coming to USF. "If I can do well at Butler, I would definitely come back if they want me," he said.
USF recruiting coordinator Carl Franks was in St. Pete last week, and Crawford said the Bulls are looking at two Pinellas Park players: lineman Trey Butler and running back Oraian Bentley. Butler is a strong, two-way lineman, 6-foot-4 and just 260 pounds, but with a 12 percent body fat, and Bentley also plays defensive back but will get a college look at running back.
-- Links ... Former USF receiver Amarri Jackson needs to show more swagger in Bucs camp this summer, as veteran receiver Antonio Bryant tells the Sarasota Herald-Tribune's Tom Balog. I'll be over at One Buc helping with our coverage there the next two days, so might talk with the three Bulls in camp.
-- The New York Daily News' Dick Weiss is a basketball writing legend, but he's a little behind today, leading a notebook with a week-old bit on USF signee Jarrid Famous, picked up from the Arizona Daily Star from last week's Tampa Tribune story. Famous, he writes, wants out of his commitment to USF. Famous' decision not to speak publicly on the issue led to other national outlets picking up that story, but a meeting with Stan Heath on Sunday has Famous' current and future coaches saying he's still headed to USF. Westchester assistant Mickey Carey will not be losing his job as a result of the comments that started last week's saga, his head coach, Tyrone Mushatt, said Monday.
-- The Sporting News Today's Matt Hayes ranks the top 25 players in college football this fall, and USF's George Selvie makes a strong showing at No. 6 overall. "When healthy, he's a disruptive, unblockable force," Hayes writes.