April 19, 2010

Junior college defensive tackle likes Ole Miss visit

Wayne Dorsey and Jonathan Jenkins have a lot in common.

The two defensive linemen grew up in the Northeast but somehow matriculated to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College when their prep careers ended.

Predictably, they hit it off last season, forging a friendship in an unfamiliar environment.

Following Jenkins' visit to Oxford over the weekend, there a chance the duo will be reunited on the football fields of the Southeastern Conference.

Jenkins, a 6-foot-4, 344-pound defensive tackle from Stamford, Conn., arrived in Oxford on Friday afternoon. He didn't leave until Sunday. During those 48 hours, he saw an Ole Miss practice, attended Saturday's Grove Bowl game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, went out on the town with Dorsey Saturday night and visited with Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix and defensive line coach Terry Price.

"It was great," Jenkins said. "It was nice. The atmosphere was good. For starters, me and Wayne have one thing in common. We're both from the city. He had said Oxford's not a big city, but you get a big-city atmosphere. He said the program is the real deal."

Jenkins said Dorsey, who along with fellow MGCCC transfer Damian Jackson enrolled at Ole Miss in January and won spots in the Rebels' playing rotation this spring, wasn't guilty of false advertising. It was a small sample size, sure, but he liked what he saw.

"I saw the intensity level (in Friday's practice)," Jenkins said. "They weren't in pads, but they were highly motivated and focused. They were on their A-game. Their focus was high, but they were having fun with it. They listen and they have fun and they loved it."

On Saturday, Jenkins paid special attention to the Rebels' defensive scheme and personality.

"I would fit in that defense," Jenkins said. "I'd be able to fit into a (four-man front) and excel in a defense with those schemes. I could see myself in that defense."

Jenkins said the conversations with the trio of Ole Miss coaches shared a common theme.

"They said they liked me a lot, they're losing four to five guys next year and I could play for them," Jenkins said.

Houston, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech have offered Jenkins already. Mississippi State "said they're going to offer," Jenkins said. As for the Rebels, Jenkins said Nutt and Co. "said they really like me and want to offer me, but when I was up there, we didn't really talk about business. They said they just wanted me to enjoy my time and to have fun. They kept emphasizing how much they liked me, so from that standpoint, I expect them to offer me."

And if Ole Miss does offer, the Rebels will be very much in the mix.

"To be honest with you, just for the fact that Ole Miss is losing some guys, I'd take them into high consideration," Jenkins said. "But it's still early. I really want to make those judgments after I take official visits."

Jenkins said he's also visited Rutgers and Connecticut, two Big East programs that are far closer to his hometown than Oxford. That might be appealing, as Jenkins admitted Monday that while he loves the football program at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, the social life is not what he's looking for.

"I was thinking about that when I went up to Rutgers and UConn, but knowing myself, I don't know that I should do that," Jenkins said. "I might be distracted. I liked Oxford. Maybe I could find a home for myself in the South."

Jenkins had nine tackles and three quarterbacks sacks for the Bulldogs last season.

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