As many of you know, Georgia picked up a big signee today. Literallly. Like 6-foot-5 and somewhere around 350-pound junior college nose tackle John Jenkins, who can immediately solidify an often-porous defensive front.
I chatted with Georgia defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham about what Jenkins brings to Georgia, and a few other things, at the start of the second half of today’s UGA-Auburn men’s basketball game.
Here’s what Garner had to say:
On what Jenkins brings to Georgia’s defense:
Going into it, he was a guy that we targeted that we thought would be the answer to a lot of our problems. We thought he would solidify the defensive front by giving us the ability to move DeAngelo (Tyson) to defensive end, which would be a much more natural fit for him. We feel like if we put him and Abry (Jones) at the end spot and Big John at the middle right there, instantly it adds a lot of stability to our defense.
On comparison to former Alabama nose tackle Terrence Cody:
Well, the junior college that he played for is the same school as Terrence Cody. Coach Campbell, who’s the head coach, coached Cody. He makes that comparison a lot. Obviously John’s gotta do it on this level. He thinks John may be more athletic. That’s what we hope. We’re excited that hopefully he’s gonna develop and have that kinda career.
On Jenkins playing offense:
I think they all have intentions of playing offense. I’m for whatever if they can help us win. That’s the biggest thing. He’s a kid that has an unbelievable personality. People just seem to gravitate towards him. In high school, he was a tight end and running back, so I know he’s talked to coach Richt about having these great hands. That’s a head coach’s decision. He’s a big man and hopefully he’s gonna bring leadership, and he’s gonna bring a lot to our program.
On going JUCO route when there are specific needs on roster:
I think we’re gonna look at each individual, just making sure they’ve got all the intangibles. They’ve got the right type of character. They’re the right fiit, from a need standpoint athletically, that they fit the type of team chemistry that we’re trying to build and they’re gonna buy into what we’re doing. I can’t say that we will or won’t, as far as how much JC we’ll take. I still think we’re gonna be a predominantly high school-oriented (team) as far as building our recruiting base, but we’re gonna supplement certain positions with junior college and prep school athletes.
And now Grantham:
On Jenkins signing with Georgia:
I’m excited about Jonathan joining our football team. He’s physical, he’s athletic, he can run for a guy his size. I feel like it’ll help us address a need up front. Obviously we’re gonna plug him in with the guys we’ve got, give us more flexibility with DeAngelo as we move forward. And we’re looking forward to getting him here and getting him going this summer.
On how he addresses a need:
I think that what it does is it allows us to add a bigger man to the front. Not only DeAngelo being the nose, but it also allows us to move DeAngelo outside and it allows us to play with bigger bodies. Size does matter, and I think he’s gonna help fill a need for us and I’m looking forward to getting him here.
On Jenkins possibly playing offense:
There might be a play or two for him. If you look back, there’s been some big guys that have lined up in the backfield before.
On Jenkins reportedly wanting to wear jersey No. 6:
If you’re gonna play in the backfield, you’ve gotta have an eligible number, right?
On how a little number will look on a 350-pound body:
Yeah, I think he’ll stretch it pretty good.
On filling Warren Belin’s position on the coaching staff:
Obviously we can go a couple of different ways, but we’re in the process of looking at it right now and we’re gonna hire the best person for Georgia, and that’s the best fit for Georgia.
On how job listing posted on UGA site is for defensive end coach:
I wouldn’t put any stock in that. I mean, we’re gonna hire the best person for Georgia.