Winona athlete Colton Jenkins became Mississippi State's 20th confirmed commitment yesterday and nearly closed out the list of big men that the Bulldogs hope to sign in February. Jenkins talks about his decision, how he did it, what he will be playing, and which future teammate was the first one he called!
Jenkins decided where he wanted to go, but didn't feel right breaking the news to his new coaches via phone, so he made the trek to Starkville to make his intentions known.
"I felt it would be more manly and out of respect to not call them on the phone, to tell them to their face," he explained.
"I went in to meet with coach Croom. I was sitting there carrying on a conversation and I said, 'Coach Croom, I have been thinking, and I have decided I want to join and be a part of this program you are building here at Mississippi State.' He jumped up and he said, 'I agree. Let's shake on it!'
That handshake meant a lot to both of them.
"When I tell somebody I am going to do something, I am going to do it," Jenkins said. "I am not the type of person that says something then turns around and says something else and doesn't do it."
As one of four OLs being pursued heavily my MSU at their latest camp, Jenkins becomes the third of that group to join State's commitment list. One, he already had a bond with, and that was one of the first calls he made after his decision.
"I called Addison Lawrence and started joking with him," he said. "I told him I had committed somewhere else, and he was like, 'Uh, okay, well congrats. Man, you shouldn't have done that.'
"Then I busted out and said, "Man I committed to Mississippi State' He said 'Man, that wasn't funny.'
"He is excited. We are going to be roommates at Mississippi State. We are going to be rooming together, me and Addison are, so now it is me, Addison, Quentin Saulsberry, D.J. Looney, and we are hoping to get Derek Sherrod."
So where will he play for State?
"They told me three positions - tight end, defensive tackle and offensive tackle," Jenkins explained. "I will work at three positions and the better one will be the one where I will go, and plus it depends on if I am through growing or not.
"I am big and from what I am told I am pretty quick (he was recently clocked at 4.9 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Southern Miss's camp), but I still think I am slow, so they said I could play tight end or defensive tackle, plus I have the footwork to play on the offensive line."
While several factors figured into his decision, the State coaching staff played a big role. While he is unsure at this point who his position coach will be, in the end, it really doesn't matter.
"Coach Grimes, when we were at the camp, I could tell he had the patience to work with me, because being my first time on the offensive line and pass blocking, he was teaching me the basics I needed to know to do everything," Jenkins stated. "I love him as a coach. When I am talking to coach Grimes, I feel like I am talking to my home football coach that I am already playing for.
"I met coach Stringer at my first camp. He came up an introduced himself and we formed a bond. The same thing with coach Haley. He came up to me and I talked to him. I liked him, enjoyed him, and their stance is the same thing my coaches teach me here on the defensive side at home. I just fell in love with all of them."
While he has yet to set up an official visit, the coaches wanted him to take a visit to Starkville the first available date. Due to conflicts in his schedule, however, he will be unable to attend.
"They had asked if I could come to the South Carolina game, but I told them I couldn't because it was a school night and I didn't want to stay out too late because of grades and stuff," he said. "Plus it is the night before one of my football games."