After a brief hiatus on recruiting commitments, the Bearcats are back and back with vengeance. Following the verbal commitment of WR Marcel Paul to the 2016 recruiting class, Cincinnati earned another commitment, but this one comes from JUCO cornerback Eric Jenkins from Los Angeles Valley Community College.
Verbally committed to Cincinnati ⚫️ #BearCats— EJenkins (@EricJenkins_) July 21, 2015
Jenkins, a New Orleans, LA native, is 5'10" and weighs 185 lbs. On 247Sports, Jenkins sports a 83 composite rating as a three-star recruit. Rivals gave him a 5.5 out of 6.1 based on their ranking system. Illinois, Indiana, Central Michigan and UTEP offered scholarships to the cornerback, but once again, the Bearcats pulled the commitment out.
Now, if you feel like you have heard this before, it's because you likely have. Jenkins fits the mold of yet another player, reeled in by the Cincinnati coaching staff who hovers around the three-star range with a high-ceiling.
On the Field
Let's begin with Jenkins athleticism... I love it. Don't get me wrong, technique, particularly at the cornerback position is an essential part of the game, but the pure athleticism and physical ability that Jenkins brings to the table is something you don't always see and is something that can't be taught. It isn't just that he can run fast or can jump, it's that he can do all of it fluidly and comfortably. He makes it look easy. Regardless of what he is doing on the football field, he looks like a natural cornerback doing it.
I also really like his ability to go after the ball and catch it with his hands. He does a great job tracking the ball in the air and treating it like a true 50-50 ball with the receiver. Not to mention, the old saying that "cornerbacks are wide receivers who can't catch" doesn't seem to apply here. He has hands and knows how to use them.
The big flag I see right now in Jenkins' game is a lack of discipline playing the position. His athleticism helps him out of binds where he is caught behind the receiver or beat deep, but you would prefer that worked it's way out of his game. He has all the physical tools to do whatever he wants at the corner position, but now it's just about developing that consistency that doesn't call for late-play heroics on his part. That said, that sort of discipline can be taught and coached.
Overall, Jenkins is a solid player who appears to fit in as a quality nickle corner, possibly early on. From the little film I have seen, I do think he could develop into something more if he takes to heart what the coaches are coaching. At the very least, he has the pure ability to step in as a solid nickle corner sometime down the road. I imagine sooner rather than later.