The 2018 Iowa football recruiting class began when the Hawkeyes landed a commitment from Crystal Lake, IL offensive lineman Jeff Jenkins (6’4 275 lbs) back in January. Jenkins played his high school ball at Prairie Ridge. The Hawkeyes have a rich tradition of finding key contributors in the state of Illinois, and Jeff Jenkins hopes to be next in line.
It didn’t take Jenkins long to accept Iowa’s offer. The Hawkeyes offered just two weeks before he committed on January 13th, 2017.
It’s also well known by now that Iowa was after Jenkin’s good friend, and teammate, Samson Evans as well. Evans plays QB for Prairie Ridge, and he later committed to Iowa as an athlete on 5/21/17. He projects as a WR at Iowa.
We had a chance to catch up with Jeff Jenkins a few weeks ago, and he was kind enough to give us an interview. Please take a minute to get to know a little bit more about Jeff, and his commitment to the Hawkeyes. Here you go!
1. What was it about Iowa that ultimately convinced you to commit?
Brian Ferentz had me day one. I picked really fast because of him. He and Coach Wallace recruited me and did a awesome job. Coach Ferentz showed he wanted me and I could tell he’s gonna be a great young coach. He had me from day one.
2. Northwestern has given Iowa some fits during Kirk Ferentz’s tenure. What school, if any, did you grow up rooting for? Would it have made a difference in your recruitment if Northwestern or Illinois had offered you? If so, do you hold any grudges there or are you specifically looking forward to playing against them?
I grew up a fan of football, but never really chose a school. I liked some for awhile, but Northwestern and Illinois would have had no affect. Northwestern would have never been an option, and as far as Illinois they didn’t think I could put on weight. I’m up 40 pounds since then. I won’t comment anymore on that.
3. What did the Iowa coaches like about your play?
My hard work and never quit approach on plays and being really athletic. Being tough smart and physical are the characteristics I think I have.
4. On the flip side, have they told you anything in particular that they’d like you to work on?
For me adding more weight is the big thing, but that will be good when I get to Iowa and can work with the best S/C coach in the nation.
5. Have you played any other sports besides football? Anything else that you excel at?
I played baseball and basketball my whole life leading up to high school where I have also thrown shot and disc. I’m thinking about wrestling this year. We’ll see.
6. Academically, what are you going to study? Do you know what you’d like to do once your football career comes to an end?
I’m not set in stone on what I will study, but it will be something with business. I really haven’t thought that far ahead, but it’ll be something in the business world.
7. On a lighter note, who is more weird… you or your buddy joining you at Iowa, Samson Evans and why?
I would say Samson is much more weird. You meet him and you’re like “woah whats up with this kid?”. He would argue the same thing for me so I’m sure people will have their own thoughts on that.
8. I know you recruited Samson pretty hard to join you at Iowa. Be honest, did you have a feeling all along that he was gonna pick the Hawks or were you ever worried?
I did not know at all for awhile. I knew toward the end, but he wanted to be a QB so I knew NIU was there for that, and he had a lot of great offers. I wanted him to go where he wanted to go. I would give my 2 cents from time to time (he may say it was more than time to time), but he did it it the way he wanted to do it, and he did what was best for him. I’m glad he was able to do it his way.