By Trey McCurry.
Clemson senior defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins recently spoke with TheClemsonInsider about the upcoming season. So far this season, Jenkins is on the watch lists for both the Outland Trophy (top interior lineman on offense or defense) and the Nagurski Award (top defensive player in college football) in addition to be named preseason First-Team All-ACC.
Jenkins sounded very excited about practice and how much he enjoyed playing in Coach Steele’s defense.
“He just makes everything fun for us,” said #99. “Coach Steele really brings it to us, but he is always telling us to have fun, enjoy being out there with your teammates, and enjoy making plays.”
Making plays is something that the senior from nearby Daniel High School is accustomed to doing on the field. Last season, Jenkins had 69 tackles (to lead all defensive lineman) with 11 tackles for loss and seven quarterback pressures while starting all 14 games for the Tigers. For his career he has appeared in 37 games (26 starts) and has 113 tackles. His 22 tackles for loss are the most by any current Clemson player.
While Jenkins is proud of his accomplishments so far, he knows he has more to work on. When discussing his goals for the season, #99 wants to work on his pass rush.
“I’ve shown I can stop the run, and while I will continue to work on that, I want to become a better pass rusher.”
As for any team goals, Jenkins wants not only the defense to be ranked in the top-10, but the entire team to achieve that status in the polls as well.
So far this camp, Jenkins has been very pleased with practice. He notes that the defense is coming along really well in its second year in the scheme and really complemented Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington. “They haven’t took a step back from C.J. I know that is saying a lot, but they really aren’t far from him.”
Being basically a Clemson kid his entire life, you can tell Jenkins is excited about the defense and how some compare it to getting back to the “glory” days of the late 80s and early 90s. He spoke at length about how much it means to be compared to those guys and their toughness. “This defense has the potential, players, and leaders to do it. We have to get more mentally and physically tough to get back to that mindset and pull it all together.”
With the 2010 season fast approaching, Jenkins and the defense are ready and are looking forward to the season opener against North Texas.