In a few weeks, Jarvis Jenkins will be entering his eighth season in the NFL. How big of a deal is that?
In the history of Clemson football, only eight defensive linemen from Clemson have played 10 or more years in the NFL, the last being Nick Eason, who played in the league for 10 years from 2003-’12.
“I just want to keep up with my level of play,” said Jenkins, who hosted the 4th Annual Daniel High School Alumni Football Camp this past weekend in Central, S.C.
Jenkins will be entering his third season with the Kansas City Chiefs, who begin training camp July 26 at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo.
“I am going into year eight. At this point, the little things matter to me,” Jenkins said. “I am not as athletic as some of the younger guys coming in and I might not be as strong, but being more consistent, being more of a technical guy and looking at the little things is what I have to do. So I will work on doing the little things right so my production stands out throughout the whole year.”
One of Jenkins’ goals is to play an entire season, which he last did two years ago when he played nine games for the New York Jets and then was traded midseason to Kanas City and played the last seven there. He also played in the Chiefs’ playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had three tackles in the game and a half sack.
“As we get through the season, my body starts wearing down so I have to focus on being consistent throughout the whole year,” he said.
Jenkins’ best season came in 2015 when he was with the Chicago Bears. He totaled a career-high 32 tackles to go along with a career-high four sacks from his defensive tackle position. He also deflected one pass.
Jenkins says he has enjoyed being on a playoff team the last couple of years. The Chiefs have won the AFC West Division the last two years and the 2016 team went 12-4 in the regular season.
The goal this year in Kansas City for Jenkins and the Chiefs is bigger than winning their division.
“We have to think bigger,” the former Clemson star said. “We have obviously won our division two years in a row. We are tired of short goals. We have to set our bar just a little bit higher.
“At this point, we should expect to win the division because we have won it the last few years. But we want to get further and win in the playoffs. We are a playoff contending team, but we have to figure out a way to finish. That’s one of the things we are working on now. I think Coach (Andy) Reed has a good plan and we are going to surprise a lot of people this year.”
Jenkins was a First-Team All-ACC selection at Clemson in 2010. The local product, who grew up right down the road from Clemson, started all four years for the Tigers.
In 2009, he helped the Tigers win their first ACC Atlantic Division Championship as he tallied 69 tackles, including 11 for loss. He had eight tackles for loss in 2010 as Clemson led the ACC in scoring defense that year.
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