clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Top tackle recruit Sterling Jenkins trims his list to 2 schools

Sterling Jenkins breaks down his final two of Ohio State and Penn State.

One of the nation's top offensive linemen in the form of Pittsburgh (Pa.) Baldwin offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins trimmed his impressive list of scholarship offers to two late last week.

The 6'8, 305-pound lineman is ranked as the No. 5 offensive tackle, the state of Pennsylvania's top player and the 53rd-best player in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Jenkins originally planned to make a late decision, but late last week he decided he wanted to cut his list and focus on two schools.

"It was starting to become apparent to me how busy and hectic the spring could be if I just let it ride and kept doing what I was doing," Jenkins said. "I wanted to make it something that's more focused on what's realistic for me and what was best for my future instead of getting all attention, so I decided to cut it down to two."

One school to make the cut for the standout offensive lineman was Ohio State because he thinks the Buckeyes are building something special under Urban Meyer.

"Ohio State is really centered around being great. They have their goals and are really working towards them. I respect that," Jenkins said. "I like the coaches and the facilities and it's a realistic option for me."

Penn State was the other school to make the cut for Jenkins. He has strong relationships with the Penn State coaching staff and sees the Nittany Lions are building something special in their 2015 recruiting class.

"I love the coaches. I love Coach Hand. What they have going with all of the commits is awesome," he continued. "It seems like they're building something that's truly important. I really admire that about them."

He has three visits on tap in the next month. First he will make the trip to Columbus to visit Ohio State this Friday. He's hoping to become more familiar with the program as he admittedly knows more about Penn State.

"Really just getting more familiar with everything about Ohio State," he said. "Just talking to Coach Warinner and the coaches and seeing how that is."

Following his trip to Columbus, Jenkins will be in Happy Valley the very next day to take in Penn State's spring game. He'll also be visiting the Nittany Lions on May 5.

"The first one is just to see their spring game and start networking with the other commits," he said. "The second one is really just for my parents so they can see Penn State."

Before the hire of James Franklin at Penn State, many considered Michigan to be the favorite to land Jenkins' commitment. When Franklin came in, however, everything changed.

"Actually yeah. I knew they weren't going to hire just anybody," he stated. "They're a lot higher on my list now with Coach Franklin than they were with Coach O'Brien."

Over the past couple of months, Jenkins had built strong relationships with the new members of the Penn State coaching staff.

"It's really sincere and open," he continued. "Whenever I come on a visit they're all waiting in the lobby, saying 'what's up,' and checking in on me. They're really a bunch of good guys."

Jenkins is also pretty close to the Buckeyes' staff, having the most contact with area recruiter Luke Fickell and offensive line coach Ed Warinner.

"I talk to Coach Fickell and Coach Warinner the most," he stated. "Really, it's just them wanting me to come for a visit, checking in and seeing how I'm doing."

While Penn State is the heavy 247Sports Crystal Ball favorite to land Jenkins right now, he's not ready to name a leader of his two finalists.

"I'm not really sure. If I were sure I would be committed right now, but I'm not," Jenkins said.

A decision could come after his May 5 visit to Penn State, but he's not 100 percent sure if that will happen. In any event, he wants to wraps things up before his senior season kicks off.

"I'm not sure if I'll commit after the visits," he continued. "Definitely before the football season though."

Could other teams emerge in this race to land his commitment? Probably not, but there's a chance.

"If any coaches come around, I'll look into them and see what they're all about," he said. "Right now I can't really think of any other schools."

When he sits down to make his college decision, there are a couple of key factors that will go into it, with the biggest one feeling comfortable at the school.

"One will be the relationships and the support base. I know people go there and hit a wall, feel like they don't belong there and are trapped," he said. "I don't want to be in that situation. I want to be someplace where I can feel comfortable in some sense no matter what, whether it's with the people, the coaches or the school in general."

Of all of the coaches he has talked to throughout the process, he has the best relationships with Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand and Ohio State's Warinner.

"I'd definitely say Coach Warinner and Coach Hand. Coach Hand really tells me about his approach in life and his relationships with his past players. He's really sincere and honest. I admire him and how he coaches," Jenkins stated. "Coach Warinner, I haven't really seen how he coaches yet, but I know the guys love him and he treats them like his sons, so I'm really looking forward to seeing him on Friday."