Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Worried" about Johnathan Jenkins?

It's a safe bet that coaches and fans alike expected Johnathan Jenkins to take over the starting nose tackle job when he transferred from junior college earlier this year. After all, he had the type of size (currently listed at over 6'3" and about 350 lbs.) and athleticism that you look for when running the 3-4 defense. Further, the only other viable option was Kwame Geathers, who'd looked a bit out of shape and lost during his first couple of seasons with the Bulldogs.

Now, though, after both great improvement by Geathers and some minor injuries/setbacks for Jenkins, it appears that Kwame is set to open the season as the starter. But, does this mean fans should worry that Jenkins is not going to live up to the hype? Hardly.

We need to remember that Kwame Geathers is, himself, still just coming into his redshirt sophomore season. It's not as though he was just lazing around, and is now the starter by default. He was still in a learning process, and had seemed to break through during the spring, even before Jenkins arrived on campus.

As you break it down even further, you realize that this is the perfect scenario for the Dawgs at NT. First, you allow Jenkins to ease into the role, gaining valuable experience one piece at a time. Second, and more importantly, though, you've got two gargantuan players who can substitute in and out and remain fresh. Imagine offensive centers and guards who've been battling a 350 pounder all day, and yet he never gets tired, because there are two of him. That's just a lot of weight to carry around, so the fresher you can keep both Geathers and Jenkins, the better off the defense will be.

Assuming the minor hamstring pull doesn't keep him out too much longer, you can expect to see Jenkins playing some significant minutes against Boise St. next Saturday night. I think coaches and teammates still expect great things from him. So, don't worry that he's not starting right now. Be excited that Kwame Geathers was able to beat him out.

No comments:

Post a Comment