July 22, 2010

Notebook: Jenkins sets up official visits

Sometimes Jonathan Jenkins feels like he's close to a decision.

Then again, there are times when Jenkins thinks it wouldn't be the most prudent thing to rush into a commitment.

Jenkins, a 6-foot-4, 340-pound defensive tackle from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, knows where he'd go if he committed today.

But Jenkins isn't committing today -- or anytime soon for that matter.

Instead, Jenkins is lining up official visits. He'll visit Houston next weekend and he's hoping to visit Oklahoma State later this month.

"If I like (Houston), it's going to be whatever feels comfortable," Jenkins said. "But if I like them, I'm going to keep them in mind definitely. I'm going to try to take an official visit to Oklahoma State in early August. I'm trying to get that squared away. I'm going to save the Ole Miss visit for Thanksgiving weekend. I really want to see that game."

If Jenkins chose today, he said Thursday, he would commit to Ole Miss.

"Sometimes I think about it and I think about where I want to go, but then I fade away from even being close to a decision," Jenkins said. "Right now, Ole Miss is up there. They're my hot pick because I've had the opportunity to go there, the opportunity to know people, the opportunity to see their game situation and the opportunity to know everything in and out.

"I feel like I'm close to a decision but yet, I'm far back. I'm really indecisive right now. I talk about (Ole Miss) a lot just because I've been there. Once I start visiting some of these other schools, my decision should become clearer."

Jenkins said he was planning to take an unofficial visit to Syracuse this summer, "but things got messed up. I'm in the process of checking Houston, Oklahoma State, Auburn and maybe Mississippi State right now."

Jenkins, a Connecticut native with at least 10 major Division I offers, said he doesn't feel any pressure from any of his top choices to make an early pick.

"The only pressure I was really receiving was from Syracuse, believe it or not," Jenkins said. "Ole Miss and Oklahoma State, they're not giving any pressure. We just talk and joke around, talk about families and whatnot. Sometimes we don't even talk about football."

Jenkins said he likely won't know until after the fall semester at MGCCC whether he'll be a December or May graduate.

Ole Miss still has one major factor in its corner. The Rebels have two of Jenkins' former junior college teammates, Wayne Dorsey and Damien Jackson, on their roster, and Jenkins and Dorsey are very close friends.

"When me and Wayne talk, we joke around and he says, 'Hotty Toddy,' and all that," Jenkins said. "He seems happy. But he says it would be great to play together but he says if we're on opposite sides of the field, it is what it is. He's just basically guiding me through this process."

RAVEN TAKING HIS TIME: Floyd Raven left LSU earlier this week thinking he had an offer from the home-state Tigers. The Reserve (East St. John), La., native learned on Thursday, however, that he doesn't.

"I'm just chilling right now," Raven said. "They haven't offered yet. I thought they did from the way they were talking, but I talked to my coach (Larry Dauterive) and there was a misunderstanding. …It is what it is."

With LSU apparently out of the picture, Ole Miss and Texas A&M have emerged as the favorites for Raven's signature.

"Texas A&M and Ole Miss, I really liked," Raven said. "I got to see some things at A&M at LSU that I didn't get to do at Ole Miss. I didn't get to walk around Ole Miss and talk to the players. I'm trying to get back up there and do that before I make a commitment. …I can't pick yet. I wouldn't be giving Ole Miss a chance because I haven't seen the actual school."

Raven said the possibility of playing against LSU at Ole Miss on an annual basis wouldn't be a factor in his decision.

"There's not really a grudge held," Raven said. "I have to do what I have to do and they have to do what they have to do. I really liked Ole Miss."

THE BELL TOLLS SOON: Lakeland (Tenoroc), Fla., defensive tackle Terry Bell spent the better part of the last two weeks touring schools all over the Southeast.

The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder emerged with a predictable leader. However, Ole Miss is nipping on Florida State's proverbial heels.

"I really liked Ole Miss," said Bell, who camped at Ole Miss this past Saturday. "I liked their coaching staff, their situation and I liked their criminal justice program. It would be a good fit. They're my backup plan."

Florida State leads for Bell, with Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee rounding out his top five, in that order. Bell, who has more than 20 offers, said he likely won't make a commitment until September.

"I want to be comfortable with my decision," Bell said.

Some schools project Bell as an offensive tackle, a prospective position change Bell is open to.

"I want to play defense," Bell said, "but if someone wants to move me to offense, I'll give it everything I've got."

RIDDLE CONFIDENT ABOUT PROSPECTS: Newnan (Northgate), Ga., running back Isaiah Riddle left Ole Miss' camp Saturday without an offer and displeased with his 4.6-second time in the 40-yard dash.

However, Riddle left Oxford pleased with what he heard from Ole Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix. Riddle said Nix liked what he saw from the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder during drills as a linebacker, and Nix indicated he'll be making the trip to Georgia to see Riddle in action early this fall.

"I felt real comfortable," Riddle said, adding that the trip to Oxford only solidified his strong feelings for the Ole Miss program.

Riddle said Middle Tennessee State recently offered, but he's waiting for an SEC offer. Specifically, Riddle said, if Ole Miss or Kentucky offer a scholarship, Riddle is prepared to commit on the spot.

"I know I can play in the SEC," Riddle said.

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