The UTEP Miners have reportedly received a verbal commitment from 6'9, 317 lb. offensive tackle Trint Jenkins. Jenkins played for Victory Christian High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The commitment was first reported by Matt Baker of the Tulsa World. Jenkins first came across our radar here when Baker reported that UTEP was the first FBS school to offer Jenkins a scholarship just over a week ago.
According to Rivals, Jenkins was also offered a scholarship to Jacksonville State. The report notes that Jenkins was also considering the Arkansas St. Red Wolves, South Alabama, and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. According to Baker, UTEP views Jenkins as a "diamond in the rough."
Rivals has not given Jenkins a "star rating." ESPN rates Trint as a 2 star prospect and ranks him as the 181st best offensive tackle in the nation this year.
According to ESPN:
Jenkins flashes the ability to dominate opponents with his size however his explosion and ability to handle quickness must improve. Has the size for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition however we see the need for improved athleticism; his height will certainly allow for additional bulk
The mammoth Jenkins runs a 5.2 forty-yard dash, bench presses 300 pounds, and has a core 3.0 GPA.
Watching his highlights (embedded above), I can't help but be struck with how light on his feet the 300 lb.+ Jenkins is. In high school, he played right tackle. He's definitely raw and I'd guess he's a lock to redshirt in 2011.
Jenkins becomes the third high school offensive tackle to join UTEP's 2011 class. UTEP also has verbal commitments from Lyan Lindblade, of Richmond, TX, and Cody Elenz, of Copperas Cove. The Miners have also have a commitment from JUCO prospect James Martin, a left tackle, who figures to battle for a starting spot next season.
Considering how many UTEP offensive linemen graduated this season, and how many seniors are on the roster now, it was essential that Mike Price bring in some high school linemen that can develop in the future. The "mammoth" Jenkins looks like he can be one heck of a building block. The fact that UTEP plucked Jenkins from Conference USA rival Tulsa's backyard? Well, that's just icing on the cake.
For more on UTEP"s 2011 recruiting class, check out Miner Rush's Recruiting Big Board.