football

Jenkins turning heads after junior season

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Ever since Kris Jenkins walked into high school coach Steve Turner's front door as a freshman, he's not had a bigger advocate in his corner.
Now a junior at Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga, the 6-foot-6 forward is getting everybody else to see the same things his coach always has.
"I think he's finally got an opportunity because of our schedule this year to show folks on the national stage what he can do," Turner told Rivals.com. "He outplayed some guys with more name recognition and we went a stretch without Nate Britt where he really carried us.
"All of that together has given everybody an opportunity to see how good he really is."
Named player of the year in the highly competitive WCAC, Jenkins has been huge as a junior. Built like a power forward, he uses his wide body to score in the post, he rebounds and he steps out to bury jumpers. His game doesn't fit any defined position or role, he's just a player.
"Too many people have tried to define him and his position," Turner said. "At the end of the day he's just a basketball player who is going to help people win and who is tough.
"He's kind of like a point forward in that sense because he can score but at the end of the day he's going to do what it takes to make those around him better."
A bit of a cross between Draymond Green and P.J. Tucker, Jenkins showcases an impressive skill level, playmaking ability and strength. Now, he's trying to shed some baby fat to maximize his physical abilities.
Turner says that he and Jenkins have looked at what getting into top shape has done for 2013 five-star Jabari Parker as a blueprint.
"I think now it's the body," Turner said. "The consistency with his body and he's really working on it. He's changing how he's eating and I think Kris realizes that now he's put himself on the map that's what's really going to get him over the top."
Currently an unranked three-star prospect -- something that will change with the next rankings update -- Jenkins already has plenty of scholarship offers.
Xavier has been involved from the beginning and stepped up with an early offer, as did Penn State, Boston College, Miami, Seton Hall, Rutgers, George Washington, St. Joseph's, Villanova, Clemson and Richmond. Louiville, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Maryland and UMass have also made recent pushes but are yet to offer.
While there's plenty of college attention, Jenkins - who will again run with the D.C. Assault this summer - is still focused on finishing up his junior season by trying to win a championship at the tradition-steeped Alhambra tournament.
"He's trying to get through Alhambra next week," said Turner. "Then he's trying to get out and see some of these places so he can start trimming this list because with a list this big the calls are hectic."
At this point, Turner anticipates that Jenkins will make a fall decision and he'll be looking for a program that can use him immediately.
"Kris is going to want to go somewhere that he can play and he isn't going to want to go somewhere that he's just sitting on the bench," said Turner. "I also think that he's looking for somewhere that he can have a good relationship with the head coach. Coming from here, he's looking for a place with a good academic situation as well."
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