The athletic offensive lineman is biding his time under Doyle until he gets an opportunity.
Jeff Jenkins – RS Freshman
Crystal Lake, IL (Prairie Ridge)
6’3”, 265 lbs
2019 Projection: Backup OG
Jeff Jenkins committed to Iowa before he finished his junior season and before most of the bigger schools noticed how good he was at Prairie Ridge in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
In an offense predicated on getting the best athlete the ball all the time, Jenkins spent most of his time leading the way for fellow Hawkeye commit and Crystal Lake QB Samson Evans. In an option offense, Jenkins was often used to pull across the formation and bulldoze a running lane for the Gatorade Player of the Year in Illinois. He was quite successful.
At just south of 6’4”, Jenkins is a bit undersized to play the tackle spot he enjoyed in high school. He was recruited as a guard and that’s where he’ll line up when he cracks the depth chart.
As a redshirt freshman heading into 2019, Jenkins is listed on the Hawkeye roster at 265 pounds. That’s a tad lighter than his recruiting profile had him and certainly is not yet updated for his first full year in Iowa’s strength program. Look for him to emerge closer to 285 when things are updated this fall.
He’ll likely spend this season much like he did last: building on that frame to get closer to 300 pounds, learning the offense and studying behind the likes of Cole Banwart, brothers Levi and Landan Paulsen and battling it out with fellow youngsters like Cody Ince.
Beyond 2019, the Hawkeyes are going to need to replace both Paulsens on the interior. Tyler Linderbaum seems entrenched at center, which means Cole Banwart is likely to be back at a guard spot. That leaves an opening for Jenkins to potentially step into a starting role. At the very least, expect to see him on the depth chart in 2020 at the latest.