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One-on-One with the Pirates
, August 17, 2010

By Ron Cherubini

Q&A with Jacobi Jenkins

By Ron Cherubini
All rights reserved.

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When you get to talking to East Carolina defensive coordinator Brian Mitchell, he will eventually get to the topic of Jacobi Jenkins. Mitchell has often talked about how impressed he has been with Jenkins the player and Jenkins the person.

After coming into the program as a wide receiver, Jenkins was quickly moved to corner because of his athleticism. Since the transition, he has worked hard to become a good corner and he has ridden a roller coaster of being thrown into games with little preparation, to being a starter at times, to being a work in progress.

But now, heading into his senior season, Jenkins is one of the team's more experienced corners and is looking all the part to take the field corner position. Moreover, his leadership role has become a big one — he is a considered not only a leader in the secondary, but also on the defense. He is prepared for his role this year and it is a safe bet that he will perform well. He is sort of this year’s Cliff Perryman, who was fantastic in his final season a year ago.

Jacobi was kind enough to sit down for a chat with Bonesville to share his insights on the upcoming season.

Jacobi Jenkins in action
(ECU SID photo)

One-on-One with Jacobi Jenkins

Q: You are guy who has gotten plenty of playing time, but this is really the first time where you are expected to lock down a starting job back there. How excited are you about this opportunity and this season?

A: I am very excited to be competing for the job. Every day it is a different challenge, but I am working on getting better each day.

Q: Coach Brian Mitchell has not been shy in stating plainly how much he thinks of you as both a player and a person. Talk a little bit about that relationship [and] what it brings to your approach?

A: Coach Mitchell is a great coach and he takes time to teach you step-by-step. He breaks it down, and for me that helps a lot and makes me a lot better. We do talk some on a personal level, we are all a big family here, and he is like a father-figure away from home for me. He is a great role model.

Q: There are many out there looking at the secondary saying, ‘You lost ED (Emanuel David), you lost (Derek) Blacknall, you lost (Bradley) Jacobs — they are rebuilding back there. Tell us why this is more of a reload than a rebuild in the secondary? Talk about being a leader out there.

A: Those guys were great, no doubt. But I feel like this group has made a huge jump from last year to this season. Not all of us have gotten a lot of reps on the field, but all of us have had a lot of mental reps, practice reps. We know this system and what our jobs are. And I do think that we are physically stronger and faster this year.

Q: Talk a little bit about the battle at corner with the arrival of JUCO Adonis Armstrong. He is a bit different type of corner than you, correct? Are you helping him acclimate and is he helping you at all?

A: We don’t look at it as one guy only. We are a team (at field corner). We rotate, back and forth. We both want to win as a team. Our skills fit well together for that position.

Q: What player on this team do you most respect and why?

A: Ummm, probably have to say Daniel Drake. Drake is one of those guys day-in and day-out no matter what is going on in his life, when he steps on the field, it is always 110% — always. He is a vocal leader on and off the field.

Q: What receiver on this team have you had to cover that makes you think, ‘Good luck for anyone who has to cover him for a game?'

A: Not just one. I would have to say the Big Three: Justin Hardy, Reese Wiggins, and Dayon (Arrington). Those are three great receivers. They all work hard and you never really see them take a play off. Working against them, I know, helps us (on defense) get better and better and will help us get back to the championship.

Q: How important is it to this unit to not be perceived as the weak link?

A: Every day we come out and work to be good. We don’t let the ball behind us. But this is 11-man football and what they do up front and what we do in the back benefits each other. We are ready for the challenge.

Q: Your teammates and coaches have remarked that you are leader out there. Is this a comfortable role for you?

A: I am more than comfortable in that role. I have tried to work all summer long helping the guys understand and learn where everyone on the defense goes, where they need to be. Not just the secondary, but where the Mike and Buck backers should be in coverage or how the defensive ends are going to play in a situation. I like the role and hope to be good at it.

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08/17/2012 09:29 AM


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