Deon Jenkins

I love to go to scholarship signings.

Unfortunately because of our busy schedule and small staff, I can’t make as many of them as I’d like to, but when I can go, I do, and I always love to see how happy everyone there is.

Securing a place at the next level as a student-athlete is an amazing accomplishment. Statistically, only about 7 percent of all high school athletes play collegiately, and just 2 percent play Division I.

For those lucky few student-athletes, signing that scholarship marks a chance to keep playing, yes, but it also marks continued education, which breeds future community leaders.

I love my job all of the time, but on those days, I always leave work with a smile.

So, let’s get to business.

Rarely do I publicly promote local players because if you get into that business, sometimes coaches or parents expect you to get into the business of creating hype over reporting facts.

But right now, I have to make an exception, and I think football fans in our area will agree and understand.

Central Lafourche senior halfback Deon Jenkins is not getting the offers he deserves at the next level.

It’s really time that colleges take note of that kid’s talent and give him the chance that he deserves. They will not be disappointed.

Jenkins is one of the best local halfbacks I’ve seen in a while — in part because of his diverse skillset.

He’s not a huge back, but he has power — lots of it, often finishing runs having done more punishment to the defense than they’ve done to him.

That’s been since his first days on campus in Mathews as a freshman. He lowers that shoulder, delivers punishment to the defense and doesn’t wear down. By the fourth quarter, he’s still fresh and the opponents no longer have any interest in tackling him.

But what stands out to me most about Jenkins is how much he’s improved over the years. At one time, he was a one-trick pony with just the power, but now, he has some wiggle. He can both run through you and around you. When the Trojans opt to throw the football, he’s also a weapon and can make plays with his hands — both in short, intermediate and deep wheel routes.

That makes him dangerous as heck on Friday nights.

And it shows.

In the first three games of the season, the halfback pushed close to 1,000 total yards with 14 touchdowns. Yes, I said that right. In THREE games. That’s a full season’s worth of production in three early-season nights in the fall.

This coming Friday, he will eclipse 1,000 yards and has continued his magical ride. The schedule gets tougher in the coming weeks, but it’s hard to envision that there’s an ending anywhere in sight in the coming weeks.

The kid has elite vision and is so patient in the backfield waiting for his hole to develop. One in the hole, he always seems to fall forward. Because he has a low center of gravity, it’s hard for defenses to ever square him up, so he often gets 2-3 cheap yards after contact. After about 25-30 carries, those 2-3 cheap yards per play turn into an extra 70-80-yards per game — just with sheer talent, vision and motor. Most of those are intangibles can’t be coached. Some kids just have ‘em, and Jenkins is one of those lucky few.

Add it all up and it all looks pretty darned good to me.

Local college coaches, I am stating right now: You should get in on this kid — right now, before it’s too late.

Coaches outside the area — you guys might want to take a look, too.

Don’t just take me at my word. Call coach Keith Menard and ask for a little tape.

You won’t be disappointed.

This kid is a college-level player.

Oh yeah, and he’s a pretty awesome kid, too — always humble, never showboating.

To me, that counts for something, as well.

Follow Casey on Twitter for more.

Casey Gisclair is the Sports Editor at Rushing Media. A native of Cut Off and graduate of Louisiana State University, Casey is a lifelong sports fan who joined the Houma Times team in Dec. 2009 upon college graduation.

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