on November 1, 2007 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Clemson’s Jenkins moves up depth chart

CLEMSON — The 2007 football season has been a year of learning and firsts for former Daniel High School standout Jarvis Jenkins.

First the 6-foot-4, 320-pound Clemson defensive tackle had to adjust to practice at the college level, then life as a collegiate athlete, handling the pressures of his first game, experiencing his first airplane trip, and lately learning how to watch the game from the sidelines.

“When I first came here I knew I was going to have to work my way up to get some playing time,” Jenkins said after Wednesday’s practice. “It hasn’t been a surprise to me. I wasn’t expecting much playing time, but I knew with my ability I could probably get some.”

Jenkins is expected to play a lot this Saturday when 25th-ranked Clemson (6-2, 3-2 ACC) travels to Duke in a pivotal ACC matchup for the Tigers, who are chasing Boston College and Wake Forest in the Atlantic Division standings. Jenkins, who has registered seven tackles, a sack and a tackle for a loss while playing 73 plays in seven games, is expected to receive a lot more playing time Saturday with the possibility of starting defensive tackle Rashaad Jackson not expected to play.

Defensive end Jamie Cumbie has been moved inside where he has practiced in place of Jackson the last two practices and is expected to start along side Dorell Scott across the front. Jenkins, along with fellow freshman Miguel Chavis, will see more playing time this week because of Cumbie’s move and Jackson’s injury.

Both freshmen have worked with the second team defense the last two days.

“We have to find some places to put those young guys in and get those guys on the field,” Clemson defensive line coach Chris Rumph said. “We have to get our best 11 guys on the field one way or another.”

Rumph didn’t say whether Jackson will sit out Saturday’s game or not, but Jackson didn’t participate in practice for the third straight day Wednesday and is listed as doubtful.

“I’m not sure yet. He is still getting treatment and he didn’t practice today,” Rumph said. “Anytime a defensive lineman doesn’t get to practice then he loses a step or two, but if we need him on Saturday, I think he will be available.”

But with Cumbie’s move and Jenkins and Chavis’ improvement, it doesn’t appear the Tigers will need Jackson against the Blue Devils (1-7, 0-5).

“They are going to play early and often and not just because of the components, but because they deserve it,” Rumph said. “They have worked hard the last few weeks and it is starting to come together.

“We wanted to play them earlier, but they just weren’t there yet. They were still a little immature and were making high school mistakes. Now they are starting to come together and now it is time to reward them.”

Rumph said it isn’t a definite that Cumbie will start against Duke in the middle as Jock McKissic is still in the fold as well. Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, however, wants to see his young defensive linemen start getting a little more playing time, if anything, to just shore up depth along the front of the defense.

“Those guys that have no redshirt year, you would like during these last four games to play,” he said. “If they don’t play some in these last four games then you have wasted a redshirt year so lets make sure these last few games that we utilize these guys since we are not going to redshirt them.”

And that’s just fine to Jenkins.

“They (the coaches) are starting to see my ability and I’m getting a lot more playing time,” he said. “Sitting out has made me a better man because when you are sitting there on the sideline most people will fold up and not really worry about playing anymore and will lose focus on football. But that’s not me. I just stayed focused and waited for my turn.”

Blacked out. The Clemson-Duke football game will be available on ESPN’s Gameplan this Saturday. However, it will not be seen in the Clemson area.

The game will be produced by CSS TV and the contest will not be available in eight states, the states where CSS television is available. CSS will provide a replay of the game on its affiliates the following Wednesday, but the CSS affiliates will not broadcast the game live.

The states where the game will not be available on ESPN Gameplan are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Injury update. Clemson offensive lineman Chris McDuffie, who suffered a sprained ankle in last week’s 30-17 win over Maryland, practiced Wednesday and is listed as questionable for the Duke game.