As hard as it might be to imagine, Chris Jenkins is the old man of Lake Marion football.
The senior signal caller finds himself surrounded by a Gators team with talent, but, according to Lake Marion head coach Chris Carter, it is a young Gators team that needs to "grow up in a hurry."
That said, not a bad start for a young team to have an established star like Jenkins at quarterback. A season ago, the 5-9, 175-pounder rushed for 1,250 yards and 19 touchdowns and passed for 989 yards and 12 more scores. On defense, he had six pass breakups and 23 tackles.
This summer, Jenkins spent time camping at East Carolina and N.C. State.
"It was good," Jenkins said. "You get to see other kids and how they work out. You just go back to your school and try to apply some of the things you saw at camp with your team."
In 2011, Jenkins' final year in Santee, Carter has said he is prepared to let his quarterback air it out to a talented group of receivers that includes big-time prospect Mike Williams.
"They are looking good," he said of his receivers. "They are out there everyday. They know everybody is going to double and triple-team Mike (Williams) so they are really stepping it up. I like that from my receivers."
As the 2011 season nears, Jenkins took the time to answer five questions for The T&D.
Q: Some small schools have reportedly offered you. Who has offered and are you holding out for bigger schools?
Jenkins: Georgia State was my first offer. Presbyterian and the Charlotte 49ers have offered. A few other schools have offered too. Some call coach and some call me. There are some schools that I just named on that list that I really like and I think that is where I'm going to go. I play with a chip on my shoulder because of my size. I may be small, but I think I play big. I'm probably just going to one of those Double A schools and showcase my talent.
Q: As a quarterback, you've put up some big numbers in Santee. How much would you say you've progressed since taking your first snaps for Lake Marion?
Jenkins: I've progressed a lot. From learning how to read defenses to knowing when someone will be open ... all kinds of stuff. Coach (Chris) Carter being with me has really stepped my game up.
Q: That said, you're listed as an athlete. Where are you hearing that schools will want you to play on the next level?
Jenkins: It's kind of hard to say. Everyone is coming at me at different positions. I really think I will be at defensive back. I've really been working with that. Where ever they stick me at, I'm going to be ready to play.
Q: How are you guys feeling heading into the season?
Jenkins: I feel good about this season. The dedication we have had this year ... we have never had this dedication before. This strength coach is getting us right. He is getting us strong, and teams are going to know that Lake Marion is a strong team this year.
Q: You have put up some good numbers the last two seasons. This is your final year. How important is it to you to go out strong.
Jenkins: I just want to have a good year. All the seniors do. We have to get the young guys ready. It is going to be important just to beat least year's record. We want to beat last year's record and go out with a bang.
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