Jenkins maximizing the moment

Elgton Jenkins has started six games at offensive tackle for the Bulldogs over the last two seasons. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

Elgton Jenkins has started six games at offensive tackle for the Bulldogs over the last two seasons. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

Mississippi State was the only SEC program to offer Elgton Jenkins during his recruitment.

Jenkins took the Bulldogs up on their offer during his official visit and signed his national letter of intent two days later along with Clarksdale High School teammate J.T. Gray.

“When they offered me, I was 100 percent sure I was coming here,” Jenkins said. “I’m loyal to whoever is loyal to me.”

It now appears that the MSU coaching staff found a steal in the rural Mississippi Delta. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound sophomore has 15 career games including six starts at left and right tackle.

“When I first came here, I was flying under the radar,” Jenkins said. “But I just came out and gave my best on every play. Once I got out there I could compete and that built my confidence. I used that redshirt year to get stronger, built more muscle and now I’m in the position I am now.”

Jenkins made three of his starts last season as a redshirt freshman. He started at left tackle against Troy and Ole Miss and also on the right side against Arkansas.

This year, Jenkins started the first three games at left tackle but has been splitting time at the position with junior Martinas Rankin.

“Martinas is a great guy and a good football player,” Jenkins said. “We’re just pushing each other out there. Now that we’re in season, both of us are getting the same amount of reps in the games so that we can show who wants the spot the most. We’re each playing about 40 reps and it’s keeping us fresher so that we can go hard every play.”

Hard work and sacrifice have been the cornerstones to Jenkins’ success so far in his still young collegiate career. Although he has made major strides since arriving in Starkville three years ago, he is not going to rest on his laurels.

“I’ve developed a lot,” Jenkins said. “But there’s a lot more work to be done. I’m just trying to fight and striving to be the best I can be while I’m here in this program. I’m thankful and blessed by the position God put me in. The only thing I can do is maximize the moment while I’m here.”

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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