3 Star FL CB Flips Commitment From Rocky Top To The Ville

Head Coach Scott Satterfield and his staff are on a mini hot streak in recruiting. Just the a couple of days ago, they picked up a commitment from 3 Star OH WR Nick Malito. Now they have picked up a big time 3 Star CB from the state of FL.

Lovie Jenkins, a 5’10 181 lbs CB, flipped his commitment from the Tennessee Volunteers to the Cards. Jenkins is a teammate of UofL WR commit Dexter Rentz Jr at Ocoee High School in Ocoee, FL. Jenkins chose UofL over offers from Tennessee, UK, Miami (FL), NC State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Virginia, and West Virginia, among many others. Jenkins is ranked the 693rd best prospect overall in the 2020 class and the 58th best at this position, according to 247sports composite rankings. UofL Safties Coach ShaDon Brown was his primary recruiter.

Jenkins is a rare blend of skills for a CB. He possesses speed, strength, ball hawking  ability, tackling ability, and hitting ability. It’s no wonder the likes of Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Miami wanted him to join their ranks. Last season, Jenkins collected 60 tackles, 3 interceptions, 15 pass breakups, and 4 TDs. His highlights back up the stats.

Jenkins is very fluid in his motion, able to turn his hips quickly to stay with WRs while in man coverage. His is strong and very physical. It shows in his ability to jam receivers at the line and in his hitting and tackling. Speaking of hitting and tackling, Jenkins likes to lay the wood to opponents. He brings the hammer, but, at the same time, he is one of the surest tacklers I have seen. Once he gets his hands on a ball carrier, whether it be a WR or a big RB, that player is going to the ground. When in coverage, Jenkins is such a ball hawk. He is always looking back for the ball and his ball skills are excellent. He is able to high point the ball like a WR. His quickness and speed are elite level. This shows in his skills as a punt and kick returner as he is able to navigate through punt and kick coverages for big returns.

Now that we have an overview of Jenkins skills, lets delve a little deeper into them.

Speed/Quickness

Jenkins, much like his teammate Dexter Rentz, is fast. Also, he is very quick. Both of these skills how up throughout his highlights. Whether it be in coverage or when returning punts and kicks, Jenkins just flies.

On his second highlight, Jenkins intercepts a pass at the opponent’s 30 yard line. He is able to get to his left along the sideline and flies down the sideline into the end zone for a pick 6. All the offensive players looked like they were stuck in quick sand as he ran it back.

On the very next highlight, the opponent squib kicks. Jenkins scoops it up and proceeds to slice his way through the defense like a scalpel. He makes quick, precise cuts and once he finds the lane, hits the burners and he’s gone. It was a beautiful display of both these skills.

One more highlight that is an exemplary example of his speed and quick is literally the next highlight after the kick return TD. Jenkins receives a punt. He starts out going to his right, but reads the coverage and immediately heads to the left, leaving a poor defender looking helpless. He gets to the sideline and turns on those burners again. However, there is an opponent that has a chance to stop him from getting to the end zone. Jenkins is able to change direction and outrun the angle the defender has and he scores.

A final highlight that illustrates his speed is one about the 9:42 mark. He is playing a deep at S in what appears to be a zone. He reads the QB and realizes the ball is going to a WR behind him. He immediately turns and uses his speed to close in on the WR and help knock the ball down for an incomplete pass. It was an amazing job of closing and shows his closing speed.

Coverage/Ball Skills/Fluidity

Jenkins plays both S and CB for his high school and is equally adept at both. He is very good in coverage both in man as CB or playing centerfield as a S. There are a few highlights of him in man coverage on a WR on the outside. In each one, I love his ability to move fluidly; changing from his back pedal and immediately swinging his hips to turn and run with the WR. What is great about Jenkins is that he is able to immediately get his head around to find the ball and it puts him in prime position to break up the pass or intercept it. This likely explains the high number of pass breakups and the 3 interceptions he recorded in his stats.

His ball skills are something to behold too. Jenkins always has the intention of picking off the pass, especially in man coverage as a CB. He is so good at finding the ball in the air and then high pointing the ball.

A couple of highlights illustrate this. In one, he is in what appears to be a man coverage drill at a camp. He stays right with the receiver on a streak down the sideline and then extends his arms and snatches the ball out of the air for an interception. It’s a beautiful play. The other play that demonstrates his ball skills is right at the beginning of the highlight video. This time he is playing S in the middle of the field. He reads the QB’s eyes and sees the ball is coming to the receiver directly in front of him. He read correctly as he jumps the route. However, he has to make a quick adjustment as the QB actually throws well behind the intended receiver. He makes an athletic interception, his body looking contorted in the air as he made the adjustment. This is the same play I described above that he returns for a pick 6.

There a various other highlights that show he just has a nose for the ball. His instincts allow him to be a ball hawk as a S and as a CB.

Physicality/Tackling/Hitting

These skills, which are all under the same umbrella, are maybe what I love most about Lovie Jenkins. For a guy his size, he is extremely physical. One highlight I think demonstrates his physicality once again takes place at a camp. He and the WR are dressed in shorts and shirts in what appears to be a 7-on-7 drill. Jenkins, at the snap, jams the WR something fierce. He literally gets his hands on him right at the line of scrimmage and the guy never gets going forward. He presses him right on into the back field. It’s a brutal manhandling and it is something that I think will help immensely against the big receivers the ACC has.

Lovie Jenkins is maybe one of the surest tacklers I have seen at his position. He just gets guys to the ground. It doesn’t matter if they are big, burly RBs or WRs, once Jenkins engages in the tackle, the person he has wrapped up is going to the turf. His highlights are littered with excellent tackling. Once again, probably explains why he had 60 tackles. His ability to hit hard while tackling is something to behold. He will wrap up, but at the same time he wallops the opponent. I think there is one particular highlight that illustrates the ability to tackle and lay the wood at the same time. It is the very first play of the highlight. Jenkins is playing centerfield as a S. One of his teammates gets beat and the QB delivers a pass that is caught over the middle. Jenkins comes and just wallops the guy.

The physicality, hitting, and tackling are evident all over the highlights. I love watching him play in the box as a S. He will attack the line of scrimmage fearlessly, knowing there are big linemen waiting to pancake him. This fearlessness often leads to him getting into the backfield and bring down the RB. He is also very good at breaking down in the open field and making tackles. He truly lives up to the name of the position of S. In one particular highlight, a receiver is able to break through a couple of his teammates tackles leaving Jenkins one-on-one to bring down the opponent. He is literally the last line of defense. If he blows it, it means 6 points for the opponent. He is able to get ahold of the receiver and bring him down immediately. It was quite impressive.

One thing is for sure about Jenkins. When he is tackling, he loves to attack as much as possible. Numerous highlights show him shooting gaps to get into the backfield to bring down a ball carrier. More show him attacking WRs that catch the ball in front of him. He attacks quickly and viciously. He prefers to attack rather than react when possible.

UofL picked up a truly elite defensive back. I could see him lining up at S or CB for UofL. Regardless, he will be a playmaker for the defense. He fits the mold of what Louisville seems to be looking for in recruiting at the skill positions on defense; fast and physical freaks. Jenkins will be a problem on the back end that opposing offenses will have to account for. He will create havoc, get interceptions, and make bone crushing tackles. His dangerous ability as a returner could be utilized by UofL, but I think it is a near certainty that he will make some kind of impact on special teams. Jenkins announced his intention in his commitment post of being an early enrollee in January which means he could possibly make an immediate impact for Coach Satterfield in the 2020 season.

With Lovie Jenkins commitment, UofL’s 2020 class now has 23 commits. The class moves into the top 30 at number 29, according to 247sports, and ranks number 6 in the ACC.

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