After a relatively small 2014 class of 16 prospects, Michigan will look to take another diminutive recruiting class in 2015. The Wolverines are expected to have around 15 available scholarships once again, and the Michigan staff is being very selective in which offers they hand out to combat the limited space of their '15 class.
Since Michigan is acting judiciously in regards to who they target, each offer is an important one. This makes Michigan's offer to offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins (Baldwin/PA) a monumental offer given the time it was extended on May 2. Jenkins looks to be Michigan's top target on the offensive line at the moment even though other offers have already gone out at the position (one to commit Jon Runyan Jr.).
Michigan has consistently turned in very strong February and March recruiting performances in terms of securing commitments from junior prospects, and Jenkins will be one of the staff's priorities in the coming weeks this year. The Wolverines are hosting a Junior Day on February 23 for a home basketball game versus Michigan State, and the staff would love to have Jenkins on campus for this event. If this happens, there is a possibility Jenkins could commit on the visit.
Take this opportunity to get to know Sterling Jenkins Jr. and understand why he is such a highly-regarded prospect in the staff's opinion. Don't forget to check out his junior highlight film here as well.
With 2013 in the books, how did your junior year at Baldwin High School go?
"It was way more concentrated on me getting better. The bar was set way higher than ever before. i think there is always room to work. We ended 4-6 and secured the wild card spot in the playoffs. We were bumped out by the second seed, but we haven't been to the playoffs in around 10 years. It's a step in the right direction." - Sterling Jenkins
For those unfamiliar with your style of play, how would you describe your game at the offensive tackle position?
"After watching film, one of my main things is pass blocking. It's not easy, but that's what I'm better at. It's harder to run block because I have to lower my hips and bend and put my face on people. When it comes to pass blocking, it's more about footwork and hand placement. I've been better at that in the last year."- Sterling Jenkins
These skills have garnered a lot of attention from schools across the nation. Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State are all schools showing interest. What makes certain schools stand out?
"Those schools are all close by, are in a really big conference and really competitive. A lot of them produce really good lineman and I have met like Taylor Lewan.and Donovan Smith. It was cool talking with them and seeing how they play. I want the offensive line coach to have a good track record. It's more important for him to have that than the actual school. I really want to be able to get along with the players. I feel like if I know some recruits from that school, that would be a good factor. Staying close to home would be convenient, but it's about where would be the best fit for me." - Sterling Jenkins
When did you begin to show interest in Michigan and how did your recruitment to the Wolverines start up?
"It actually comes from my sophomore year. We had a game on television and my parent's recorded it. I was watching it the next day and they were talking about me. They said that Michigan might offer and that was the first time I heard about an offer coming my way. That's when I started giving them looks and watching them play. All the stuff about Michigan was something I liked. I liked what I was seeing. I talked to coach Funk a few times before I was offered and it just grew from there. I know the tradition of Michigan and that it's a big school, so I didn't expect that kind of attention fro a school like that my sophomore year." - Sterling Jenkins
How many times have you visited Michigan in the past and what was it like on each visit?
"I've been to Michigan two times. One was for the barbecue and the other was for the Ohio State game. The barbecue was the first time I went there. It was cool because coach Hoke and the whole staff met with us as recruits. It was more of a group thing and not individual which was cool. Then when I went to the game, I saw all of the same recruits and it gave us more time to connect with each other. It was pretty cool." - Sterling Jenkins
Since your relationship with other prospects will be a factor in your recruitment, which Wolverines recruits have you become the closest to so far?
"Chase Winovich, he goes to Thomas Jefferson. He reached out to me and I went over to his house. Then before I was even into Michigan I met with linebacker Michael Ferns when we were in Chicago together. That was a good starting point. Then the barbecue was when I met all the guys and that was really cool." - Sterling Jenkins
The biggest change to Michigan's offense is the addition of offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and subtraction of OC Al Borges. How does this effect your interest in the Wolverines?
"I understand it. I respect [Borges] as a person, but I guess if they think they have to get a new guy then that's that. I want to meet [Doug Nussmeier] because people are talking about him a lot. Since he's from Alabama it's a big deal. I really want to see how they play. I was reading some articles about Michigan and how they should play and I'm really interested to see what changes happen over the next season." - Sterling Jenkins