October 1, 2008

Vaughn, not UF win, important to FL ATH

Ole Miss' 31-30 win over No. 4 Florida left an impression on several prospects across the Sunshine state that the Rebels have been recruiting, but for one prospect, it wasn't the win that stands out the most.

"I just look at the coaches," St. Petersburg (Lakewood HS), Fla. athlete Jacquez Jenkins said earlier this week. "That's the most important thing because I'll be spending time with them for the next four years."

Jenkins, a 6-foot-2, 177 pound safety committed to South Florida in late June, but Ole Miss recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn has continued to recruit him for the Rebels. And, it's that relationship that has allowed Ole Miss to stay in the race for Jenkins.

"When I first talked with Coach Vaughn, the focus wasn't just on football, it was about life in general," Jenkins said in a previous interview. "It shows me that he's interested in me as a person, not just as a football player. We talk about just about anything - video games, sports, music. He really makes me feel comfortable."

Vaughn was back on the phone with Jenkins last week before the Rebels tripped to Gainesville.

"I get a call from coach Vaughn every week," Jenkins said. "The week before the Florida game, he told me that they were going to surprise some people. I didn't doubt him."

While Vaughn's relationship with Jenkins is a major factor in his recruitment by Ole Miss, the Rebels' performance against Florida didn't go unnoticed.

"I did catch it on TV, it's kind of shocking," Jenkins said. "But then again, it wasn't because it's the SEC and anything can happen in the SEC."

"I didn't get to see all of it," he continued. "Just part of it, but what I saw was really competitive on Ole Miss' part. Florida has a lot of talent, but that's true of all SEC teams."

Did the game have an impact on Ole Miss' future recruiting efforts?

"It does, sort of," Jenkins said. "I'd have to say it was a plus for Ole Miss."

The next move for Ole Miss is likley trying to set up an official visit for Jenkins.

"I really haven't talked about any visits," Jenkins said. "I'm really not sure where or when I'm going to take my visits."

Jenkins had 700 passing yards, 400 rushing yards, 300 receiving yards, 200 kick return yards, and one interception last fall as a junior.

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