Pete Jenkins

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by EELSU1, Mar 22, 2002.

  1. EELSU1

    EELSU1 Founding Member

    Dec 28, 2001
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    Pete Jenkins talking about recruiting and more in an excellent story on Jenkins from a recent P&G issue. Here's some of what he said:

    (on recruiting)

    "In 1984, Sam Nader and I did all the recruiting because there wasn't a staff here," Jenkins said of the transitional phase after the departure of Jerry Stovall. "Coach Arnsparger was in the playoffs and he could only come in on the weekends. And I'm here to tell you, that class was rated as the worst class in the SEC that year. It turned out that would be the winningest class in the history of LSU football. So I don't pay much attention to
    those rankings."

    Jenkins said every class cannot always include the high profile players that garners a great deal of national exposure. "You recruit who you need. In this year's class, there wasn't a big name guy like Marcus Spears or Marquise Hill. We did not have name guys like Michael Clayton." Jenkins added it is classes like these which produce those players you never hear about until they are on the field playing as all-SEC and all-Americans.

    "I remember when we took Henry Thomas, for example," Jenkins said. "We took him because Jerry Stovall never wanted to go a year without signing a guy out of metropolitan Houston. And that year we had been shut out. So Jerry asked around to see who is the best guy we can sign and get out of Houston. And he came up with Henry Thomas. He was a guy who was not fast enough to play tight end and would never be big enough to play inside on the offensive line. But he was a great kid and a great student and has a great family and so on. Well, Jerry said "Offer him a scholarship.'" And I said, "Uh, excuse me Jerry, where is Henry going to play exactly?" And he said, "He's going to play nose guard for you."

    Thomas was an all-SEC noseguard in 1986. After LSU, Thomas was drafted in the 3rd round by the Minnesota Vikings, and went on to star with the Vikings, the Detroit Lions, and finally with the New England Patriots. And the saga of Thomas is only one example of the abnormal trail of recruiting. "So you talk about an inexact science of recruiting, " Jenkins said. "The more I recruit, the more I realize how inexact it really is. I remember when
    they were about to move Darrell Phillips to the scout team because they were not getting what they wanted from him at LB. I said, 'Coach, I like Phillips, would you object for me to try him at noseguard?' And Bill (Arnsparger) said no go right ahead. And that was that. He was twice an all-SEC player. He had 107 tackles. It was unbelievable how good that guy was. But that is how it goes."

    Jenkins said he ranks one day back in 1984 as his best day as a recruiter. "I got a committment from Eric Andolsek and Nacho Albergamo in the same day. If I would have known then what I had done, I would have come back and asked for a raise!"

    (about Saban)

    "I have never seen a coach work as hard as coach Saban does in the spring", Jenkins said. "He watches film on every kid. And we have a very high premium on getting kids into football camps where we can get to know them and see them work. He (Saban) takes a lot of pride in assessing a player's talent because when he was in the NFL you do a lot of that when you are selecting players. He goes through every position player and writes them up. Then the area coach looks at him and writes him up. We keep records on them from the junior year (in HS). That allows us to see what we thought of them last year. It is as extensive a process that I have ever been around in all my years of coaching."

    (on the SECCG)

    "It was unbelievable," Jenkins said. "Even when we were down 17-7 in the SEC Championship, there was not a player on our sideline that did not believe we were going to win that game."

    (on the fans)

    "They are the greatest fans on Earth to me. They are just as passionate and fanatical as they were when we were really good in the 80's. I think back watching the Tennessee game and the MSU game in 2000 and then some of the other games this year. The Auburn game was absolutely unbelievable. To be honest, having been at South Carolina, having been at Auburn, having been at MSU and Florida, the thing that I've always loved about the fans here is the passion. And all those places have great fans and great loyalty to their team, but I've always thought the passion here was a little bit different than other places. The crowds are just as big in numbers, but there is a passion here I always enjoyed so much.

    (why he retired)

    "I went out and had dinner on Wednesday night with my players. I've been trying to tell them, 'Guys, I'm not leaving you for some other job. There's no one else I would rather coach.' I am just tired. I wouldn't want to coach anywhere else except LSU."

    "I will be 61 next season. I lost my mom last year, and I realized how old I'm getting. I thought I was 25, but I'm 60. I want to move on and enjoy the fourth quarter of my life."
  2. lsu99

    lsu99 whashappenin

    Oct 24, 2001
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  3. Jean Lafitte

    Jean Lafitte The Old Guard

    Feb 2, 2002
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    Thanks, Coach Jenkins!

    We can never repay you for all you did for the LSU Tigers.

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