East Tennessee State football’s first signing class under Carl Torbush will have plenty of local flavor.
David Crockett defensive lineman Colt Jenkins has committed to the Buccaneers.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Jenkins had 7 1/2 sacks as a senior at defensive end.
“As a person he’s absolutely amazing,” Crockett coach Jeremy Bosken said. “He’s a 4.0 kid (GPA) and strong as an ox. Colt’s potential is unlimited. He really came on strong at the end of the year. He was the only kid that graded out in that Knox West (playoff) game on defense.”
Bosken said Jenkins was courted by Carson-Newman, Centre College and Emory & Henry.
Jenkins liked the thought of staying close to home and playing at the Division I-FCS level. He also enjoyed dealing with ETSU assistant Billy Taylor, who Bosken first met when Taylor was at Tennessee Tech and signed Science Hill’s Bo DelGaicco.
“They’re doing a great job with the relationships they’ve built with the high school coaches,” Bosken said, “and Coach Torbush getting out and, obviously, making sure nobody in the backyard leaves.”
Jenkins is excited about being a Buccaneer.
“It just seems kind of like a dream,” Jenkins said. “Every football player’s dream is to play college football, and now I’m kind of one of the select few.”
Jenkins’ father, Jeff, played at Johnson County.
“He’s been with me every step of the way in the weight room, giving me support,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins squats 425 pounds, power cleans 250 and bench-presses 305. He’s run a 4.85 40-yard dash, according to Bosken.
“Seeing him in the weight room every day right now, I mean, he is getting huge,” Bosken said.
Crockett’s program appears to on an uptick with Bosken. He coached them to the playoffs in his first season in 2013.
Jenkins also valued his lone season playing for defensive coordinator Chuck Sutton, who played at ETSU on Mike Cavan’s 1996 playoff team.
“Coach Bosken deserves quite a bit of the credit for all that he’s done,” Jenkins said. “People were in need of change and people just clung to the stuff that he said because it made sense and there was reasoning behind what he said. And lo and behold, it worked
“Coach Sutton was a huge inspiration, a very Christian guy. I prayed with him before every game. He would be on you every single practice when you messed up, and I hate that I won’t be able to be coached by him anymore. But he’ll definitely be one of the guys I can look back and say I’m glad I was coached by him.”
Actually, Sutton won’t coach at Crockett next season. Bosken and Jenkins said Sutton wants to see his son Trey play more next season, and he’ll be a senior at Science Hill.
“Coach Sutton was great with the kids; he really was,” Bosken said. “Him and Colt were really close.”
Bosken is taking over as defensive coordinator, and former Sullivan South assistant/Carson-Newman center Dusty Phillips will be the new offensive coordinator.
“He’s probably the best offensive line coach in the area, hands down,” Bosken said.
Bosken said Crockett’s tempo will still be swift, although the pace will be tempered somewhat under Phillips. They want to be more physical in utilizing rising sophomore running back TK Hill.
Bosken has also added a linebackers coach in Brian “Candy Man” Gibson. He has previously coached at Liberty Bell and in Bart Lyon’s Junior Toppers program.
“He’s got a huge heart for kids … and work ethic and tenacity,” Bosken said. “If I’m screwing something up he’s gonna tell me how it is.”
Signing Day is Wednesday. Bosken expects running back Dalton Brown, receiver Luke Hopson and long snapper/tackle Coy Vaughn to play for NCAA Division II or D-III programs.