Jenkins to tryout for Seattle

MORGANTOWN-It would appear that there will be football after college for former Parkersburg High School standout Josh Jenkins. Despite not having his name announced during the NFL’s three-day long draft, the 300-pound guard has been invited to Seattle for a tryout with the Seahawks.

“He (Jenkins) has to pass a phyical,” explained former Big Red assistant coach Mark McCullough. “If he does that, then he will receive a signing bonus and a shot at making the team.”

Jenkins, a three-year starter for West Virginia University, became one of the most recruited athletes in Mountain State history when the 5-star lineman helped PHS to back-to-back Class AAA state championships in 2006 and 2007.

His personal accomplishments also were recognized by the W.Va. Sports Writers Association, which named Jenkins the winner of the Hunt Award -given annually to the state’s top lineman -for both of those seasons. Jenkins not only was the first back-to-back winner of the award, he remains the only one to accomplish that feat.

“There are actually several teams that have been talking to Josh,” continued McCullough. “The (Jacksonville) Jaguars were talking about taking him in the sixth or seventh round, but the thing with his knee came up and they backed off.”

After signing with WVU coach Bill Stewart, Jenkins played in the first five games of the 2008 season, but a knee injury suffered in a win over Rutgers sidelined him for the rest of the season. He came back to start all 13 games in 2009 and was named to Phil Steele’s All-Big East third team.

The 2010 campaign witnessed Jenkins leading the offensive line in thunderbolt blocks (7) and he was third in knockdowns with 42. Those numbers got him selected to the all-Big East second team by and Phil Steele.

A second knee injury, this one during the annual Gold/Blue scrimmage, relegated the Parkersburg native to the sidelines for what would have been his senior season (2011) where he spent much of his time teaching his replacement and cheering on the Mountaineers, who went on to capture a share of the Big East title and defeated Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

Granted a medical redshirt, Jenkins elected to return to Morgantown for the 2012 season-WVU’s first in its new home, the Big 12-and anchored an offensive front that helped senior Geno Smith pass for more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns.

Teammates Joe Madsen, Jeff Braun and J.D. Woods may also have found a home as the Pittsburgh Steelers have signed Madsen and Woods to free agent contracts while Braun will look to become a permanent fixture on the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens’ roster.