Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Under the radar: West Virginia Mountaineers
By ESPN.com staff
Time for the final team in our series examining one player at each Big 12 school who will enter 2012 with a profile that doesn't quite match his worth.
In other words, they're coming in under the radar. Click here for more players under the radar.
Next up: the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Under the radar: Cornerback Brodrick Jenkins
In West Virginia, all the attention is on the offense this offseason, but don't forget about the 11 guys on the other side of the ball. Looking for a guy whose name has almost zero recognition across the Big 12? Look no further than Jenkins.
The 5-foot-10, 186-pounder was one of five West Virginia defenders with two or more interceptions, but Jenkins also broke up eight passes, four more than any returning Mountaineer defender. The first-year starter had a strong sophomore campaign, but he's due to be tested much further in the Big 12, a league where the offensive talent dwarfs that of the Big East.
West Virginia won the Big East last year, but the Mountaineers ranked second in the Big East in pass defense, giving up just over 203 yards a game. That number is bound to grow in the pass-happy Big 12 in 2012, but the physical Jenkins will be a big factor in trying to keep it as low as possible. The Mountaineers gave up 24 fewer yards per game than the third-best pass defense in the Big East, but Texas led the Big 12 by giving up just under 210 yards per game through the air.
Nobody in the league would make the argument that West Virginia's corners are on the level of Texas', but Jenkins is a strong player with a lot of upside. He'll get lots and lots (and lots) more chances to prove himself in 2012. WVU faced just 448 passes in 2011, more than all but one Big East team. Seven Big 12 teams defended more than 448 passes last season.
Time for Jenkins to shine.