Impact Report: 2020 Cornerback Lovie Jenkins

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    (Photo via The Orange Observer)

    Every time Tennessee gets a commitment in either football or men’s basketball, we will write up an impact report looking at what that recruit does well, what he needs to improve in his game, and what his projected impact with the Vols could be over the next few years.

    Latest Commit: Lovie Jenkins, CB
    Height/Weight: 6-foot, 180 pounds
    School: Ocoee (Florida)
    Home Town: Ocoee, Florida

    Rankings
    247Sports Composite: 
    No. 678 overall, No. 53 CB
    247Sports: No. 708 overall, No. 58 CB
    Rivals: 5.6 rating

    Notable Offers: Notre Dame, Miami, NC State, Louisville, UCF, Missouri

    What we like:

    Jeremy Pruitt likes defensive backs who are used to having the ball in their hands, and Lovie Jenkins certainly knows that. Not only is he a dynamic return specialist for Ocoee, but he’s played on offense as a receiver, too. He has great vision and instincts when he has the ball, and he’s exceptionally dangerous as a punt returner or if he picks off a pass and has space. But as for what he brings as a defender: Jenkins is physical and capable of playing multiple positions. He can line up on the outside at corner and can also play safety. He lays down some hard hits in the run game, and he’s a good tackler in space. He does a great job on his reads and has a quick reaction time. Jenkins’ vertical leaping ability makes him a quarterback’s worst nightmare when throwing deeper passes.

    Places to improve:

    Jenkins does a lot of good things both as a safety and corner, but which position will be his true home? Jenkins has a lot of athleticism and natural talent, but he does need some teaching. Luckily, he won’t be asked to come in and play right away, unless it’s on special teams. He’s for sure a very, very good returner. That I have no doubt about. And he couldn’t ask for better teachers than Jeremy Pruitt and Derrick Ansley. There’s much more to like than not about Jenkins, though.

    Analysis:

    If there’s one position I definitely trust Jeremy Pruitt and Derrick Ansley to evaluate and recruit, it’s defensive back. Those two have coached and developed more high quality defensive backs than just about anyone else in the college game. I think Jenkins has a high ceiling, and he could really come on strong in his senior season. I don’t think he’ll make a big impact in his first or second year at UT, but he definitely has a place on special teams if nothing else. But there’s plenty there on his film to suggest that he can be a future impact player in the secondary, too.

    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.