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Parkersburgs Jenkins named states top lineman again
Associated Press
December 20, 2007

fball Josh Jenkins Helmet
Josh Jenkins

For the second straight year, Parkersburg High School lineman Josh Jenkins is the winner of the Hunt Award, presented annually to West Virginia's top high school lineman.

fball Josh Jenkins Tackle
Josh Jenkins Tackle
photos by David Miller, wvrsn.com

Jenkins, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound senior, is the first player in Mountain State history to win the award twice. His selection by the all-state football committee of the West Virginia Sports Writers Association was unanimous. Other players considered included Cole Messenger of University, Josh Knicely of Bridgeprot and Andrew Brewer of Cabell Midland. The Hunt Award caps what has been a historic senior season for Jenkins, who has verbally committed to continue his football career at West Virginia University, a commitment he reiterated following Sunday's departure of Mountaineer coach Rich Rodriguez.

fball Josh Jenkins Twice
Josh Jenkins Celebrating
With Jenkins anchoring both the offensive and defensive lines, Parkersburg High School accomplished the first back-to-back state football championships in its 103-year history, defeating St. Albans, 22-15, in the Class AAA title game on Dec. 1.

On Sunday, Jenkins was recognized by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association as a first team all-state lineman, the third consecutive year he has been bestowed that honor. That makes him only the second three-time all-state selection in Parkersburg High School history, joining the legendary Ross McHenry, a Big Red lineman on the 1920, 1921 and 1922 teams. McHenry went on to star at West Virginia University, representing the Mountaineers in the East-West Shrine Game.

Shortly after the conclusion of the football season, Jenkins was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year.

In January, Jenkins will become the first West Virginia high school player to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The game will be nationally televised by NBC.

All year long, he has been the subject of a red-hot recruiting battle involving virtually every major college football program in America. When asked to list the schools that haven't offered Jenkins, PHS assistant coach Mark McCullough who is guiding Jenkins through the recruiting process explains it this way, "Southern Cal and Texas haven't.''

In other words, everybody else has.

Despite all the attention, Jenkins has remained humble. He said all season long his No. 1 goal was to help PHS win back-to-back state titles. Whatever honors followed that accomplishment would be great, but hoisting that championship trophy would be the highlight of the year.

Jenkins credited his coaches and his teammates for his success.

"It a good feeling to win the Hunt Award two times in a row,'' Jenkins said. "Although my name is on the award, this is a team honor I couldn't have accomplished without a lot of help.''

Jenkins was part of a PHS offensive line that billed itself as the Fab Five. All five of its members Jenkins, Zach Nolan, Chris James, Travis Bunner and Jeff Delancey received various honors on the all-state list. And no wonder. It was their blocking that allowed the Big Reds to rush for 4,064 yards.

Jenkins is the seventh PHS player to win the Hunt Award, joining Gary Virden (1962), Barry Louden (1967), Dave Winans (1974) and the Phillips brothers, Dave (1976), Larry (19977) and Rick (1983). Jenkins credits Rick Phillips, who worked with him during the past season, for his continued improvement.

PHS head coach Bernie Buttrey, the 2007 West Virginia High School Coach of the Year, praised the selection of Jenkins.

"There's nobody more deserving,'' Buttrey said. "He is a tremendous football player who takes great pride in what he does. He wants to put his opponent on his back every time the ball is snapped. He is deserving of everything he gets.

"When we were down 8-0 in the championship, he was the first guy I saw pumping up the other players. And on a St. Albans sweep in that game, we got caught without a linebacker and it looked like it was going to go for a big gain. But here came Josh from his tackle position and stopped it cold.''

Yes, it's been a great senior year for Josh Jenkins. With the All-American Bowl and national letter-of-intent day in the near future, that great year is going to continue for a while longer.

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