Character, Leadership Top Qualities For 2020 Lovie Jenkins

May 13, 2019

Lo Wood Sr. can quickly tick off the elements of Lovie Jenkins‍ that make the 2020 Florida cornerback a special prospect.

“Character is number one,” says Wood, who coaches 7-on-7 and trains athletes in the Central Florida area. “Number two, leadership, he’s a leader on the field and off the field. Number three, he’s an athlete. He plays special teams, kick return, punt return, wide receiver, safety and right now, they’ve got him playing cornerback. And he runs track.

“That’s what separates him from other guys.”

Notre Dame is one school that has recognized that, having offered the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Ocoee High School standout a scholarship back in February.

Irish assistant Terry Joseph recently followed up with a visit to Jenkins’ school and that trip helped result in Jenkins locking in an official visit to South Bend next month.

Wood Sr.’s son, Lo Wood Jr., signed and played defensive back for the Irish from 2010-2013 before completing his collegiate career under Chuck Martin at Miami-Ohio.

Wood Sr. expanded on Jenkins’ character and maturity.

“Nowadays, kids want to do things just to be a society kid,” he said. “He’s not a society kid. In my opinion, just watching him, he’s more of an authentic kid. Some kids look for the image and some kids look for what’s authentic. He’s just authentic.

“He’s the type of kid who can say, ‘I made it. I worked hard. I was loyal to my school. I didn’t transfer from my school even with different coaches. I kept my poise. I kept my focus from a decent season to a losing season to a .500 season to now.’ It’s all paying off now. He kept his composure and kept his character.”

Wood Sr., who’s younger son also plays in the defensive backfield at Ocoee, noted that Jenkins is one of the team’s captains.

He’s also a hard worker.

“He’s one of those guys who will train by himself,” Wood Sr. explained. “Running track of course helps out a lot with any kid, but he’ll go out there and just work out by himself. If a coach calls and says, ‘Hey, come work out with me, come train.’ He’ll go do it. He works on his craft.”

He's going to get plenty of work in the coming months under KJ Dillon.

“I coached and trained him, he’s been with me since he was six years old,” Wood Sr., says of Dillon who is now coaching at Ocoee.

“KJ went to West Virginia and got drafted by the Houston Texans. He’s not playing anymore, he’s home. Now, he’s out there coaching Lovie. He’s bringing that experience, that NFL experience and college experience, he’s out there coaching Lovie right now.”

Jenkins credits Wood Sr. with aiding him on and off the field throughout the process.

“He’s helped me a lot,” Jenkins said. “He’s helped me get the exposure and the training that I needed and things exploded from there.”

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