WVU lineman finally healthy
College Football Videos
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Josh Jenkins spent much of last season wondering why he was forced yet again to deal with injury-prone knees.
"The last time I got hurt, that's all I could think," he said. "'Three times, three times with a knee injury?' I don't know. Maybe because they know I can get through it.
"I really don't know why it happened."
Despite a lack of answers, Jenkins is grateful to be healthy for his senior season at West Virginia and is slated to start at left guard this season.
"I love the game of football," he said. "I wouldn't want to be done playing because of a knee injury. Hopefully I can go out my own way instead of a knee injury."
Jenkins sprained his left MCL during last year's spring game. Though the MCL healed during the rehab process, team doctors felt his kneecap was unstable, so he underwent surgery on July 5th, ending his season.
It was the third serious knee injury he had faced in college. Jenkins dislocated the same knee during his freshman year, cutting his season short after five games.
Then, during Jenkins' junior year, a defender landed on Jenkins' right knee during a game, and he wasn't able to bend it. He had his knee scoped and missed two games.
Realizing he would miss the entire 2011 season with the latest injury was difficult.
"You hit rock bottom," he said. "All you're doing is laying on your back, leg up, staring at the ceiling. ... Everything's running through your head. It changes your outlook on things."
Jenkins tried to make the most of his situation. He watched film and tried to stay mentally involved with the team. But there was only so much he could do.
"Sometimes you feel like you're not part of the team because you're not everywhere at all times," he said. "There's times you're in the training room while everyone else is practicing.
"It's just a hard process, but the thing is it made me stronger. I'm a stronger person in football and just in general in life. It taught me about adversity. I think that was one of the biggest things. It just taught me a lot."
Jenkins' return boosts an offensive line that brings back five players with starting experience. Despite the injuries, Jenkins has started 22 games and brings leadership to the line. He's the one to get on players, making sure they're working hard and getting better.
Jenkins hopes his return, along with the other experience on the line, will stabilize a unit that had ups and downs last season.
"I've been here for a while," he said. "I've been that kid that's not as physical. I've been the kid that didn't know the plays. I've been the kid that was messing up before.
"Now that I'm old, you have to have a passion. I hate losing. I want to be the best. I feel like everyone that's playing next to me on the line should feel the same way, and I feel like everyone should work hard every play. That's what we try to get out of each other."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.S. Steel, Penguins, government leaders call press conference at Consol
- Clues to Chief Justice John Roberts’ thinking on new ObamaCare case
- Pirates trade Davis to A’s for international signing bonus money
- CT scans can find smokers’ lung cancer early
- Starkey: No explaining Steelers, AFC North
- NFL parity makes playoff chase a multi-team muddle
- For Steelers, a fight to finish for playoff berth
- Iraqi family, torn apart for opposing Saddam, reunites in Pittsburgh
- AP: Hagel to resign as secretary of defense
- Pitt notebook: Chryst keeps Panthers motivated amid adversity
- Stores creating Thanksgiving dine-and-dash dilemma