Football is more than just a game for Malcolm Jenkins, it’s a way of life. Football is the only thing that can make Jenkins’ day go from bad to great, because when he steps on that field, nothing else matters and all problems seem to go away. Football teaches life lessons, if you want to be great, you need to work for it and use the help presented along the way. Jenkins is playing the game for his family, friends, and his city, which gives a sense of pride. “I can feel them every time I’m out there, so to me, it’s so much deeper,” said Jenkins. Football also has way to change peoples lives for the better if they are lucky enough to make it to another level.
That is just what Malcolm Jenkins plans to do; make it to the next level, more specifically the NFL. “Once I make it, I’m using what I was blessed with to help others, because that’s the most important thing to me. Helping others is a must,” says Jenkins. Coming from East Orange, New Jersey, he played almost every sport growing up, but felt that football was his main passion. His parents always told him that if he was going to do something, he needs to go all in, so he dedicated his life towards football, which ultimately got him to Bethany College.
Jenkins is going into his senior year at Bethany, a school he ended up at because the coaches believed that they had the tools to help him get where he wanted to in football, the next level. Jenkins had chances to play D1 football at the time, but thought if he dominated in the NAIA, it would make him stand out more. After racking up 31 tackles, 1 interception (which was returned for a 34 yard touchdown), and 7 deflections last year, Jenkins is training hard to stand out his senior year in order to get noticed by scouts for the 2017 NFL draft. Current training consists of 3 workouts a day, two big ones on the field and the rest at his house, as well as 1000 pushups, 800-1000 abs, and 800 toe raises a day, with at least 5 minutes of jump rope.
Jenkins goals for the season are simple. He needs to help his team win ball games. If he can dominate at his position, shut down his side of the field, and score a few touchdowns on special teams, that is exactly what he can do to help his team win and for him to get noticed by scouts. Teams at the next level want players who can not only stand out statistics wise, but ones who are team players who will sacrifice their personal stats to get their team the victory. It all begins on September 3rd, when Jenkins and his Bethany teammates travel to Hastings, Nebraska to take on the Hastings College Broncos.
Making it to the NFL from a small school is much harder because small schools are so often overlooked. Many of these players have to share their highlights and game film on social media to get extra looks and need to take advantage of camps and combines, ones they often have to pay for out of their pocket. “When I was little, I promised my grandmother that I would make it and buy her a house. Since then, I wrote my goals down and put them in my mirror, so every morning and every night, I remind myself why this means so much to me,” said Jenkins. He has trained hard his whole life for the chance at the next level, a dream that did not happen over night. Jenkins began this dream when he was kid playing football in the back of his apartments. He is hungry for his shot at the NFL, it’s crunch time, it’s either put up or shut up.