August 23, 2006

Leading the youth movement

Most defensive units do not look to a true sophomore for leadership, but the 2006 Ohio State Buckeyes do not have a typical defensive unit.

After losing its entire defensive secondary to graduation and the NFL Draft, the Buckeyes are now looking at Malcolm Jenkins - among others - to step up and assume leadership roles. As a true freshman, Jenkins played in 10 of OSU's 12 games last season including three starts.

Now he enters the 2006 season penciled in as the starting cornerback alongside fifth-year senior and former walk-on Antonio Smith.

"Of course we're going to be the question mark of the defense," Jenkins said. "We're confident in ourselves and we think that with hard work and dedicating ourselves to our goals we can be just as good as we were last year."

As a three-year starter for Piscataway (N.J.) High School, Jenkins led his team to three consecutive state championships while playing wide receiver and cornerback. He came to OSU as a speedster who then became a rarity.

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