Jenkins' Rains on A Quest
Sat. July 21, 2012 at 11:47 p.m. | By Solange Reyner
By SOLANGE REYNER
TAMPA | Trent Rains beat two Lakewood defenders down the right side of the field after juking one off the line of scrimmage. Wide open with no one in front of him, he looked back, stuck his hand up and signaled for his quarterback, Jalen Odom, to get him the ball.
The pass was a little too deep, but George Jenkins went on to win the 7-on-7 game, the final one for the team at the USF Sling and Shoot II on Saturday. Jenkins split the day, 3-3, with wins over East Lake 2, Liberty and, finally, Lakewood.
Kathleen, the other Polk County team, also went 3-3, with wins over Lowndes, Plant 2 and Wire Ranch.
Throughout the day, there were signs of promise that Jenkins' football program, under new leadership, is on the up and up and Rains, a rising senior, is a big reason for it.
Jenkins went 0-10 last year and had some off field troubles involving its former coach, which led to the hiring of a new coach.
Rains stuck through it all and has worked hard this offseason to make himself better and noticeably faster. He's been timed running a 4.5 40-yard dash, a mark he pushed himself to reach after plenty of sled and stadium running and truck pushing.
So Jenkins' coach Eric Gallon, who took over in April, will utilize Rains in a number of situations on offense including at running back and as a wide-out.
Rains will often be used as a slot receiver, too.
"Trent has good quickness, great work ethic, can cut on a dime and has good hands," Gallon said. "He just has to continue to grow a little bit and work on that final burst. But that's going to come through the workouts we're putting these kids through."
Rains said he'll do whatever it takes to get better and, more importantly, get Jenkins back on track. He also wants to make a statement his senior year.
"I want to go a Division I program so I'm working hard to show that I fit in at that level," Rains said.
[ Solange Reyner can be reached at 863-802-7526 or firstname.lastname@example.org ]