College football teams often recruit on size and potential, and not necessarily how a player performs on a high school field. Is there a better example of that than Baldwin offensive lineman Sterling Jenkins?
Jenkins, a 6-foot-8 junior offensive lineman at Baldwin High School, already has more than a dozen Division I scholarship offers from, among others, Pitt, Ohio State, Michigan and Tennessee. An assistant coach from Florida State came to Baldwin a few weeks ago to check out Jenkins.
Yet, Jenkins wasn't selected first-team all-conference in the nine-team WPIAL Class AAAA Southeastern Conference. He wasn't second team, either. He was honorable mention.
Those all-conference teams are picked by the coaches.
"Obviously, he has an extreme amount of potential that has gotten him a lot of attention from bigger colleges," Baldwin coach Pete Wagner said. "He had a solid year from the mental standpoint and learning the game. There are some physical aspects of the game that he is still learning."
Maxpreps.com recently picked Jenkins a junior All-American. Rivals.com ranks him the No. 28 player in the country in the class of 2015. Only four other offensive linemen in the country are ranked ahead of him.
Now get this: The WPIAL Southeastern Conference coaches, who actually watched Jenkins all season on the field, picked four offensive tackles ahead of Jenkins for first- and second-team all-conference.
Scouting services often rank linemen on size and how much college attention they are receiving, as well as how players might do at combines or camps. College coaches look at potential. Wagner seems to understand it all.
"A lot of things with college coaches have to do with the eyeball test," Wagner said. "You see someone of [Jenkins'] stature, he's going to gain a lot of interest. I haven't seen many linemen as flexible as he is or with the frame he has. Plus, his body fat percentage is extremely low.
"He has a lot of physical things going for him. It's just a matter of learning how to do it on the field."