Jenkins Relishes Healthy Summer Workouts with WVU - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Jenkins Relishes Healthy Summer Workouts with WVU

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MORGANTOWN -

Law School Hill is something to be feared.

If you have ever walked the wooden steps to its top or climbed laboriously up the grass hill itself, you know just how grueling it can be even when taken at a leisurely pace.

Combine the drills West Virginia football players are asked to do on the hill with the weight lifting and conditioning that define the rest of the summer – and do it all in this sweltering heat – and you can understand if an athlete dreaded the tasks that are set for him in the offseason.

That mindset does not apply to Josh Jenkins, though. It cannot apply to him.

A year ago, Jenkins was still struggling to walk properly and on his own after undergoing surgery to repair damage to his knee.

The senior season he was supposed to finish alongside his roommate, WVU tackle Don Barclay, had been taken from him. In its place, a year full of rehabilitation and mental repetitions and what amounted to an assistant coaching position. Not what he had in mind, but what he was dealt nonetheless.

A season lost, Jenkins has before him a second chance at being a senior on the field.

It began in the spring, and it continues now – experiencing a summer workout plan that he was not afforded a year ago.

"I'm feeling good," Jenkins says. "My body's feeling good, my knees are great, so that's a positive."

The spring was Jenkins' real test. A time to determine just how well he had healed and how it translated to the field with full pads rather that just to the weight room and conditioning drills.

When he turned his knee or landed on it in a way that felt awkward, he worried that yet another injury had occurred, but there was always good news from the athletic training staff. He stayed healthy and strong and showed throughout the weeks just what he could bring to a far more experienced offensive line in 2012.

"I've just been working on my steps, working on my pad level and practicing keeping my knees bent. That's about it, really, just trying to get stronger," he says.

Trying to get stronger is made much easier due to the exercises strength coach Mike Joseph is putting Jenkins and the rest of the Mountaineers through.

"Mike Joseph does a great job down there," says Jenkins. "He's getting us bigger, better, faster down there. Every summer gets harder and conditioning is getting harder – the lifts get harder – that's just how it goes."

And where in previous years, a younger Jenkins may not have appreciated that fact, the fifth-year senior certainly does.

He enjoys the ability to go out with full health and let Joseph tear apart his healthy body to make it better. Jenkins has a simple way of describing what a summer in Morgantown is like for him and his teammates.

"Rough is what it is. It's demanding," he says. "There's just a lot of running, a lot of squats, every kind of different leg [workout] you can think of. Most importantly, I think is the conditioning. We're on the hill, we're running this, we're running everything you can think of. I feel like he just sits at home and thinks of new things he can do to kill us."

But as a recent Volkswagen commercial points out, he can only kill you if you're okay.

Jenkins is okay.

He has his health and he has his place along the offensive line, one piece of an interior that many believe has the credentials to be one of the nation's best.

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