Cougar Chalk Talk: Jenkins emerging as a star on offense

PULLMAN, Wash. — After a series of injuries helped doom the Cougars down in Los Angeles last weekend, they’re going to be without some key pieces on offense for the time being.  So that means next man up, and a chance for younger players to get playing time, and there could also be an emerging star on that side of the ball, who’s been waiting for this kind of opportunity.

The loss of starting running back Nakia Watson, means the rushing game for the Cougars is about to be much younger and inexperienced for the time being, but there’s still plenty of reasons to be hopeful.  In the interim the role will go to 5’8, 177 pound freshman Jaylen Jenkins.  Through six games this season he’s compiled 37 rushing attempts for 257 yards, that average comes out to almost seven yards a carry.

Last week may have been his breakout performance going for 130 yards on the ground and 54 yards in receiving against USC, earning him the Pac-12 Freshman Player of the Week.  Now Jaylen has a chance to add to that, as the workload is about to go up considerably from the beginning of the season.

“It’ll be interesting to see how he holds up through the course of a whole game in between the tackles. He’s a guy that’s a little more of a skat back so getting the ball to him in different ways in space, whether it’s the throw game or the running game. Something where he needs 20-25 touches a game,” said Offensive Coordinator Eric Morris.

While Jenkins isn’t on the field you can also expect more carries for former Mt. Spokane standout Kannon Katzer, who’s had his moments in this season so far.  So while the injuries are concerning, it’s not time to hit the panic button just yet.