Sept. 10, 2003
by Andrea Manka
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The rivalry between Notre Dame and the University of Michigan has over 100 years of history. When the two storied football programs meet Saturday at 3:30 (EDT), it will be a homecoming for Ann Arbor native Jeff Jenkins. The sophomore running back is looking to contribute to an Irish victory in his hometown.
“I feel great going home,” Jenkins said. “In the opposing team’s view, it is probably a negative thing, but in my view it is a positive thing.”
Jenkins is excited to return to his hometown and defeat the Wolverines, and he will have plenty of support in the stands. Jenkins looks forward to having several family members come to see the game; especially those who have not seen him play since high school. One family member will be seeing him play from the opponent’s sideline. Jenkins’ cousin, Carl Tabb, is a sophomore wide receiver for Michigan and the two played at Huron High School.
“If we happen to encounter each other during the game, it is going to be kind of funny since we played together when we were in high school,” said Jenkins.
Jenkins grew up eight minutes from Michigan Stadium. Encouraged by his father to begin playing football at the age of nine years old, he hoped to be a Wolverine some day down the road. It was not until the recruiting process began that he even thought about coming to Notre Dame.
“I definitely grew up a Michigan fan,” the Irish running back said. “I didn’t know anything about Notre Dame but the name until they started recruiting me.”
Nostalgia and family ties have not distracted Jenkins from the one goal shared by the entire Irish football team; above all, the Irish are in Ann Arbor to win. Though looking forward to having his family watching him from the stands, blood ties will be forgotten on Saturday afternoon.
“After the game, then I will go and be with my family,” Jenkins said. “First, we are looking forward to going up there and winning the game.”
— ND —