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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Football running back Jenkins steps in for Carey, scores 91-yard touchdown

UA Runningback Daniel Jenkins runs the ball for a 91-yard touchdown onFriday.

Senior running back Daniel Jenkins returned from his “sabbatical” to win Arizona football’s offensive player of the week while filling in for junior running back Ka’Deem Carey, who is suspended.

Jenkins rushed for 139 yards on 12 carries, including a touchdown in Arizona’s 35-0 win over NAU on Friday. He also led the UA (1-0) in receiving, with three catches for 13 yards and scored another receiving touchdown.

“In warm-ups, I ran out of the tunnel and just took a lap around half of the field, man I was excited,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins graduated last December and in January announced he would transfer to Washington State. College graduates do not have to sit out a season if they transfer to a school that offers a graduate school program that their original institution does not.

At a press conference in May, Jenkins said he decided to return to the UA due to family issues after training for a month in Pullman, Wash. Since Jenkins never enrolled at Washington State, or took part in any of their practices, he was allowed to play for Arizona immediately.

“I thought DJ was poised for a big year and a big game,” head coach Rich Rodriguez said. “He had a great summer, he’s in great shape, been running well the whole camp. He’s probably been one of the most explosive players we’ve had in camp. So it was good to see him get that long run and he deserved this kind of nice performance.”

It was his third career start, and by halftime he had tallied his first 100-yard rushing game. His previous high was 78 yards against ASU last season.

“He was on a spring sabbatical,” Rodriguez said. “He was doing his world tour of the northwest part of the country.”

Jenkins replaced Carey, who had been suspended for the NAU game after his off-field transgressions during the winter.

“He [Ka’Deem] should be playing in the next game,” Rodriguez added.

Rodriguez said he and Carey had known for a while that he would not play in the season opener.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do the last five or six months, but we have team policies and team rules, and that stays in the house,” Rodriguez said. “One of the ways to make it effective is to have playing time taken away and I’m sure Ka’Deem was hurting because he’s a great competitor.”

On Sunday, Arizona announced that the coaches had selected Jenkins as the Wildcats’ offensive player of the w

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