First-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins will be on hand for the 49ers rookie minicamp this weekend after all, according to his agent. The day after he was taken with the 30th overall pick, Jenkins stressed to reporters how important education is to his family and how he plans to graduate from the University of Illinois this weekend.
Jenkins indeed will graduate with a degree in sports management. But he won't be tossing his mortarboard in the air with the rest of his classmates in Champaign, Ill. Instead he'll be with 24 other rookies in Santa Clara for the three-day initiation session that begins Friday. The 49ers are expecting full participation from their seven-man draft class and the 17 undrafted rookies they signed last week. An 18th player, Texas A&M defensive lineman Tony Jerod-Eddie, is expected to sign this week.
"He's been working out non-stop and is ready to go," said agent Jonathan Perzley. "He's not ok with just sitting and watching everyone else during his rookie season. He wants to get in there and play."
Jenkins doesn't want special treatment because he's a first-round pick. In fact, he may be in for a more grueling regimen because of his draft status and the position he plays. Former 49ers great Jerry Rice reached out to him via Twitter soon after the draft, and now the hall of famer plans to take the rookie on one of his famous hill-climbing sessions in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Their Twitter exchange today: @17AJJenkins: I know you will be ready ... But so will I #49ers RT @JerryRice: @17AJJenkins I'm getting in top shape to get you up that Hill!
-- Matt Barrows