All-American wrestler Jenkins decides to switch to ASU

It looks like the Sun Devil wrestling program will have an extra All-American next season.  Bubba is on the way.

Bubba Jenkins, the 2008 national runner-up at 149 lbs., announced yesterday that we will be transferring from Penn State to attend ASU for his senior season.  He should be a welcome addition to the Sun Devil program, which compiled a 9-7 overall record last year and a fourth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships.  Jenkins can wrestle at 149 or 157.

Coming out of First Colonial High School in Virginia, he was the top-ranked wrestler at 145 in the country, according to Amateur Wrestling News.  He won the 2006 NHSCA National Championship with a dominating performance.

Jenkins missed most of the 2008-09 season due to injury, but managed to finish 24-3 before losing in the title match of the Big 10 Championships. In the fall of this year, he ran into academic eligibility problems.  Those issues, together with his attempt to recover physically to his old form, brought about the decision to redshirt this year.

Since he expressed an interest in leaving the Penn State program several months ago, he had reportedly received inquiries from 25-30 schools.  ASU had shown an interest in the athlete since his days wrestling in high school.  Jenkins also has a longtime friend, Brian Smith, who is an assistant coach at ASU.

He plans to finish the semester at Penn State and may have to take some summer-school classes to meet Penn State’s degree requirements.

Jenkins also likes the idea of being in Arizona because it’s close to the West Coast, where mixed martial arts is big.  He can wrestle at ASU and train in martials arts at the same time. Bubba sees his final year of wrestling as his stepping-stone to a mixed martial arts career.

But first up is another run at an NCAA title, this time in maroon and gold.

(Photo credit: Daily Collegian/Daniel Bott)