If Julian Jenkins thinks it during camp, you'll probably read about it
Julian Jenkins may be a Stanford man, but he knows exactly what to expect at a training camp held in the oppressive heat and humidity of Central Florida. After all, he grew up in often muggy Atlanta and has been playing football since he was eight years old. He even has shorthand for the phenomenon: "he-midity."
So Jenkins clearly understands that, at the end of any given day at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' upcoming training camp – after a pair of two-hour outdoor practices and hours of evening meetings – he'll want little more than sleep by the time he gets back to his hotel room.
He is not one, however, to collapse straight onto the mattress. Jenkins has an evening ritual that helps him absorb the lessons of one day and move onto the next: He writes.
"Before I go to bed, I always write a couple thoughts down that maybe have been bugging me during the day, or something that I need to think about the next day so that I can clear it out of my mind," said the 6-3, 277-pound defensive lineman. "I need to get it out of my mind so that I can be able to get to sleep. A lot of times, if you're thinking about it too much when you're trying to go to sleep, it causes you not to go to sleep. It's like a catharsis."
Jenkins' writings are for himself, obviously, an exercise in clarity and focus. If they never leave his nightstand, they've served their purpose.
For the next three weeks, however, Jenkins is going to share those personal thoughts with us.
Throughout the Buccaneers' camp, which opens in Lake Buena Vista on Thursday, Jenkins will be posting "Julian's CampBlog" in the Training Camp Central section of Buccaneers.com. The source of that blog will primarily be Jenkins' nighttime musings, along with any further observations on camp life that he makes throughout the day. It will truly be an inside look at the triumphs and trials of a rookie's first NFL camp.
Jenkins recently agreed to share his camp experience after a rigorous workout at One Buccaneer Place. Tampa Bay players are technically enjoying one final, month-long vacation before reporting for camp, but Jenkins and his fellow rookies have been showing up at team headquarters for some extra work. Jenkins has enthusiastically joined in.
Actually, in his case, the bonus time at One Buc is a chance to catch up. Stanford is on a different schedule than most universities and Jenkins didn't graduate until June 18. Incoming rookies are prohibited from participating in any work with their new NFL teams, besides one three-day camp right after the draft, until after their schools' respective graduation dates. Thus, Jenkins participated in the rookie mini-camp in May and the final mandatory mini-camp in late June but missed all of the voluntary work in between. Most of the rest of the Bucs' rookie class was able to be in town for every workout in that interim.
"I've been out on the West Coast for months, and you just don't get that heat and humidity and you don't get the repetition that we get here," said Jenkins. "Right now, I'm working with Coach Kiffin, working on my run fits and the pass rush. I'm in here working with my draft class, trying to get in shape and get ready for camp."
Only a few days remain for that sort of advanced preparation. Players are required to report to camp by Thursday afternoon and will be on the practice field for the beginning of the first two-a-day on Friday morning. Jenkins knows it will be hot. He knows it will be humid. Beyond that, he has a lot to learn.
And a lot to share.
"Julian's CampBlog," coming to Buccaneers.com later this week.