Jenkins and Bynum named First-Team All-Conference


Philip Zoppi – General Assignment Reporter

Devante Jenkins and Kayjuan Bynum of the Southern football team were both named First-Team All-Conference.

Jenkins, a team captain and dynamic wide receiver for the offense, was very grateful when he found out that he made First-Team All-Conference.

“It really means a lot,” said Jenkins. “I just come out here and try to play to the best of my abilities. It’s relieving to get acknowledged for the season and hard work I’ve put in. It just shows me all that hard work was for a reason.”

Jenkins put together one of the best seasons at wide receiver in Southern football history, catching 66 passes for 870 yards and 15 touchdowns. Jenkins 15 receiving touchdowns led the Northeast-10 Conference with the next closest being 13.

Jenkins definitely had the most impressive season for the Owls’ offensively, but defensively it was Bynum.

Bynum finished second in sacks in the Northeast-10 with 7.5 and was third on the team in tackles with 58. This was a huge jump in production from last year and Bynum attributes that to his hard work off the field. Bynum also appeared in every game for the Owls’, something he prides himself on.

“It’s just mental toughness,” said Bynum. “There’s definitely been a lot of games where I know a lot of other people and myself have been very banged up going into the game but you got to do whatever you can to help your team win.”

Even though the Owls’ didn’t do a lot of winning as they finished the year 4-7, they should feel good about their future. Jenkins and Bynum both plan to return for their senior years which should give Southern a great chance to improve on 4-7.

Jenkins could have an even better year in 2016 as he develops even more chemistry with Robert Nittolo, Southern’s starting quarterback. Even though Jenkins is a junior this was his first year catching passes from Nittolo because he just transferred to Southern this year.

Jenkins made it a point to build a chemistry with Nittolo  before the season started.

“I went to his house a week before camp started and tried to work out with him as much as I could,” said Jenkins when referring to Nittolo. “Just throughout the season we started to build a better chemistry.”

Nittolo was named to the Second-Team all conference and had 15 of his 19 touchdowns go to Jenkins. This duo will be back on the field together in 2016 and hope to improve on their gaudy stats from 2015.

With Bynum leading the way for the defense in 2016 that side of the ball is looking promising, too. Bynum plays a hybrid of linebacker and defensive end, and even drops back in pass coverage as well.

Bynum is excited for next year but knows there’s a lot of work to be done.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be put in and young guys are going to have to step up and play crucial roles. From what I’ve seen so far though I’m definitely confident in next year and we plan on winning something. It’ll be my last year so I got to go hard.”

Jenkins and Bynum both had incredible individual seasons but they both wanted more wins than anything else. With the core of the team returning next year they’ll have a great chance of that.

Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor

HEADER PHOTO: Devante Jenkins

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