Baylor Football’s Caden Jenkins is Freshman All-American

Caden Jenkins

It’s no secret the Baylor Football team had a difficult and tumultuous 2023 season with many hopes and expectations dashed week after week as they collected more losses than victories—lest we not forget they were a team full of youth and inexperience at nearly every position group. While many positions corps struggled for success against their opponents, the corner backs surprisingly weren’t the main issue on defense. Although the CBs were extremely young and lacked true playing time—we’re looking at freshmen Carl Williams IV, Caden Jenkins, redshirt sophomore Tevin Williams III, redshirt junior Chateau Reed, and others—they each made impacts on the defense’s results in every match up. Jenkins, however, was by undoubtedly the most effective and useful player in his corps and a phenomenal addition to the defense in general. Due to his productive and exciting performance as a true freshman, Jenkins was named a Second-Team Freshman All-American by The Athletic last week. The Athletic‘s list of freshman All-Americans highlight true and redshirt freshmen who were the most impactful on their respective teams for the 2023 season.

Out of high school, Jenkins was a consensus three-star athlete who was ranked at No. 73 in The Dallas Morning News’ top 100 recruits inventory. 247Sports considered him the 98th-ranked CB in the country and the 177th overall player in the state of Texas. He immediately made an impact on the Baylor defense as a true freshman, starting in 7 games and playing in all 12 of the Bears’ challenges. Jenkins recorded 37 tackles with 25 of them solo, 1 tackle for a loss of 5 yards, 2 fumble recoveries returned 82 yards, 3 interceptions returned 11 yards, and 3 pass break ups. In the Bears’ largest comeback in program history against UCF (watch dad’s and my reaction to that game here), Jenkins notched his first career interception returned 5 yards and followed with a fumble recovered for 72 yards to the house. Following that game, Jenkins was simultaneously named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week and the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week. According to Baylor Athletics’ Jerry Hill (papa), He was “Baylor’s highest-graded defensive player in 2023 with a 77.5 rating, per Pro Football Focus..Jenkins also placed second on the team this year in limiting his opponents to a 58.1 reception percentage, according to PFF.” Prior to his All-American selection, Jenkins was named an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention pick and earned votes for All-Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. Jenkins will return to Baylor for his sophomore season in 2024!