TOPEKA (KSNT) – The NFL Draft kicks off on April 29th and Topeka native Teven Jenkins is projected by many outlets to be a first round pick.

“I definitely saw myself in this position and just seeing it come true is a big thing for me,” says Jenkins.

Growing up in Topeka, the NFL has always been on Jenkins’ mind.

“Growing up I did have that dream myself just being able to watch TV with my dad in the living room just seeing all the games, seeing all the NFL Draft stuff.”

Jenkins was an all-state selection his junior and senior seasons at Topeka High and earned a scholarship at Oklahoma State.

“I told my dad, look, I feel comfortable with Oklahoma State because of how well I connected with the strength coach (Rob Glass) and knowing that because I’m going to be with him more than any o-line coaches, head coach, anything else, because he’s going to pull the full potential out of me,” said Jenkins.

The 6’6” 320 pound offensive tackle allowed just two sacks his entire career at Oklahoma State, and zero as a junior or senior. He also had 36 reps on the bench press at his pro day.

“I’m gonna be that hard worker,” Jenkins says about why teams should draft him. “It’s been proven in my film. I’m a dude that loves football. I’m a dude that just loves to hit people just no matter what. I’m not going to shy away from contact at all. I’m gonna be one of those guys who will finish people in the dirt.”

The past year has been difficult for everybody. The NFL did not hold a Draft combine this year because of Covid which has added stress to the draft process, but Jenkins is no stranger to adversity.

“The biggest obstacle ever I feel like to me is when my mother passed when I was eight years old,” says Jenkins. “She passed away from breast cancer and that was the biggest obstacle for me and through the rest of my life there hasn’t even been anything close to that.”

Jenkins is grateful for the support he’s had growing up in Topeka.

“I would like to thank a lot of people in my life for supporting me through that hard time and being able to help my father and help my family around and being able to make sure I was always at sporting events, make sure I was getting extra help in class if needed.”

And while being a potential first round pick in the NFL Draft is certainly motivation for Jenkins, his biggest motivation lies elsewhere.

“Playing for my mom definitely has motivated me more than anything else in my life right now,” said Jenkins.