weather icon Clear

Highly rated basketball transfer David Jenkins chooses UNLV

Updated May 18, 2019 - 8:18 pm

David Jenkins Jr. played for coach T.J. Otzelberger the past two seasons at South Dakota State.

Now Jenkins will play for him at UNLV.

Rated the nation’s second-best transfer by The Stadium’s Jeff Goodman and a proven scorer with the Jackrabbbits, Jenkins signed with the Rebels on Saturday, a major boost to the first-year UNLV coach’s recruiting efforts. Jenkins, who is from Tacoma, Washington, chose the Rebels over Gonzaga and Oregon.

“When it comes to this recruiting process, you’ve got to go with someone in the program that you trust,” Jenkins said. “T.J. Otzelberger from Day One at South Dakota State told me certain things that he was going to do for me and how I could help the program at South Dakota State. He carried out everything he said. Some coaches tell you some things that you want to hear to try to get you to the school, but he didn’t just tell me what I wanted to hear. He said it and executed it throughout my two years at South Dakota State.

“At the end of the day, I know I can trust him, and I know he has my best interest and I know he’s going to help me get to the next level no matter what. He is a guy who doesn’t just care about me as a player, he cares about me as a person. Not just me. Every program he’s coached, he pushes them to be the best person possible.”

Jenkins averaged 19.7 points and shot 45.3 percent from the 3-point line to become a first-team All-Summit League player.

“I could not be more thrilled for the opportunity to continue coaching David,” Otzelberger said in a statement. “He will quickly become a fan favorite here in Las Vegas because of his personality and his competitive drive. David is a gifted scorer, a proven winner and a fantastic teammate. We look forward to seeing his game expand over this year before getting him out on the court in a Runnin’ Rebel uniform the following season.”

The 6-foot-2-inch guard will sit out next season under NCAA transfer rules and then have two years of eligibility. Jenkins can serve as a sort of de facto coach to his new teammates.

“I know T.J.’s system,” Jenkins said. “I know offense, defense, what he’s all about. The year I’m going to sit out, I’m going to push myself, and I’m also going to push my teammates to get better. I’m going to help them know the offense, get to know the defense, all the principles. I feel like it’s going to be a great situation for me to be able to learn from some of the guys and for them to learn some things from me that I learned from T.J. the past two years.”

UNLV has one scholarship available to offer.

More Rebels: Follow at reviewjournal.com/Rebels and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Rebels trounced by Montana State in season opener

UNLV, an 11½-point favorite, was stunned by Montana State to begin coach T.J. Otzelberger’s second season. The Rebels trailed for almost 35 minutes of the game.