BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Any chance to make the NFL is special but for Cole Jenkins his opportunity is that much sweeter getting a shot with his hometown team.
“It’s wild, I mean I’m gonna graduate from Bills Mafia to a Buffalo Bill. It’s just gonna be a surreal experience and just happy about the opportunity,” Jenkins told News 4 Sports.
Jenkins is from East Aurora, graduated high school there, then played college football at Buffalo State and now will participate at Bills rookie minicamp after getting the invite a few weeks ago.
“It was a really boring day on the third day of the draft, pretty disappointed but woke up with a text from my agent saying that I got the invite. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions, I don’t think it will hit me until I put that helmet on really,” Jenkins said.
“It’s been awesome, I’ve been getting bombarded by Bills Mafia in the DMs. I mean it wasn’t too long ago since I was that kid DMing players but yeah it’s been surreal.”
And he’s doing this playing a position he never expected to pursue, long snapper.
“I came in as a defensive end and I just saw a real opportunity to be a specialist. I’ve always wanted to play in the NFL, I always thought it would be as an offensive lineman or D end but I mean I was always too small for that,” Jenkins laughed.
“And I saw the opportunity at long snapper and that’s when I took advantage of it and just started working at that and perfecting my craft.”
Jenkins long snapped a little in high school but joked he wasn’t very good at it back then. It wasn’t until early his freshman year at Buff State that he focused on long snapping and made it his position, an often thankless position.
“You put the ball from point A to point B but you gotta do that every single time you go out there. If you screw up that’s points on the board for the other team and points off the board for your team. I mean just doing your job that’s the name of the game,” Jenkins explained.
When it comes to the Bills’ long snapping duties, Reid Ferguson has been a constant for Buffalo at the position and someone Jenkins admires.
“He does his job, he goes unnoticed which is what you want to do as a long snapper. I mean you only hear about the long snapper if they screw up. But he’s one of the best in the league, you don’t see him screw up. He’s been a good guy to look up to,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins played in all ten games for the Bengals last season and represented Buff State in the Tropical Bowl in Orlando back in January as he competed with some of the best seniors from all across NCAA and NAIA divisions. He was also named a Third Team All-American by The College Football Network and competed in the FCS Bowl, back in December.
So as far as expectations for himself during Bills rookie minicamp, he’s focused on the bigger picture.
“A success would be really just inspiring my community of East Aurora, Western New York. If I can show kids that it’s possible then that’s a success to me,” Jenkins said.