Blue ink two-sport star

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

The Boston Red Sox made Corey Jenkins their first-round pick, 24th overall, in the 1995 Major League Baseball draft.

Yesterday, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers made Jenkins one of their newest linebackers.

The Bombers yesterday signed Jenkins and another linebacker, Kai Parham, to two-year deals that include options.

Jenkins, 30, is the more unique signing, considering he was well on his way to making a living on the diamond rather than the gridiron.

After the Red Sox drafted Jenkins, the right-fielder played in the minor leagues for four years before deciding he wanted to play football instead.

"Football is my love," Jenkins said yesterday from Columbia, S.C. "Me and Quincy Carter had the same agent at one time, too, when we were playing baseball. We would always talk about going back to play football and stuff.

"And one day I turn the TV on and I see him being the starting quarterback at Georgia. So now I'm like, 'OK, I'm going back to school and I'm going to play football.' "

Jenkins was actually a quarterback in high school, and he resumed that role at the University of South Carolina under Lou Holtz. But the Miami Dolphins drafted him in 2003 and turned him into a linebacker.

"He was a good college quarterback, so who knows? He might be our emergency quarterback, if not a backup," Bombers GM Brendan Taman quipped yesterday.

Jenkins, who is good friends with Bombers offensive lineman Dan Goodspeed, played 16 games for the Dolphins in 2003 before making uneventful stops in Chicago, Miami again, Green Bay and Carolina. The 6-foot-1, 228-pound, versatile athlete will attempt to make the Bomber roster as either the weak- or strong-side linebacker.

"He's a good player, a really good player," Taman said. "I would think he'll have a chance to make our team."

Jenkins is looking forward to coming to his new job, especially if his good friend, Jimmy Hurst, is back with the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team this year.

"I just want to go out and hit BP with them, and I want to hit in the same group as Hurst," said Jenkins, who once roomed with 2006 World Series MVP David Eckstein at Red Sox training camp.

"I'm beefed up. I can hit a baseball a long way right now, even after not playing."

Parham, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-3, 247-pounder from the University of Virginia. The 22-year-old California native attended Dallas Cowboys training camp in August.


Videos

Photos