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The Sideline Report with Marcus Jenkins-Moore

Today's Sideline Report is with Kansas junior linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore, who will sit out the 2013 season after suffering a knee injury in the summer.

Marcus Jenkins-Moore (Rivals.com contributed photo).

Marcus Jenkins-Moore (Rivals.com contributed photo). by Jesse Newell

Jesse Newell: Who’s the funniest teammate you have?

Marcus Jenkins-Moore: Marquel (Combs).

Kansas University defensive tackle Marquel Combs, left, and linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore, juco teammates at Pierce College, are leaning on each other in their first season at KU. The pair hope to reunite on the field next season, when Jenkins-Moore will return from a knee injury.

Kansas University defensive tackle Marquel Combs, left, and linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore, juco teammates at Pierce College, are leaning on each other in their first season at KU. The pair hope to reunite on the field next season, when Jenkins-Moore will return from a knee injury. by Matt Tait

JN: Is he even funnier in person?

MJM: In person? He’s funny anywhere. I’m with him 24/7, so my jaw is hurting from laughing so much. Real talk.

JN: What do you guys do together?

MJM: We just hang out. Play games. I haven’t beat him in 2K. He’s a really good 2K player.

JN: Do you play as a bad team?

MJM: He’s just been getting lucky. (smiles)

JN: What do you remember about the first time you met Charlie Weis in person?

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis is seen behind a blur of players running through warmups during the first day of football practice on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis is seen behind a blur of players running through warmups during the first day of football practice on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo by Nick Krug

MJM: The first time I met coach was when I came on my visit. I went up to his office, saw him. I was like, ‘OK, it’s real. It’s real.’ After seeing him on TV every Saturday on NBC, to finally get to meet him … the guy offered me a scholarship. It was a blessing.

JN: Kind of a crazy moment, then?

MJM: Exactly. The man’s a legend. He’s a legend.

JN: Who’s a person you admire?

MJM: My mom. She’s strong. After she heard what I’ve been through (with a season-ending knee injury), she didn’t cry. I did, but she didn’t. She just encouraged me to keep moving, stay strong, do what I’ve got to do to get back. All the stuff she’s been through, being a single parent, dealing with me … I admire her the most.

JN: Were you tough to deal with growing up?

MJM: I was. I was a little hard-headed, but she got through to me, told me what I had to do.

JN: What makes her so strong?

MJM: She’s been working at one job for 36 years. She had a tough time growing up. She told me some things she’s been through, and I was like, ‘Man.’ I didn’t know until she told me. I just see her as one of those parents that doesn’t ever give up on their kids.

JN: What’s a food you can’t live without?

MJM: Chicken. If I don’t have chicken, I’m not living. (laughs)

JN: Is there any restaurant that does that best?

MJM: Back home (in Memphis), we’ve got this place called 'Big Momma’s.'

JN: That sounds like a good place.

MJM: Sweetest cornbread you’ll ever eat.

JN: Are they popular?

MJM: It’s popular in the city. If you come, you’ll see.

JN: What’s something that not many people know about you?

MJM: I’m a very good bowler. I’ll beat anybody.

JN: What scores are we talking here?

MJM: My high score was 289. … I’m 250s, 260s. But 289 was my high score.

JN: What was the toughest part about the injury for you?

MJM: Thinking about it. Just thinking about my whole situation: what I’ve been through to get here. It was really hard for me.

JN: When you called your mom, how did that conversation go?

MJM: Man. I started crying. I didn’t want to tell her. She asked me, ‘What’s wrong?’ I said, ‘Something bad happened to my knee.’ She was just encouraging me the whole time. She was like, ‘I don’t care what happened. Everything’s going to be all right. Just keep praying.’ And that was it.

JN: Your favorite Disney character?

MJM: Goofy. He’s goofy. Goofy is funny.

JN: Was he your favorite growing up?

MJM: Yeah. I used to watch him and Donald Duck. Him, Donald, Bugs (Bunny). I’m a Mickey Mouse fan, too.

JN: If I walked into your room, what’s something that would stand out to me?

MJM: My shoes. I’m an Air Force Jordans guy. People are like, ‘Dang, why do you have so many shoes?’ And I don’t even wear them all.

JN: How many you have?

MJM: Right now, I’ve probably got like 15. Well, you know, I couldn’t take everything from Cali.

JN: What’s an embarrassing TV show you watch?

MJM: The Parkers.

JN: What do you like about it?

MJM: Man, they are cracking up. Professor Oglevee (laughs), he’ll be dissing Nikki. But it’s funny, though. It makes me laugh.

JN: What’s something unexpected about Lawrence that you didn’t know until you got here?

The Holiday Lighting Ceremony along Massachusetts Street kicks off Friday night with clear weather and a crowd. This photo was taken from the roof of Weaver’s Department Store, 901 Mass., facing north.

The Holiday Lighting Ceremony along Massachusetts Street kicks off Friday night with clear weather and a crowd. This photo was taken from the roof of Weaver’s Department Store, 901 Mass., facing north. by kevin-anderson

MJM: Man, the people. I thought it was just going to be just land, land and then a couple people. There’s people out here, and they’re really cool. I really like the city. They like the team. They support the team. I met a couple people that are really expecting us to do good things this year. So they’re really exciting me.

JN: Is there anything interesting or unexpected that I’d find in your refrigerator?

MJM: Unexpected … I’m not a yogurt guy, but I just started eating it. Interesting would probably be Kool-Aid.

JN: Man, I love Kool-Aid.

MJM: Kool-Aid’s the thing, man. Kool-Aid will take you as far as you want it, but you’ve got to have sugar. You can’t drink Kool-Aid without sugar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66njeIMpv5U

JN: What’s your favorite flavor or color?

MJM: See, the trick is, you’ve got to get Tropical Punch, Grape, Orange, but you’ve got to have a Lemon to mix it with. Always mix a strong flavor with a Lemon, so it tastes like lemonade, but it’s really Tropical Punch.

JN: But that makes it look kind of brown, doesn’t it?

MJM: Nah. If it’s green, it’s going to be green, because it’s yellow.

JN: Oh, the yellow mixes into it.

MJM: Exactly.

JN: What do you hope to accomplish before your career is over at KU?

MJM: Just to build this program back up.

Just to get all the people off coach Weis’ back. Everybody’s doubting him, so I want to be a part of the team that helped him accomplish something big — (when) people weren’t planning on us to even be a talked-about team in the nation. I just want to help him have that story from what he did with this team a year ago to what we’re going to be.

And, you know, I want to be a cool guy. I like people. As long as they’re nice, it’s cool.

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Comments

Mark Lindrud 8 months, 1 week ago

Just means we've got him for two more years, and maybe by then we are expected to go to bowls rather than hoping because his maturity and leadership can lead us in the right direction in addition to the other juco guys Weis brought in. So far they sound like a dedicated and hungry group.

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Randy Bombardier 8 months, 1 week ago

Dang, Marcus, maybe you should be a pro bowler. Course you could be a pro-bowler in the NFL while also being a pro bowler in the PBA. Great interview. Use this time and opportunity wisely young man.

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iamakufan 8 months, 1 week ago

Articles like this just keep getting me more and more excited in anticipation of the season. Young men like MJM are great to have on the team and in Lawrence. I really wish he could play this season but I'll be excited to watch him next year.

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Ken Schmidt 8 months, 1 week ago

MJM, there is another side of this as well, we get to have you around for another year. Universities are full of players who come and go and provide no real impact. You have the opportunity and the story to help others around you, in the locker room, on campus and in Lawrence. Even with a healing knee, you have the strength to help another up. Thank you for coming to KU! Rock Chalk! #shocktheworld

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Chris Bailey 8 months, 1 week ago

I hate that so many of the kids don't have a father in their lives. Koodos to the mothers for standing up and raising these young men. I realize not all these kids are without a nuclear family. I cannot imagine 1 day without my son in my life. As many of you may remember I lost a child at 39 days. It makes you appreciate what you have in life. I have a brother that's pretty much a dead beat father. My son is the number one thing in my life. I'd lay my life down for him. I truly cannot wrap my head around someone that doesn't give everything they have to raising their child. We aren't perfect. Not one of us. But standing up and being a man and putting that child first is THE single most important thing you should do with your life. You wanna lay down and get down with a lady if something happens you weren't planning too damn bad. You deal with it! You act like a man! You take responsiblity for what you've done. I don't know if MJM has a father in his life. Just see so many of these kids that have a single mom doing the best they can to provide for their kids with no mention of the father. If more men stood up and acted like men we'd have far less problems in the world today! Sorry this article just struck a nerve for single mothers everywhere that are struggling. Thanks for the article Jesse. Best of luck MJM. Hope your recovery goes well. Can't wait to see in you in 2014! Rock Chalk!

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Keith Hummel 8 months, 1 week ago

Very nice interview. Hope to see more of these pieces in the future.

MJM seems like a genuinely good guy, and it sounds like he is handling this setback well.

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TommieSmithElbow 8 months, 1 week ago

Jesse, as always, thanks for the article and your inclusion of different links.

Especially cool was the picture that Nick took with Coach Weis and the blurred players, which was unique and fascinating (great photographic eye on coming up with the concept; plus the facial expression is outstanding!) Nice job!

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