The Varina Blue Devils have been a top tier team the past two seasons under coach Andrew Lacey. He’ll be the first to tell you, that success hasn’t come without top-tier talent.

With Kenneth Southerland (Richard Bland) and Andre Watkins (Millersville (D2 school in PA)) ascending to the next level, it’s time for another talented player to shine- that’s junior Tyrese Jenkins. This summer, he picked up offers from Hampton and Norfolk State.

“It was exciting [to get the offers],” Jenkins said. “I really felt like my hard work was starting to pay off.”

Jenkins was a versatile player for Varina, playing three positions regularly, from shooting guard to small forward. His scoring touch gives him ability as a wing and a strong frame (6-6, 205 pounds) gives him size to survive in the post.

The Team Garner Road standout evaluated his own game for RVA Game Break.

“My game is fundamental, not flashy,” said Jenkins. “I’m an all-around high and have a high IQ. I know how to make the right play.”

Lacey echoed positive statements about one of his key cogs for 2017-18.

Tyrese is an intriguing player,” Lacey said. “At 6-6 he posses both a perimeter and post skill set.  It allows us to use him in many different ways on the floor to create opportunities for his teammates as well as himself.”

“Tyrese has a great understanding and feel for the game, he passes the ball out of the post well, shoots the outside jump shot and can take his man to the block and finish,” he continued. “At times we also allow him to bring the ball up the floor due to his ability to handle the basketball like a guard.”

“Defensively, he can defend both inside and outside as well as give help on the glass and protecting the basket,” said Lacey. “Overall he is solid academic student with a tremendous upside as he is only a sophomore.  We look for big things from Tyrese in his future at Varina.”

Varina had a strong campaign in 2016-17, finishing 21-7 and taking a ride all the way to the 5A State Championship bracket, where they battled with and fell to Albemarle 65-55. Jenkins will assuredly be needed if the Blue Devils are to fare as well or better this coming season.