Jauan Jennings has become a Tennessee legend.
Following a clutch catch over All-American corner Jalen Tabor last week, there was no way Jennings could top that against Georgia.
And then he went and caught a Hail Mary game-winner.
Jennings has not only made two historic catches against Florida and Georgia, his answers about them off the field make his legend even greater. When asked about where his game-winning catch against Georgia ranks in his career, he said it was second.
Behind “burning Tabor.”
Where does this rank in terms of catches you’ve made?
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 2, 2016
Jennings, minutes removed from a Hail Mary catch to put Tennessee in the drivers’ seat in the SEC East, says it wasn’t even the best catch of his career. Not to mention, he’s only played wide receiver for two years, after spending all of high school as a quarterback.
Jennings credited his teammates in making that transition a bit easier.
“Every day going in and out in practice with this last year’s receiver group,” Jennings said, “all those veterans helped mold me and make into the receiver I am today. I’m very grateful for them. It just took a lot of hard work and determination.”
Butch Jones credited Jennings’ competitiveness on the final play.
“I think he relies on his instincts to go up and get the football,” Jones said. “Jauan is one of the most competitive players I’ve ever been around and he wasn’t going to be denied.
Jennings makes the plays on the field, and relies on those instincts off the field too. He says all the right things to endear himself to Vols fans.
On a team with scripted coaches and players, Jennings is a breath of fresh air. His spontaneity is evident on and off the field. When asked when he knew he caught the ball against Georgia, Jennings said, “as soon as coach called the play.”
“I saw it and went up and grabbed it,” Jennings said. “These seniors have paved the way for myself and all these other guys to even be in this position. Just to be able to pay them back was an unbelievable experience.”
Jennings was the biggest dog on the field in Athens. No matter what he does for the rest of this season, and even his career, Jauan Jennings is a Tennessee football legend.