If you felt slighted by losing Jauan Jennings to a wrist injury during the first game of 2017, after all the magical hero behavior of his 2016 campaign, you may be in luck.
According to the line-up cards for Saturday’s Orange and White Game, Jennings was listed as a redshirt junior for the upcoming 2018 season instead of a senior. The news was first reported by Times Free Press reporter David Cobb, and UT’s online roster has since reflected that change.
Just noticed that Jauan Jennings is listed as a redshirt junior on the lineup card distributed today. Appears that he has been awarded a medical redshirt year for 2017.
— David Cobb (@DavidWCobb) April 21, 2018
This would also be a huge swing in Jennings’ favor after he was momentarily kicked off of the team by former Vols interim head coach Brady Hoke. Jennings was kicked off the team for a profanity-laced video rant on Instagram, venting his frustrations at Hoke and company for not letting him return to play against Vanderbilt. He also begged UT’s administration to bring in “better” and new coaches soon.
Well, he got those new coaches. And they wisely reinstated him, and it looks like the Butch Jones unraveling won’t even cost him his junior year.
Once Jeremy Pruitt was hired as Tennessee’s head coach in December, he and newly-appointed Athletics Director Phillip Fulmer had several discussions with Jennings. Pruitt laid out a list of guidelines and requirements that Jennings had to meet in order to be reinstated onto the team, and Jennings met them all.
Though he didn’t participate in spring practices while he recovered from offseason surgery, Jennings was officially part of Tennessee’s football roster this spring.
Jennings grew to legend status in 2016 after leaping to haul in Josh Dobbs’ Hail Mary to beat Georgia. And that was after he silenced then-Florida troll/cornerback Jalen “Teez” Tabor by burning him on a route and sprinting to the south endzone of Neyland Stadium in Tennessee’s win over the Gators.
Jennings is expected to be a full go once fall camp begins this August, and he should be one of the top receivers for the Vols during the 2018 season. He’ll easily be the most experienced, as he’s the only fourth-year scholarship receiver on Tennessee’s roster.