It seems as if it was just days ago that Jauan Jennings was lighting up the local gridiron. Physical, athletic, and determined, this Blackman quarterback was a leader that helped establish the Blaze as one of the premier programs in the mid-state. Now he has a chance to realize one of his childhood goals.
Following some stellar play at the high school level, Jennings made his way to Knoxville with eyes on becoming a great Volunteer. Never afraid to mix it up, the six-foot three inch two hundred eight pounder made a highly successful transition to wide receiver. Always playing with a passion, Jennings honed his skills and became one of the finest playmakers in Big Orange history. Finishing his career on Rocky Top with the fifth most receptions (146), fourth in receiving yards (2,153) and tied for fifth in touchdown catches (18), Jauan made his mark for the Vols. And will anyone forget his leaping grab of the 43 yard hail Mary pass that beat Georgia in 2016?
The here and now has seen this in-state hero drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2020 NFL draft. As the 38th Volunteer wide receiver selected all-time, Jennings is ready to head to the next level.
“I’m just excited to get there and be a part of the great team they already have,”says Jennings. “It’s a blessing and I am extremely grateful. I cannot wait to work my butt off for them. They gave me a chance and will do my best to not disappoint.”
For those that saw him in his early days, the fire burning inside this young man was evident. Sometimes wearing his emotions on his sleeve, it was easy to know this kid had plenty of drive.
I am obviously very proud of Jauan,” says Philip Shadowens, his high school coach at Blackman. “The first time I saw him as a sophomore at Blackman I asked him what his goals were. He told me he wanted to play in the NFL. I have no doubt that if he remains healthy he will have a long career in professional football. Jauan is the ultimate competitor.”
So now the kid that was named class AAA Mr. Football Back of the year in 2014, helped guide Blackman to the class AAA state basketball title in 2014, and thrilled University of Tennessee fans for four seasons is on his way to the National Football League. Just like he said as a sophomore!