PDA

View Full Version : Big find from small school? Jaguars like RB Rashad Jennings' potential


Kaiser Toro
06-20-2009, 10:04 AM
This will make me absolutely sick to my stomach if he turns out being the player that he is capable of being. People are miffed about Coffee, this is the guy we should be miffed about in my opinion.

The NFL draft weekend in April turned into a virtual nightmare for Liberty University running back Rashad Jennings.

Even though he thought he had a shot to be first-day pick, Jennings had to wait until 249 names went off the board before the Jaguars took him in the seventh round.

"I went through ups and downs," Jennings said. "I was walking around crying, upset, trying to be patient, crying, frustrated, anything you could possibly think of."

Jennings is a big back at 6 feet 1 and 230 pounds. Why he wasn't selected before the seventh round is still a mystery. His agent, Adisa Bakari, who also represents Maurice Jones-Drew, called Jennings' fall "mind-boggling."

"I've asked around and talked to several general managers and nobody gave me a definitive answer," Bakari said.

Jennings' older brother Butch was a running back at VMI and Liberty. He now works at Liberty and is a pastor with an urban ministry. "We started seeing guys with character issues getting selected and we were like, 'Wow, what are they looking for?' " Butch Jennings said.

The most popular theories are that the scouts were concerned because he didn't play against big time competition at Liberty, a Division I-AA school, and that he has an upright running style.

"Some teams scout the school rather than the player," said Jaguars general manager Gene Smith, who said the Jaguars were surprised he was still on the board in the seventh round.

If the organized team activities are a barometer, the Jaguars might have made a find. The team is anxious to see him in pads in training camp in August.

"I think you see in the shorts workout here, he's done a nice job. He belongs here. I think he fits into the group nicely, and that's a competitive group," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said.

Jennings trained with Jones-Drew before the draft, when they had no idea they were destined to become teammates.

"He's a big man, so he's going to help us in the running game," Jones-Drew said.

Jennings also fits the high-character mold that the Jaguars stressed in the draft this year. He said he's never even had a drink of alcohol.

"I've never seen anything good come from it. I'm not going to do it," he said.

He played at Liberty not because he couldn't make it at a bigger school, but because he transferred from Pitt, where he started as a true freshman.

Jennings' father had a leg amputated as a result of complications of diabetes.

The Liberty campus is 10 minutes from his home outside Lynchburg, Va., and he wanted to be closer to home. He could rush home at a moment's notice and his mother wouldn't have to travel six hours to Pitt to see him play.

Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt released him from his scholarship so he could be closer to home, but warned him that playing at Liberty could affect his draft status.

Jennings rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons at Liberty, but the scouts bypassed him in the first six rounds. He said he has no regrets.

"None at all. Not one regret," he said. "I'm glad everything happened how it happened. I'm a better person for it."

It was the second time Jennings family went through the free-fall experience on draft day. Thirteen years ago, his oldest brother, Bryan Jennings, a tight end at Virginia Tech, expected to be drafted but wasn't selected at all.

Bryan wound up being signed by three teams, but didn't make it and is a high school coach.

"After the fifth round [this year], the room got very tense," Butch Jennings said. "My mom was like, 'Wow, we're reliving this.' "

Rashad Jennings is in a similar position as Jones-Drew, who was upset back in 2006 when he fell to the second round. He chose his number, 32, because that's how many teams bypassed him in the draft.

"[Jennings] has an edge [for being bypassed]," Butch Jennings said. "And Maurice still has an edge."

http://www.jacksonville.com/sports/football/jaguars/2009-06-17/story/big_find_from_small_school_jaguars_like_rb_rashad_ jennings_

CloakNNNdagger
06-20-2009, 10:51 AM
It would seem that he has a decent amount of "potential." However, his small school label had to be part of his descent on the draft list. His 4.6 40 reflected his slowness on the field. He wasn't going to beat anyone outside the tackles in the NFL, and there was a big question if his upright running style in college would allow him success against bigger, tougher NFL players in the between tackles style. I remember reading somewhere that he was considered "lazy" ala Travis Johnson.........not something that with all the other questions, would endear him to a high pick.

Kaiser Toro
06-20-2009, 11:01 AM
It would seem that he has a decent amount of "potential." However, his small school label had to be part of his descent on the draft list. His 4.6 40 reflected his slowness on the field. He wasn't going to beat anyone outside the tackles in the NFL, and there was a big question if his upright running style in college would allow him success against bigger, tougher NFL players in the between tackles style. I remember reading somewhere that he was considered "lazy" ala Travis Johnson.........not something that with all the other questions, would endear him to a high pick.

While Jennings has made his mark at Liberty, he never made much of one at Jefferson Forest High School.

Jennings didn't get much playing time there, but that wasn't the only reason he transferred after his junior year. His schoolwork left much to be desired.

"He had become a momma's boy -- fat, lazy," said his eldest brother, former VMI and LU running back Butch Jennings.

Rashad Jennings transferred to Lynchburg Christian Academy (now Liberty Christian). He repeated his junior year and also spent his senior year there, and ran for more than 3,000 yards at the school.

Division I-A schools took notice. Jennings enrolled at Pitt in January 2005.

When the Panthers visited Notre Dame that fall, he became only the fourth true freshman in Pitt history to start a season opener at tailback.

http://www.roanoke.com/sports/college/wb/183500

beerlover
06-20-2009, 11:40 AM
several of us stated before the draft "if available in the 3rd rd. Rashad Jennings should be a Texan" for him to slip means there was some undisclosed issue not mentioned for general consumption, shared by teams around the league until the reward outweighed the risk.

Jaguars general manager Gene Smith said the school isn't as important as the player's talent and ability.

in regards to the Texans I beleive it had more to do with his football sense or intelligence in the game, that he did not fit into Kyles complicated zone scheme & is better suited to run from a simple I formation. call it just a hunch but if there is one thing that strikes me about the Texans RB's is there attitude & intelligence I think there is more to being successful in this offense than being physically large, same thing can be said for the OL, who have to work together in tandem.

probably a good pick for Jacksonville, we'll certainly find out won't we? also from what I read it would be a good idea to attack the football & try to force him to fumble & don't allow him to get into a rhythm. :specnatz:

Kaiser Toro
06-20-2009, 11:47 AM
several of us stated before the draft "if available in the 3rd rd. Rashad Jennings should be a Texan" for him to slip means there was some undisclosed issue not mentioned for general consumption, shared by teams around the league until the reward outweighed the risk.



in regards to the Texans I beleive it had more to do with his football sense or intelligence in the game, that he did not fit into Kyles complicated zone scheme & is better suited to run from a simple I formation. call it just a hunch but if there is one thing that strikes me about the Texans RB's is there attitude & intelligence I think there is more to being successful in this offense than being physically large, same thing can be said for the OL, who have to work together in tandem.

probably a good pick for Jacksonville, we'll certainly find out won't we? also from what I read it would be a good idea to attack the football & try to force him to fumble & don't allow him to get into a rhythm. :specnatz:

That is certainly one narrative and plausible. Since I am not above offering narratives, I would offer that maybe our GM and scouts may underestimate heart in their prognostications and put to much emphasis on other character traits, skill sets and or positions (such as CB)

I am happy with our draft at the top, but I believe there is always room to take a late round flyer on a football player with heart and pedigree at a need position.

Lucky
06-20-2009, 02:00 PM
I\ I remember reading somewhere that he was considered "lazy" ala Travis Johnson.........not something that with all the other questions, would endear him to a high pick.
I remember that Jennings had a weight problem at Pitt, tipping the scales at a Daynesque 260 lbs. But, he got in shape at Liberty and performed.

The Texans picked up a similar type back in Arain Foster as an UDFA. Foster has good size and good hands, like Jennings. Both run upright and have spotty collegiate records. Though, Foster played in the SEC for 4 years.

During All-Access, Shanahan went on about how smart Foster was. How important is that for a RB to the Texans? Well, they were gaga over Glen Coffee and he had the highest Wonderlic score among RBs at the combine. So, maybe Jennings smarts were in question? Still, I don't see how it has that much to do with the zone scheme. There are only 4 plays and the RB only needs to make one read and go. I think it has everything to do with pass protection and picking up blitzers. Something Jennings saw little of at Liberty.

CloakNNNdagger
06-20-2009, 03:02 PM
I remember that Jennings had a weight problem at Pitt, tipping the scales at a Daynesque 260 lbs. But, he got in shape at Liberty and performed.

The Texans picked up a similar type back in Arain Foster as an UDFA. Foster has good size and good hands, like Jennings. Both run upright and have spotty collegiate records. Though, Foster played in the SEC for 4 years.

During All-Access, Shanahan went on about how smart Foster was. How important is that for a RB to the Texans? Well, they were gaga over Glen Coffee and he had the highest Wonderlic score among RBs at the combine. So, maybe Jennings smarts were in question? Still, I don't see how it has that much to do with the zone scheme. There are only 4 plays and the RB only needs to make one read and go. I think it has everything to do with pass protection and picking up blitzers. Something Jennings saw little of at Liberty.

You know, I almost forgot Dayne getting kicked in the ass by Coughlin for coming in preseason at around 275. Somehow, Dayne managed to get his wieght down to the 230s at season opener. He always seemed to be battling to keep his weight in line........memories............:whip:

cuppacoffee
06-21-2009, 12:16 PM
"Some teams scout the school rather than the player," said Jaguars general manager Gene Smith, who said the Jaguars were surprised he was still on the board in the seventh round."


But not suprised he was on the board in the sixth round?


:coffee:

Polo
06-21-2009, 02:33 PM
The Texans picked up a similar type back in Arain Foster as an UDFA.

I thinm if Jennings were to have gone undrafted he may have been considered as an UDFA signee....'

I dunno and I guess we'll never know...

Carr Bombed
06-21-2009, 05:52 PM
This will make me absolutely sick to my stomach if he turns out being the player that he is capable of being. People are miffed about Coffee, this is the guy we should be miffed about in my opinion.

Exactly. I still think it was a mistake not to draft this kid. Yes he ran a 4.6 (who cares), Slaton reported ran as high as a 4.5 and look how he turned out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEpJMNzBZ1k

The guy reminds me so much of Marion Barber......he's physical and tough as hell, he pushes piles, and he ALWAYS falls forward for positive yardage....it was a mistake not to draft him, he would've been the perfect compliment to Steve Slaton.

Carr Bombed
06-21-2009, 05:55 PM
The Texans picked up a similar type back in Arain Foster as an UDFA. Foster has good size and good hands, like Jennings. Both run upright and have spotty collegiate records. Though, Foster played in the SEC for 4 years.

I like Foster and I'm rooting for him, but the only thing him and Jennings really have in common is their size. Rashad is more physical, plays faster, and doesn't run as upright as Foster......Rashad breaks alot more tackles while Foster seems to go down easier.

Lucky
06-21-2009, 10:35 PM
Rashad is more physical, plays faster, and doesn't run as upright as Foster......Rashad breaks alot more tackles while Foster seems to go down easier.
Just how much Big South football do you watch?

I'm not knocking Liberty, my niece went there on a volleyball scholarship. But it's not the SEC. Maybe, Jennings looked faster and broke more tackles because the guys at Stony Brook and Coastal Carolina aren't as big and fast as the guys at Florida and Alabama.

I guess it's the NFL's opinion that counts. Jennings is a 7th round pick. Foster's an undrafted free agent. That's very comparable.

Carr Bombed
06-21-2009, 11:31 PM
Just how much Big South football do you watch?

I'm not knocking Liberty, my niece went there on a volleyball scholarship. But it's not the SEC. Maybe, Jennings looked faster and broke more tackles because the guys at Stony Brook and Coastal Carolina aren't as big and fast as the guys at Florida and Alabama.

I guess it's the NFL's opinion that counts. Jennings is a 7th round pick. Foster's an undrafted free agent. That's very comparable.

Yes I know all about the "small school knock", I'm just saying that their running styles aren't very comparable. The only thing they really have in common is their size. Rashad flat out just tries to run people over while Arian is more of a cutter who tries to make people miss.

What ever caused Jennings to drop like he did it probably doesn't have anything to do with his ability as a player (the guy was productive as hell year in and year out), there must be some attitude flags somewhere.

Goldensilence
06-22-2009, 01:06 AM
While it does really suck that we not only could've picked him up late it hurts more he went to a division rival where he has a chance to make an impact behind MJD.

That said, I think we're incredibly lucky to have landed Johnson and Foster as UDFA. I really think both have the ability to make the squad and have running styles that fit what we need as a team. I think we could very well see our most intense TC this year. There's a spot open at LB and a lot of talent to fill the void, there'll be several spots at RB available, Jacoby will more or less be battling for a spot on a pretty stacked WR corps, and it will interesting to see if Rex Grossman can stick as out 3rd QB(I hope so oddly).

mexican_texan
06-22-2009, 02:05 AM
"Some teams scout the school rather than the player," said Jaguars general manager Gene Smith, who said the Jaguars were surprised he was still on the board in the seventh round."


But not suprised he was on the board in the sixth round?


:coffee:
Exactly what I thought.

I hope he fails and then succeeds with another team. Preferrably outside the division.