"We feel the sky is the limit for Jonathan as far as what he wants to do with himself as a high school football player and obviously playing collegiately," Latin coach Larry McNulty said. "He's got a great body. He's got great hands. He's a way better than average blocker. He's a very tall, angular guy that could put on a lot of muscle. He hasn't had a lot of background in the weight room.
"From now to the end of his high school career, he's got to work very, very hard on his skills. And No. 1 most important thing: he has to work on his speed. He's sneaky fast, but in order to be a college football player they're looking for guys that can really run."
Jennings began his prep career at Waxhaw (N.C.) Cuthbertson, where he was a member of its junior varsity squad as a freshman. He transferred prior to his sophomore year and immediately earned a starting varsity spot at wide receiver.
Jennings concluded the 2013 season with 42 grabs for 828 yards and nine touchdowns. Latin reached the NCISAA 11-Man, Division I Championship, losing to undefeated Charlotte Christian.
Jennings is receiving interest from Charlotte, Clemson, East Carolina, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, NC State, Penn State, Southern Cal, Stanford, and Wake Forest.
"I want to get on the radar of Tennessee, because my family is from Tennessee," Jennings said.
Jennings has visited UNC more than any other school – and there's not even a close second. He has visited the campus six times, including twice for camps last summer and the football game against Duke last fall. Most recently, he visited UNC for a spring practice session.
"North Carolina, they've recruited me since I was a freshman," Jennings said. "They were my first letter. I think the connection with Coach [Gunter] Brewer is really good."
The genesis for Jennings' connection with Brewer is his receivers coach Nathan Poole, who Brewer coached at Marshall.
"They have similar personalities," Jennings said.
Besides UNC, Jennings has visited Wake Forest.
"That visit was very eye-opening," Jennings said. "The receivers coach said they watched my film and liked what they saw, but want to see me in camp. They seemed really interested and they talked about how they wanted to replenish their football team."
Jennings is now working on trips to East Carolina, NC State, and Tennessee, and plans to return to UNC this summer for a camp.
UNC, Tennessee, and Wake Forest have emerged as early favorites for Jennings for different reasons – UNC because of his familiarity with the school and Brewer, Tennessee because it's close to family, and Wake Forest since its very similar to Latin academically.
"I would love if North Carolina offered," Jennings said. "But being a sophomore, I wouldn't want to commit to a school that early. Depending on what happens, I'm looking on trying to commit going into senior year."
Jennings's father, Johnny, played linebacker at Appalachian State (1987-90) and is a member of the Mountaineers Hall-of-Fame… Jennings's cousin, Jeff, played running back at Vanderbilt (2004-07)… Jennings considers Austin Kendall, a quarterback at rival Charlotte Christian, his best friend. The two visit colleges together and played together at Cuthbertson… Jennings works with a private trainer, who focuses on improving his speed… Outside of his immediate family, Jennings's entire family resides in Tennessee and are Volunteer fans. Jennings, who was born and raised in Charlotte, didn't have a favorite school growing up.