Erial (N.Y.) Timber Creek 2018 athlete Deion Jennings is no longer a sleeper prospect. The 6-foot-1, 198-pound versatile defender woke up multiple coaching staffs with the start to his camp season.
Jennings earned an offer from Temple, where his older brother Adonis plays wide receiver, and was a top performer at last week's Rutgers skills camp. Rutgers joined the battle for Jennings two days later with a scholarship offer of its own.
“I think it's a big offer,” said Timber Creek head coach Rob Hinson. “Obviously, it's a Big Ten offer but its an offer from a place that we have a lot of guys who have gone there and been successful. It's a significant program in our eyes. Guys up there are happy about it. We're happy about it. The younger guys look at it like Rutgers is part of our family.”
Rutgers graduated Timber Creek's Quanzell Lambert in May. Coach Chris Ash has three more on his roster for training camp – DE/TE Myles Nash, outside linebacker Tyreek Williams and defensive back Naijee Jones.
“I could have done better but overall, I think I did well,” Jennings said on his camp performance. “Rutgers is a program that's on the rise. They still have a ways to go but they're getting there. It's a great program. It looks like it's going to become a great program.”
Rutgers used Jennings primarily as a cornerback in 1-on-1 drills against receivers. As a prospect, Jennings could see multiple roles in similar fashion to 2017 recruit Syhiem Simmons and 2016 transfer Ross Douglas.
“I think he can fit up there in a lot of different ways,” Hinson said. “He's not being looked at a lot as a corner, but he can play corner. He can play safety. He can play outside backer. He brings a lot of versatility.
“He has a ton of growing left in him. He has very long arms and he's a size 14 shoe right now. He's 198 pounds and he's still kind of lean. His brother is 6-foot-4 and his dad is 6-foot-5. He's got at least two more inches if not more. He'll be a 6-foot-3, 210-pound kid.”
Hinson did not attend Rutgers camp with Jennings, but received positive feedback from the Rutgers coaching staff.
“Deion thought he did pretty well,” Hinson said. “He enjoyed it. He liked the whole experience. Jafar (Williams) said he did well from what he was told and the reps he got to see him. Coach Ash said he did a phenomenal job. They've seen a ton of improvement since his junior film.”