When wide receiver Adonis Jennings transferred from Pittsburgh to Temple this spring, he wasn’t sure if the waiver he requested from the NCAA to play immediately because of a family situation would be granted.
“I prepared for the best and the worst situation,” said Jennings. “I just kept preparing as if I was going to play and I was very excited when it happened.”
Jennings, who played as a true freshman for the Panthers last year, found out right before training camp he would be able to play this season.
The former Timber Creek (N.J.) standout has three years left as an Owl. That would have been the case whether he received the waiver or not – Jennings would have sat out this season if he didn’t get it and returned as a sophomore next year – but playing right away was his preference.
Now Jennings will be taking the field Saturday as Temple plays its highly-anticipated opener against Penn State at a nearly-sold out Lincoln Financial Field.
“It was really a relief,:” said Jennings. “I went into (coach Matt Rhule’s) office and found out and immediately called my parents. They were excited for me. I ralked to my brothers, It was an exciting day.
‘Things happen, but I’m happy I got cleared.”
Jennings isn’t the only person happy he is able to play right away. Quarterback P.J. Walker – who lacked a deep threat last year – now has several as Robby Anderson has returned after missing last season for academic reasons and Jennings is in the fold.
“Adonis is an explosive guy, but he’s a physical guy as well,” said Walker. “You get the ball in his hands, he can make a play. With his speed and explosion, a lot of good can happen. A guy his size can catch a stop route and go for 50 yards.”
Asked in what areas he can help the Owls as a receiver, Jennings didn’t put any limitations on his ability.
“Anywhere they put me I’m going try to get the job done,” said Jennings. “I see myself as overall a big, physical, fast receiver who can go make plays, take a short pass and score touchdowns and also catch the deep ball.
“I feel I can do it all. I have my strengths and weaknesses, and I always have to improve, but I feel I can do it all.”
Jennings followed up an explosive senior season at Timber Creek, where he hauled in 83 receptions for 1,434 yards and 15 touchdowns, by seeing time as a true freshman at Pittsburgh. He caught just six passes for 55 yards last year, but feels the college experience will help him this season.
“I think it did a lot for me playing as a true freshman,” said Jennings. “I got the feeling of what goes on in a game. I’m older, wiser now and feel I’ll do very well.”
Jennings is confident for himself and a receiving corps, which has seen many of the receivers who struggled last year show great improvement in the spring and summer.
“Robby, Ventell (Bryant), Romond (DeLoatch), Matt Eaton. … We have a whole lot of weapons,” said Jennings.
Jennings is excited for an upcoming season he wasn’t sure he’d be part of. He’s also happy to be home, in more ways than one.
“It feels good, it will feel good to look up in the stands and see my whole family,” said Jennings. “The staff and players at Temple they brought me in and it feels like a whole family environment here. I’m really comfortable here, and that’s a good thing.”
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