Photo by Danny Parker

'Competitive' Jauan Jennings evolving for Vols WRs

Tennessee needs Jauan Jennings to take another step as a wide receiver and become the Vols' leading guy. Read more, plus notes from Tuesday's practice.

Tennessee lost much of its production following the 2016 season. One of the returning playmakers is Jauan Jennings.

The former Vols quarterback-turned-wide receiver caught 40 passes for 580 yards with seven touchdowns, dwarfing his numbers from his freshman campaign (14-149, 0).

If the pass catchers around the former Blackman (Tenn.) High School standout — starting with Tyler Byrd and Marquez Callaway — can prove consistent, that will alleviate the potential from consistent double-teams on Jennings.

"Jauan is as competitive as any young man I think we've ever had here that I've ever coached," Tennessee coach Butch Jones said Tuesday. "When the game is on the line, he wants the ball in his hands, and that's what you want as a football coach."

Jennings, who spent Spring 2015 in Knoxville as a quarterback, matured by as a pass catcher leaps and bounds from Year 1 to Year 2.

His three receptions in the win over Florida last September were huge, including a 67-yard touchdown after beating All-SEC cornerback Teez Tabor. He also came down with the game-winning Hail Mary from 43 yards out amongst a kennel of Bulldogs to clinch the victory at Georgia. A strong case can be made that those two scores — next to Derek Barnett's 33rd career sack — were the most impressive plays of a 2016 season that concluded with a 9-4 mark and a Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl win over Nebraska.

Byrd, who admits he was "more of a defensive guy" and had to transition into a full-time wide receiver like Jennings, has a different skill set for the position and lines up as a slot with Jennings working outside the number usually. The two of them were the most productive of the receivers that returned for 2017.

"(Jennings) helps us and we help him to be a better wide receiver group," Byrd said.

Find out more details about Saturday's scrimmage and Tuesday's practice by reading InsideTennessee's premium practice notes and viewing the videos below.


Byrd speaks with Knoxville media

Butch stresses fundamentals on 'Technique Tuesday'

Hoke lumps praise on pair of D-tackles


Inside Tennessee Top Stories