KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football All-SEC receiver candidate Jauan Jennings is ready to explode, filled with excitement after an offseason like he has never had before.
“I focused on bringing my energy to the table each and every day,” Jennings told SEC Country this week. “Not just for myself, but for my teammates and my coaches.”
Jennings a 6-foot-3, 209-pounder who figures to be the Vols’ top target, said the entire team took the offseason to another level.
“It’s like a whole different vibe. We have new coaches, and then Coach Rock [Gullickson],” Jennings said, referring to Tennessee’s new strength and conditioning coach.
“Rock has come in and brought a whole new life to people, there’s always positive attitudes in there, and those attitudes can take players to new levels,” Jennings said. “He’s turned me into a different player. I’m very grateful to Coach [Butch] Jones for bringing Coach Rock in here.”
Jennings said he has gone from only being able to do one repetition of 215 pounds on the bench press to a more respectable 12 repetitions, along with increasing his squat lift.
The Tennessee football players’ voluntary 7-on-7 drills this summer were another bright spot of the offseason, according to Jennings.
“That’s new to the program this year, and you can tell the team has matured as a whole because of it,” Jennings said. “It was something we wanted to do as a team, and getting that timing down between the quarterbacks and us receivers was huge.”
Jennings, known for his physical and aggressive nature, said the competition got hot and heavy in the 7-on-7 drill work between the offense and defense.
But the Vols’ emerging leaders — including Jennings — made sure things didn’t get out of hand.
“That’s going to happen, especially when you have incoming freshmen, and they finally get to go up against the older guys,” Jennings said with a smile. “Of course, they are going to want to make a name for themselves.”
Jennings said he was impressed with how the freshmen have come into camp, ready to attack their goals and make an impact.
“They are coming in with a whole new attitude to make sure we’re on the edge,” Jennings said. “These freshmen have brought straight fire to the table. That’s something a little different. These guys are not afraid and they’re aiming high.
“We can’t wait to get started.”
Tennessee football weightlifting team drill