NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee added two wide receivers in the Class of 2018, but the biggest addition to the group could still be on the way.
Wide receiver Jauan Jennings remains one of the question marks surrounding the team. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound wideout has been trying to work his way back onto the team after being dismissed a few days before the Vols’ game against Vanderbilt last season after a profanity-laced video about the coaches was posted on his Instagram story.
Coach Jeremy Pruitt told media members at the Country Music Hall of Fame that the Vols are monitoring Jennings’ progress.
“First of all, I feel like and I tell the guys all the time, there’s no perfect coaches and no perfect players,” Pruitt said. “We’ve all made mistakes. I’m sure everybody around here has made mistakes. The difference nowadays is with social media, things get out there.
“We’ve laid out some things in-house that he’s got to do, and we’re just going one day at a time. We’ll see where we go with it.”
Pruitt comes from the Nick Saban coaching tree. Alabama doesn’t put up with much stepping out of line from its players. How the first-year Tennessee coach handles the situation will be one of the more intriguing storylines this spring and into the summer.
A fan asked Pruitt about Jennings during the question-and-answer portion of the National Signing Day celebration Thursday.
“I’ll say this: Jauan knows he made a mistake,” Pruitt said. “He’s embarrassed by it, and I think we’re going to give him an opportunity in-house to find his way back on the team. But — and there’s always a but with it, right? — he’s got to do that. There ain’t going to be nothing given to him and he knows that. It’s a long ways to go and we’ll see. Hopefully, he can do that.”
Jennings surely could provide a lift to a wide receivers group that struggled to make big plays most of the season. He played in only one half this season because he broke his wrist against Georgia Tech in the season opener.
The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native caught 40 passes for 580 yards and 7 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2016. Tennessee fans will always remember Jennings for his Hail Mary catch in 2016 to defeat Georgia.