2015 NFL DRAFT
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Rashad Jennings

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 231 | College: Liberty
 
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Overview

Sometimes a change of scenery is best for a person, and that certainly was the case for Jennings. The 265-pound redshirt freshman at the University of Pittsburgh decided to leave the school in 2006 for "greener pastures," returning close to home by enrolling at Liberty University. He shed his backup tag and more than 35 pounds in preparation to take over the starting tailback duties, going on to establish numerous school and Big South Conference records before he concluded his collegiate career.

In three seasons at Liberty, Jennings set the league career records for yards gained rushing (3,633), placing second all-time for touchdown runs (42), rushing yardage average (5.74), rushing attempts (633) and all-purpose yardage (4,155). He also established a Big South mark with four games with at least three touchdown runs.

As a senior, he broke the Big South single-season records for most rushing attempts (263), most touchdown runs (17), most yards rushing (1,500) and best rushing average (136.36 ypg). His 1,690 all-purpose yards in 2008 rank second in league season annals (third with a 153.64 ypg average) while his average of 154.33 all-purpose yards per game in 2007 also placed second on that list.

Football has always been the "right of passage" in the Jennings household, as Rashad is about to become the third family member to play in the National Football League. His brother, Butch, played at Virginia Military Institute and Liberty before moving onto the NFL's New York Giants as a running back. Another brother, Bryan, was a tight end at Virginia Tech and later with the San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans.

At Lynchburg Liberty Christian Academy, Jennings' star shined brightly. The two-time All-Virginia Division II, All-Virginia Independent Conference and Lynchburg News and Advance all-area selection was rated one of the top 25 prospects in Virginia by Rivals100.com. He added Super Prep All-Mid Atlantic honors and was rated Virginia's 30th-best prospect by that recruiting service. He also garnered Prep Star All-Atlantic accolades as a tailback and linebacker.

Jennings combined for 3,287 yards and 56 touchdowns during his last two seasons, gaining 1,978 yards on 192 attempts (10.3 avg.) with 28 touchdowns rushing as a senior. He scored twice on six receptions for 146 yards and returned two interceptions and one fumble for touchdowns while posting 75 tackles on the defensive side of the ball, earning team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year honors.

He led the team to a 10-1-1 record and a second-place finish in the Virginia Division II ranks in 2003. As a junior, he averaged 9.2 yards per carry, rushing for 1,309 yards on 142 attempts with 19 rushing touchdowns. He snared 15 passes for 285 yards, including three scores and also returned a fumble for a touchdown, helping the team compile an 8-3-0 record in 2002. He also lettered in basketball. He spent his first two seasons at Jefferson Forest High before transferring for his junior and senior seasons.

Jennings enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh in 2004, but deferred his enrollment until January 2005 due to academic issues and poor conditioning. He participated in 2005 spring drills and went on to play in eight games that year. He finished second on the Panthers squad with 411 yards and a touchdown on 86 carries (4.8 avg.), catching five passes for 35 yards.

Jennings decided to transfer to Liberty for the 2006 season. Because his father was battling diabetes and he didn't want the burden of caring for him to fall squarely with the rest of his family, he decided to be closer to his home in Virginia. One day, his brother, Butch, opened the door to his home. Standing there soaking wet from sweat was his younger brother. Rashad had run and walked 18 miles from his mother's home in Forest to his brother's home in Lynchburg.

Expectations had followed Rashad, thanks to the college football success of his two older brothers. But he wasn't particularly motivated to follow in their footsteps. Rashad had become a mama's boy early in high school, Butch said, "a big baby" who sat around the house with no direction. "I saw his GPA," Butch said. "He had no GPA."

Rashad Jennings was "a fat and chubby kid" -- his words -- who needed to be pushed and given a vision of what he could become. His weight, once 268 pounds, is now 231. His body fat, once 16 percent, is 5.5. His 40-yard dash time, once 4.67, is 4.4. "We've certainly had a lot of (NFL scouts) come through here to evaluate him," Liberty coach Danny Rocco said. "Everybody who has come through here likes him. … I think he's got a great chance to make it because he's got all the tools."

Jennings earned All-Big South Conference first-team and All-Region third-team honors in his first year at Liberty. He started nine contests, leading the team while ranking second in the conference with 1,020 yards and 10 touchdowns on 179 carries (5.7 avg.). His average of 97.82 all-purpose yards placed fourth in the league.

Jennings was forced to sit out the first two games of the 2007 season by the NCAA for a rules violation. When he returned, he played with a vengeance, earning league Player of the Week honors four times en route to being named Big South Offensive Player of the Year.

The All-American honorable mention led the league with 1,113 yards on 191 chances (5.8 avg.) that included a then-Big South single-season record 15 touchdown runs. He also became more involved in the passing game, scoring twice on 13 receptions for 276 yards (21.2 avg.), placing second in the conference and 25th in the nation with an average of 154.33 all-purpose yards per game, the second-best season average in Big South annals.

In 2008, the Big South Conference Player of the Year became just the second player in league history to become a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, given to the top player in the FCS ranks. The consensus All-American collected a school and league single-season record 1,500 yards, setting Big South annual marks with 263 carries (5.7 avg.) and 17 touchdowns.

Jennings pulled down 24 passes for 190 yards and two scores, ranking sixth in the nation with an average of 10.36 points scored per game. He also led the Big South and ranked 16th nationally, as he averaged 153.64 all-purpose yards per game, setting another league record with an average of 136.36 yards per game rushing.

Analysis

Positives: Good size with well-developed upper body. Played in part-time zone read offense, sometimes in I-formation. Good vision, able to change directions using quick feet. Can stiff-arm and run through tacklers in the open field by lowering his pads. Very good second gear once in the open. Runs tough inside, able to lean forward for additional yards. Looks natural catching the ball out of the backfield. Will keep his feet churning after contact and fight for the first down or goal line. Can hit an inside hole quickly. Surprisingly quick stop-start if the hole is not there immediately.

Negatives: Played against a lower level of competition, although he had one year of experience in the Big East. Runs loose; must consistently keep the ball high and tight to prevent fumbles. Only gets in the way as a blocker, giving marginal effort. A bit stiff in the hips, and is not overly shifty. Runs a bit tall, which will leave him open to big hits in the NFL. Must sink his hips when cutting.

Scouting Report

GENERAL REPORT: GRADE: 6.4

Body Structure: Jennings has a thick frame, good calf thickness, wide chest, broad shoulders, long arms and large hands, but must be conscious of keeping his weight in the 230-235 pound range to maintain the quickness and acceleration he has shown the last two years since shedding close to 35 pounds from his frame.

Athletic Ability: For a player of his size, Jennings shows very good foot agility and balance. He takes short, pitter-patter steps to get "skinny" working through tight areas, but lacks the loose hips to change direction and come out of his breaks with an explosive upfield burst. He is effective planting and driving in his route cuts and has the feel for the crease and vision to locate the cutback lane, but will take extra steps to compensate for a lack of suddenness. He has good timed speed and burst to win the race vs. the second-level defenders, but has only faced inferior lower-level competition. He moves tightly in the open thanks to marginal swivel in his hips. He is a punishing down hill back with the balance that makes it impossible for smaller defenders to bring him down in isolated situations and is best served running between tackles, where he can generate the power to move the pile, rather than act like a "dancing bear" by bouncing outside. GRADE: 7.0

Football Sense: Jennings has struggled academically and is better served in an I-formation or simple offense that will not confuse him with complicated reads and assignments. He needs a few reps to retain plays and whether it is due to lack of effort or inability to locate, he is a poor blocker, especially when it comes to picking up the blitz. He does show adequate ability to adjust to coverage, but is the type that will run into spots rather than try to avoid, as he appears more confident in his power to make things happen rather than try to out-think his opponent. GRADE: 5.7

Character: For all of his press clippings, Jennings could have had a "me-first" personality, but he is humble to a fault, well-liked by the staff and teammates and team goal-oriented. That was not always the case, as he failed to apply himself in high school, twice transferring at the prep and collegiate levels. The light finally went on in 2006, as he looks to his older brother, Bryan, for the role he played in "righting" Rashad's ship. GRADE: 5.9

Competitiveness: Jennings is an intense competitor who will do whatever the coaches ask if it will help the team. He takes great pride in his ability to move the chains and gain tough yardage. He will need to improve his overall vision for the next level, as he is more of a power back who will obliterate tacklers that get in his way rather than try to preserve his body by escaping from the crowd. He likes to use his size and leg drive efficiently to break tackles. He plays until the whistle and there is no quit to his game. It is very rare to see him run out of bounds with the ball, as he feels he can be more productive sinking his pads and driving with his legs to drag the opponent for extra yardage rather than taking the easy way out. GRADE: 7.0

Work Habits: Jennings is a good performer, but needs some structure in the training and dining room tables. Weight has been a problem in the past. He does all the little extras in the training room, but has gotten so strong, it has affected his overall agility some (stiffer in his hips at 235 now than he was as a 260-pounder in 2005). He does well with hard coaching and does not need motivation and prodding to put in the extra hours in the weight room. His weight issues are a concern, as he was at 265 pounds earlier in his career, but since he turned to his brother for mentoring, he has shown better maturity and embraced the fact that he will have his best success at peak athletic ability. GRADE: 6.4

ATHLETIC REPORT: GRADE: 6.45

Initial Quickness: Jennings has good initial quickness, but is inconsistent changing direction due to hip stiffness and failure to keep his running stride down to squeeze through tight spaces. While he lacks blazing speed, he is quick to run through the holes, but needs to come out of his stance at a lower pad level to redirect and avoid contact rather than try to always power his way through the hole. He flashes good quickness on the move and hits the hole with good timing, but is not a shifty runner with a quick side-step action and does not really explode through tiny creases, thanks to his high stance and the inability to sift through trash. GRADE: 5.8

Acceleration/Burst: Jennings has a deceptive burst that allows him to surprise a lethargic defender with his straight-line charge, but he is more of a power back, one-cut runner than an elusive one. He does not have a good concept for changing angles, but can build up to top speed quickly when operating deep in the backfield. He is not going to run away from defenders in the open just on pure speed, but power through and keep his feet churning on initial contact to drag opponents for positive yardage. Once he locates the hole, he shows good urgency to accelerate through it quickly. GRADE: 6.5

Instincts/Balance: When Jennings runs like a veteran, showing patience waiting for holes to develop, he is very productive taking the ball up the gut, as he has that forward body lean to gain additional yards after contact. He needs to demonstrate a better feel for avoiding the defender, as his excellent power will get him some good success at the next level. He plays with a very strong base to generate tough yardage, but his tall stance does affect his run balance. He manages to stay up on his feet well after initial contact, but like most big backs, he tends to get erect in his stance. He just needs to learn how to sink his hips and keep his pad level low. He sometimes takes a bit of time to get going on pitch-outs, needing time to scan the field, but on inside plays, he is quick to attack the crease. GRADE: 6.2

Inside Running: For a big back, you see the power in his game, as he is the type that can simply explode through defenders. He has the thick legs to drive through the initial tackle and a strong stiff arm to fend off the smaller defenders. He is most comfortable using his strength and body lean to take the ball up the gut, but when he tries to bounce out on the perimeter, he does not show the loose hips to adjust and elude. GRADE: 8.3

Outside Running: Jennings might have decent timed speed, but lacks explosiveness or lateral agility to simply side-step the perimeter defenders to take the ball to the house. He just does not generate the burst needed to consistently reach and turn the corner. When he runs with good patience waiting for blocks to develop, he has better success through the cutback lanes, but is not the type that should bounce outside to get big yardage. He moves well on the option, but does not have the second gear to threaten around the corners. Because he is such an effective downhill runner, he has not had to use his lateral bounce to be effectively used running outside. GRADE: 5.5

Elusiveness: Jennings is just too big to win any "hide-and-seek" games, and is best served just pounding the ball between tackles rather than bounce outside and redirect for long yardage. He is not consistent in attempts to stay low in his pads, nor does he have the smooth stride moving laterally to make the initial tackler miss. He can either power through or step over defenders on the move, but you are not going to see him juke the defender or slide step to elude, as he does not have the great feet to be efficient there. GRADE: 5.2

Tackle-Breaking Strength: Because of his size and power, Jennings gets most of his success with his leg strength to break tackles and drive through initial contact. It is very rare to see him get turned back taking the ball up the middle, but he is really just a power-oriented one-cut runner that lacks nifty moves, but plays with good body lean. His balance is affected when he runs at a high pad level, but few big runners can get "fancy" by side-stepping defenders at the NFL level. He still has that mentality that he would much rather punish and run over the opponent than avoid and elude. With his lower body strength and build, it allows him to gain better success in attempts to run through arm tackles downfield. With his body mass and strength, he is a classic pile mover working inside and has the strength to get through trash in order to attack the second level. GRADE: 8.1

Tendency to Fumble: Jennings has not really had too many fumble issues, mostly due to facing inferior competition, but his ball distribution skills could be a concern at the next level. He does a good job protecting the ball running up the middle, but does hold it loosely when turning the corners, as he will fail to distribute the ball away from the defender. GRADE: 6.2

Receiving Skills: Not only is Jennings a capable third-down receiver, he has the natural hands and arm extension to catch away from his frame. He catches the ball cleanly and does a good job extending for the off-target throws. It is very rare to see him fight the ball in passing situations (just two drops in 2008). GRADE: 7.1

Route Running: Jennings is a decent route runner who shows a smooth stride coming out of his breaks. He is alert to sticks and boundaries and shows the vision to work back to the ball when the quarterback is pressured. He is much more capable as a receiver to be used on just swings and screens. He has that deceptive quickness to get open underneath and does a nice job adjusting and settling in the soft areas. GRADE: 6.6

Blocking Ability: Jennings is a willing cut blocker, but when working in-line, he does not use his body well to occupy the smaller defenders at the line of scrimmage. Even with his strong hands, he does not generate the forceful punch needed to lock on and sustain. He is not used much as a lead blocker, as he was inconsistent when asked to create and hold the crease for long. When he tries to face up, his punch fails to shock or stonewall the defender. He is better off trying to stand his ground on the perimeter than working in-line. GRADE: 5.4

Compares To: JAMAL LEWIS, Cleveland -- In his prime, Lewis was a load to bring down running up the middle of the line. Jennings shows that same raw strength to drag defenders for extra yardage running between the tackles. Power is the name of his game, but he has also developed into an efficient receiver coming out of the backfield. He lacks the loose hips to turn the corner, but put him in a situation similar to what the Giants had last year with Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw, and you will get a quality short-area runner with the brute strength to punish defenders in his path to the end zone.

OVERALL GRADE: 6.44

--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas

Career Notes

Jennings played in 39 games during his entire collegiate career, including 31 at Liberty … In four seasons, he rushed 719 times for 4,044 yards (5.62 avg.) and 43 touchdowns, caught 48 passes for 557 yards (11.6 avg.) with four scores and totaled 284 points, along with 4,601 all-purpose yards, an average of 117.97 yards per game … In three seasons at Liberty, Jennings' 3,633 yards rushing broke the Big South Conference career record of 3,409 yards by Dre Barnes of Liberty (2002-04) … His 633 rushing attempts for the Flames rank second in league annals behind Sean Mizzer of Virginia Military Institute (647, 2003-06) … Averaged 5.74 yards per rushing attempt at Liberty, the fifth-best career average by a Big South player and second in school history behind Dre Barnes (6.06 ypc) … His 42 rushing touchdowns rank behind Aundres Perkins of Coastal Carolina (46, 2003-06) on the league record chart … His average of 117.19 yards per game rushing rank second on the school and Big South record list behind Dre Barnes (117.6 ypg) … His 22 100-yard rushing performances topped Barnes' old conference record of 17 … Gained 4,155 all-purpose yards at Liberty, joining Sean Mizzer of VMI (4,621; 2003-06) as the only Big South players to amass over 4,000 yards in that category … Ran for a conference single-season record 1,500 yards in 2008, surpassing the old school and league mark of 1,347 yards by Barnes in 2003 … His 263 carries in 2008 topped Barnes' old conference record of 229 in 2003 … His 15 touchdown runs in 2007 broke the previous league record of 14 by Aundres Perkins of Coastal Carolina (2003) and Eugene Goodman of Liberty (2003), as Jennings then broke his own record with 17 scoring runs in 2008 … Averaged 136.36 yards rushing per game in 2008 and 123.67 yards in 2007 to best the old Big South mark of 118.5 yards by Barnes in 2002 … Holds the conference single-season record with 10 100-yard rushing performances in 2008 … His 104 points scored in 2007 and 114 points in 2008 topped the previous Big South record for non-kickers of 101 points by Noah Greenbaum of Liberty (2007) … His 17 total touchdowns registered in 2007 and 19 in 2008 topped the previous league record of 16 scores by Jerome Simpson of Coastal Carolina (2006) … Gained 1,690 all-purpose yards in 2008, second in league history behind Tim Maypray of Virginia Military Institute (1,975 in 2007) … Ran for a career-high 220 yards vs. Youngstown State in 2008, a school single-game record that rank sixth on the conference record chart … His 35 carries vs. Coastal Carolina in 2008 is a school single-game record.

2008 Season

Played in 11 games, sitting out the North Greenville clash, as Liberty compiled a 10-2 record … All-America first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, The Sports Network, Walter Camp Foundation, Associated Press and College Football News … Finalist for the Walter Payton Award, given to the top player in the FCS ranks … All-Big South Conference first-team pick and named the league's Offensive Player of the Year … Led the league and ranked fifth in the nation with 263 carries for 1,500 yards (5.7 avg.) and 17 touchdowns, averaging 136.36 yards per game on the ground … Finished third on the team with 24 receptions for 190 yards (7.9 avg.) and two scores … Led the league and ranked sixth nationally in scoring with 114 points, an average of 10.36 points per game … Also recorded one solo tackle … Paced the conference and ranked 16th nationally with 1,690 all-purpose yards, an average of 153.64 yards per game.

2008 Game Analysis

North Greenville … The 2007 Big South Player of the Year opened the season with the first of nine consecutive 100-yard rushing performances, aptly gaining 100 yards with two scores on 13 carries (7.7 avg.) … On his third run of the game, the senior found a hole over the left tackle for a 2-yard rushing touchdown, giving Liberty a 14-0 lead with 1:19 left in the opening period … Liberty rolled up 440 total offensive yards on the night, averaging 7.7 yards per play … In the second quarter, he added a 6-yard score.

Western Carolina … Jennings followed with 28 attempts for 116 yards, but for the only time in 2008, he would not run for a touchdown … The Flames were still dominant in the box score totals. Liberty finished with 72 plays to the Catamounts' 52 plays, enabling the Flames to outgain the home team 338 yards to 247.

Youngstown State … Jennings rushed for a career-best 220 yards and three touchdowns on 29 chances (7.6 avg.), but it was a 24-yard field goal by Matt Bevins as time expired that lifted Liberty to a 31-28 victory … Eight of Liberty's nine plays on the 86-yard drive, which lasted 4:48 on the clock, were of the rushing variety. Three were of note, as Jennings got the Flames into Youngstown State territory, bouncing off two defenders at the line of scrimmage to open up a hole for a 55-yard gain, his fifth-longest run since joining the Flames' roster. Jennings was handed the ball on the following three plays, including a 2-yard scoring run to the near side of the field with 2:03 left before the intermission … He added another 2-yard touchdown in the third frame to cap a 95-yard, 8-play drive and followed that with a 6-yard score later in that quarter, earning Big South Player of the Week honors.

Coastal Carolina … Jennings was again selected the league's Player of the Week after posting 195 yards on 35 tries with a score and snared three passes for 35 yards that included two touchdowns … Jennings carried the ball four times on the eight-play drive, however, the senior tailback was the intended target of QB Brock Smith on a third-and-8

play from the Coastal 23-yard line. Jennings caught the pass over the middle and broke several tackles before getting the nose of the football over the goal line to give Liberty the early advantage … Liberty regrouped on its next drive, piecing together its longest drive of the first quarter. On the 12th play of the drive, Smith faked a handoff to Jonathan Crawford and found Jennings wide open in the near side of the end zone for his second receiving touchdown of the game, from 4 yards out with 7:01 left before the break, to give Liberty a 17-14 lead … The Chanticleers looked like they might have halted the Flames on a third-and-13 play from the Coastal Carolina 23-yard line. However, Smith got a key block on the offensive line from Jennings so the senior could find Dominic Bolden open on a slant route, to give Liberty a 10-point lead with 29 seconds left before the intermission.

Stony Brook … Jennings totaled 24 rushes for 101 yards and a pair of touchdowns while also grabbing four passes for 26 yards … On the second play of the third quarter, Liberty's Nick Hursky forced the ball loose from Stony Brook tailback Edwin Gowins, giving the Flames possession at the Seawolves' 43-yard line. Liberty handed the ball off to Jennings five straight plays, with the senior capping off his own 43-yard drive with a 2-yard sweeping run to the left for a score, pushing the Flames' lead to 23-0 with 12:15 left in the third quarter … He also capped an 80-yard, 7-play series with a 16-yard scoring romp … The Flames managed to continue their offensive dominance in the contest, doubling up the visitors. Liberty finished with 466 total offensive yards on 79 plays (5.9 average yards per play) to Stony Brook's 233 yards on 46 plays (5.1 average yards per play).

Lafayette … The senior tailback collected 148 yards and a score on 20 runs (7.4 avg.) and 25 yards on five receptions … The Flames runner made his presence known quickly. Surveying the defense, QB Brock Smith called an audible at the line of scrimmage, changing the play up, which he handed off to Jennings. The senior broke through the line of scrimmage and outran Lafayette's defenders, cutting the Leopards' lead to seven points, 21-14, on a 58-yard touchdown run.

Charleston Southern … Jennings carried 23 times for 127 yards and two scores … The Flames got on the scoreboard first, scoring on Liberty's opening possession of the contest. Liberty handed the ball off to Jennings three out of the first four plays, but took to the airways to jump out to a 7-0 lead two and half minutes into the contest … Jennings gave the Flames their third touchdown of the game and the senior's 10th rushing score of the year. The running back burst through the line of scrimmage for the 1-yard score, pushing Liberty's lead to 21-0 with 13:53 left in the second quarter.

Presbyterian … The Flames tailback totaled 188 yards with two touchdowns on 32 chances and caught three passes for 15 yards … The Flames took to the ground, moving the ball 61 yards on seven out of nine rushing plays. The 4:02 drive ended with a 6-yard burst up the middle by Jennings, giving the senior his 12th rushing touchdown of the year and the 37th of his career … The scoreless streak continued until the 2:27 mark of the third quarter, when Jennings scored from 2 yards out, as he overpowered the Blue Hose's defensive line. The 15-play, 81-yard drive, which ate up 7:02 on the game clock, was keyed by a red zone third-down conversion.

Virginia Military Institute … Jennings had his ninth straight 100-yard game, picking up 147 yards on 24 attempts with two touchdowns … Both teams experienced some jitters early on in the game, as Jennings fumbled the ball on the first Flames' play early in the first, giving the Keydets possession in Liberty territory … However, the Flames finally squashed VMI's hopes on the next three plays. Liberty recovered an attempted on-side kick at the 36-yard line. Jennings was given the ball on the next play and the senior broke through the line for the score, giving him back-to-back seasons with 15 rushing touchdowns.

Gardner-Webb … The senior had his 100-yard rushing streak snapped, as he ran 14 times for 58 yards and caught two passes for 54 yards … The game remained scoreless until midway through the first quarter of play. Jennings caught his longest pass of the year, a 42-yarder on the far side of the field, where the senior used several key blocks to tip toe down the sidelines, getting the Flames into Bulldog territory. Seven plays later, the Flames drive was halted at the Gardner-Webb 11-yard line, leaving the Flames to settle for a 28-yard Ben Shipps field goal at the 4:43 mark of the opening 15 minutes of action … The early low-scoring affair continued until the middle part of the second quarter. Brock Smith completed a 36-yard out-of-bounds pass to Jonathan Crawford, moving the Flames to the Gardner-Webb six-yard line. On the next play, Liberty handled the ball off to Jennings, who burst through the line of scrimmage for his 16th touchdown of the year, giving the Flames a 10-0 lead with 9:12 left before halftime. The scoring run tied Jennings with Lawrence Worthington for the school's single-season record, as Worthington did so in 1994.

Elon … Jennings closed out his career as the school's record holder by scoring for the 17th time on the ground, with a 20-yard burst with 1:58 left in the game … He finished the day with 109 yards on 22 attempts.

2007 Season

All-America third-team pick by The NFL Draft Report, earning honorable mention from The Sports Network … Named All-Big South Conference first-team and league Offensive Player of the Year … Chosen all-state first team by the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association … The team captain led the league and ranked 13th in the nation with 1,113 yards and a then-conference single-season record 15 touchdowns on 191 carries (5.8 avg.), an average of 123.67 yards per game … Ranked fourth on the squad with 13 receptions for 276 yards (21.2 avg.) and two scores … Produced 104 points, leading the league while ranking sixth nationally with an average of 11.33 points scored per game … Gained 1,389 all-purpose yards, ranking second in the Big South with an average of 154.33 yards per game, the second-best season average in league annals … Gained over 100 yards rushing in seven contests … Suspended by the NCAA for a rules violation, sitting out the first two games vs. Tusculum and Shippensburg.

2007 Game Analysis

Tusculum and Shippensburg … Sat out the first two games of the season after being suspended by the NCAA for a rules violation.

William & Mary … Recorded the first of seven 100-yard rushing performances in his season debut, gaining 114 yards on 28 carries and 14 yards on three catches … Scored on a 2-yard run in the first quarter, adding a 12-yard touchdown grab in the fourth frame that was followed by a 25-yard scoring scamper in a 48-41 overtime loss.

St. Francis (Pa.) … Posted 101 yards on 16 attempts.

Toledo … Jennings rushed for 160 yards on 24 tries with two touchdowns in a tough 35-34 loss … He capped a 9-play, 80-yard drive with a 2-yard first-quarter plunge and broke free for a 63-yard touchdown jaunt in the second stanza.

Charleston Southern … Added 20 attempts for 131 yards and 80 yards on a pair of catches … Ran for a 10-yard touchdown in the second quarter and had a third-quarter 2-yard scoring plunge.

Presbyterian … Jennings collected 196 yards on 27 attempts and made two catches for 23 yards … He scored on a 10-yard run in the second quarter and again on a 2-yard burst late in the third frame.

Coastal Carolina … The junior tailback gained 172 yards on 21 carries and 32 yards on a reception … Jennings capped a 72-yard, 15-play drive with a 9-yard second-quarter score and then broke free on a 64-yard touchdown jaunt in the third quarter.

Virginia Military Institute … Jennings added 77 yards and three more touchdowns on 24 chances … After a quiet first half, he ended a seven-play, 64-yard series with a 4-yard third-quarter carry … On the next possession, he scored from 6 yards out.

Gardner-Webb … Jennings finished his junior season with his seventh 100-yard rushing performance for 2007, gaining 114 yards on 26 attempts and 60 yards on a pair of receptions, including a 52-yard second-quarter touchdown.

2006 Season

All-Big South Conference first-team selection … Football Gazette Central all-region third-team honoree … Played in 11 games, starting nine contests in his first year at Liberty … Led the team and ranked second in the conference with 179 carries for 1,020 yards (5.7 avg.) and 10 touchdowns, marking just the fifth time in school history a player gained more than 1,000 yards rushing in a season … Caught six passes for 56 yards and scored 60 points … Placed fourth in the Big South with 1,076 all-purpose yards, an average of 97.82 yards per game.

2005 Season

Played in eight games at the University of Pittsburgh (wore jersey No. 36), starting vs. Notre Dame as a true freshman … Ranked second on the team with 86 carries for 411 yards (4.8 avg.) and a touchdown … Caught five passes for 35 yards (7.0 avg.) and generated 446 all-purpose yards, an average of 55.75 yards per game.

2004 Season

Signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Pittsburgh, but deferred enrollment until January 2005.

Injury Report

No injuries reported.

Agility Tests

4.62 in the 40-yard dash (4.58 Combine) … 1.53 10-yard dash (1.61 Combine) … 2.59 20-yard dash (2.65 Combine) … 34-inch vertical jump … 10'0" broad jump … 4.20 20-yard shuttle … 6.86 three-cone drill (6.86 Combine) … Bench pressed 225 pounds 29 times … 32-inch arm length … 10 3/8-inch hands.

High School

Attended Liberty Christian (Lynchburg, Va.) Academy as a junior and senior, playing football for head coach Wayne Lance … The two-time All-Virginia Division II, All-Virginia Independent Conference and Lynchburg News & Advance All-Area selection was rated one of the top 25 prospects in Virginia by Rivals100.com … Added Super Prep All-Mid Atlantic honors and was rated Virginia's 30th-best prospect by that recruiting service … Garnered Prep Star All-Atlantic accolades as a tailback and linebacker … Combined for 3,287 yards and 56 touchdowns during his last two seasons, gaining 1,978 yards on 192 attempts (10.3 avg.) with 28 touchdowns rushing as a senior … Scored twice on six receptions for 146 yards and returned two interceptions and one fumble for touchdowns while posting 75 tackles on the defensive side of the ball, earning team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year honors … Led the team to a 10-1-1 record and a second-place finish in the Virginia Division II ranks in 2003 … As a junior, he averaged 9.2 yards per carry, rushing for 1,309 yards on 142 attempts with 19 rushing touchdowns … Snared 15 passes for 285 yards, including three scores and also returned a fumble for a touchdown, helping the team compile an 8-3-0 record in 2002 … Also lettered in basketball … Spent his first two seasons at Jefferson Forest High before transferring for his junior and senior seasons.

Personal

General Studies major … Brother, Butch, played at Virginia Military Institute and Liberty before moving onto the NFL's New York Giants as a running back … Another brother, Bryan, was a tight end at Virginia Tech and later with the San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans … Son of Deborah and Albert Jennings … Born 3/26/85 … Resides in Forest, Virginia.

 
 
Latest News
04/28/2009 - A closer look at the Jaguars' picks: 7/250, Rashad Jennings, RB, 6-1, 231, Liberty...This could be a pleasant find for the Jaguars, taking a player of Jennings' quality this late in the draft. One draft analysis had Jennings as high as a third-round pick. Jennings has good size (6-1, 231) and speed. He was Big South Conference offensive player of the year for the past two seasons. He played eight games as a freshman at Pittsburgh before transferring to Liberty his final three seasons. While he's a stretch to make the roster as a running back, he could be a top special teams player.

04/25/2009 - When Rashad Jennings worked out at Perfect Competition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this spring, he got an introduction to life at an NFL training camp. Jennings was at the training facility with a number of big-name NFL players, including Maurice Jones-Drew, Thomas Jones, Fred Taylor, Frank Gore and Chad Johnson. He would run simple errands for the players, making sure they had water after workouts and helping to carry equipment from the fields. That's no different than being a rookie at an NFL camp, where even the first-round picks spend time toting the veterans' helmets and shoulder pads from the practice field to the locker room. In return, Jennings asked for one thing ??? advice. "I wanted to learn how to handle on-the-field and off-the-field problems," Jennings said. "Wanted to know how they took care of their bodies. They've been teaching me a lot. "They all accepted me as a little rookie, befriended me. I was trying to get their respect." Jennings earned it, both from the NFL players at Perfect Competition and the scouts Jennings performed in front of at the NFL combine. He's as highly touted as any prospect to come out of Liberty since Eric Green nearly 20 years ago. Some NFL Draft projections have Jennings going as high as the second round, some as low as the fifth. All agree, though, that Jennings figures to the first Flame chosen since the Steelers drafted Green in the first round. "I'm excited, nervous, all that stuff," Jennings said. "I'm more excited than anything, though. It's coming to an end, which means it's coming to a beginning at the same time." Jennings' prodigious numbers at Liberty (a Big South record 3,633 yards and 42 touchdowns) put him on the radar of NFL scouts. An impressive performance at February's combine added to Jennings' allure. - Chris Lang, Lynchburg News and Advance

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