Jennings Believes The Sky Is The Limit For Next Year’s WVU Offense
DALLAS – Gary Jennings had 17 receptions for 282 yards in his first two seasons combined.
In his junior season, he had that many catches in the first two games, and before the year was over, he totaled 95 grabs for 1,072 yards.
He is just the fifth Mountaineer ever to cross the 90-catch barrier, and his season yardage total is sixth in school history.
Yet down the stretch, with their triggerman Will Grier sidelined by a hand injury, Jennings and the WVU offense sputtered.
The final collapse came in the 30-14 loss to Utah in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Jennings was West Virginia’s leading receiver against the Utes, though he hauled in just three passes for 66 yards. His 38-yarder late in the contest set up WVU’s only touchdown of the day.
“It’s tough to end the season this way, but it a learning experience as well,” explained the Stafford, Va., native. “It’s something we can use next year.”
Moments after the loss to Utah, the 6-foot-1 junior quickly turned his attention to 2018.
“Starting Jan. 9 when we come back (for the start of the spring semester), we’re going to be working very hard,” said Jennings, who was a second-team all-Big 12 selection. “We’ve got a lot of potential, but potential will only take you so far. We have to put in the work if we want to reach our goals.
“We need to become more consistent in moving the chain, and not stalling out. We have to stick together through the tough times. I thought we did that the majority of the time, but we have to do it all the time.”
Though he was a relatively small piece of WVU’s offense in his first two years, his breakout season didn’t surprise him.
“I knew I was capable from the moment I came in,” Jennings said. “I knew I was able to handle the load.”
Now he wants to pass his knowledge along to those behind him.
“One thing I really want to concentrate on this coming year is working with the young guys who are coming in and getting them on the same page as us, so there is no drop off when they come in the game.”
And with Grier returning, along with seven other offensive starters, Jennings believes the potential for WVU’s 2018 offense is high.
“We can still get a ton better,” noted the junior receiver. “The sky is the limit.”