This offseason, Jauan Jennings put in a ton of work off the field just to earn his way back onto the field for Tennessee. Both in terms of expectations put on him by the new coaching staff and rehabbing from a summer knee surgery, Jennings has been put to the task of proving he wants to be great before his time on Rocky Top comes to an end.

While he’s appeared in both games for the Volunteers this season, Jennings has only three catches for 37 yards to date. Not the start many had in mind when Jennings finally earned his way back onto the team over the summer.

During his Monday afternoon press conference, Pruitt was asked about Jennings’ progression back from injury and if his production is expected to increase¬†moving forward.

“Jauan is playing really well on special teams. He had been limited in fall camp, he’s starting to get his legs back under him, and he’s a guy that’s a really good competitor,” Pruitt said of his junior receiver. “I think the guy is instinctive.

The Tennessee coach also noted that in the team’s offense, plays are not always run with a specific target in mind, as both the quarterback and his receiver need to be able to read what the defense is doing and react to the coverage, at times.

“Sometimes when you call pass routes, sometimes you don’t have any idea of where it’s going to go, sometimes you are waiting to see what the defense does,” Pruitt continued. “I think the balls that have been targetted to him, he’s done a really good job and he’s secured the football, which was one thing I was concerned about — as he didn’t get an opportunity to get any licks in fall camp. He’s ran the ball pretty good after he’s caught it.

“We probably need to find a way to get him more involved offensively, but right now with our quarterbacks, I think they are being efficient. They are, for the most part, putting the ball where it’s supposed¬†to be.”

If Tennessee’s passing game is going to continue to make strides this fall, Jennings will likely play a major factor in that area. Once the junior returns to full health, or “gets his legs back under him” as his coach put it, it’s hard to imagine Jenning not being one of the team’s go-to receiver in conference play.