Accounting for 2,761 of your team’s total offensive yards will certainly gain attention. That’s exactly what 5-11, 175-pound junior Darius Jennings did at Gilman last season, guiding the Baltimore high school to an 8-3 overall record including a MIAA championship. College coaches from all across the country have taken notice of Jennings, who recently received official scholarship offer number 24.
“I really never thought about being in this situation,” Jennings said. “I’m going to be the first in my family to go to college. Growing up, getting to college was the big goal. I never thought I’d have so many options, so it is a blessing.
“Getting that first offer was a very big deal. It was something I was striving for. When I was younger, I was an okay player. In high school, I saw the potential I had and realized that this was the ticket to college.”
Jennings made the varsity squad as a freshman in 2007 and played running back that season. As a sophomore, he rotated from quarterback to running back to wide receiver and saw action at cornerback and safety on defense. Last season, Jennings played quarterback in a Wildcat-type role.
“Basically, I took the snap and ran,” he said.
He ran wild and ended up rushing for 2,028 yards on 215 carries with 24 touchdowns. He also completed 35 of 79 passes for 733 yards and 10 scores. Jennings returned kicks and punts as a sophomore before only returning one kick last season. He made it count.
“I scored on the one return. I begged my coach to put me back there, but he didn’t want me to get hurt,” said Jennings, who likely will return kicks and/or punts on the next level.
A terrific athlete with potential at a number of positions, Jennings says college coaches vary in terms of which position they want him to play. Slot receiver, wide receiver, all-purpose running back and cornerback have been mentioned. Jennings prefers offense, but he adds that he is confident he could play cornerback.
“I’m pretty good with whatever, as long as I have a chance to get the ball in my hands,” Jennings said.
From now until next February, Jennings faces the daunting task of sorting through all of these college options and eventually coming to a decision.
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