About eight plays into Marietta’s (GA) 2011 season opener against South Cobb, junior quarterback Anthony Jennings suffered torn cartilage in one of his knees. The injury was not a season-ender, but the 6’2″, 205-pound signal caller played at about 60-percent strength the rest of the way. He did pretty well, totaling 2,362 and 25 touchdowns while leading the Blue Devils to a 6-6 overall record.
“He’s an explosive athlete, but he was not that guy after the injury,” Marietta head coach Scott Burton said of Jennings, who threw for 1,981 yards with 18 touchdowns and only
three interceptions in 2011. He added 381 yards rushing and seven scores. “About 70-percent of the coaches that have shown interest didn’t know he was hurt. When I threw that fact into the mix, it intrigues them even more.”
With his ability to make plays on the ground hindered, Jennings focused on the passing game, an area where he developed quite well over the course of last season.
“He became kind of more of a student of the game,” Burton said. “He learned so much about protections and route concepts. He learned more about blitz protections. He embraced that side of [playing quarterback]. In the long run, that’s going to help him. He couldn’t just take off and run. He had to learn to slide and move in the pocket, and to get better in pre-snap reads.”
Jennings “has all the tools”, Burton said. “He’s a quarterback that happens to be a great athlete. He’s not a guy I’d characterize as a great athlete we just stuck at quarterback. He’s a quarterback that can make all the throws, but he’s also extremely bright. His football IQ is exceptional. He’s super-competitive and tough, physically and mentally. His future is real bright.”
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