When Jeremy Pruitt was hired as the Tennessee Vols’ head coach in late 2017, wide receiver Jauan Jennings wasn’t part of the team.
Jennings was famously kicked off the team by interim head coach Brady Hoke and since-fired athletic director John Currie near the end of the 2017 season.
Pruitt reinstated Jennings to the team in early 2018. It was one of the best decisions he made as a head coach while at Tennessee. Jennings was the heart and the soul of the 2018 and 2019 teams. His leadership was clearly missed in 2020.
After the 2019 season, there were questions from NFL teams about Jennings as a teammate. He ran into some off-the-field trouble early in his Tennessee career (being kicked off the team by Hoke was also a red flag for teams).
Pruitt, however, vouched for Jennings. He wasn’t shy about praising Jennings’ character publicly.
Jauan Jennings is one of the best teammates, leaders, competitors and players that I’ve ever had the privilege of coaching! Proud of him! Let ‘em know Vol nation! #PoweredByTheT https://t.co/saAruaXMie
— Jeremy Pruitt (@CoachJPruitt) April 25, 2020
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Jennings isn’t thrilled that Pruitt was fired at Tennessee.
On Wednesday evening, Jennings took to Instagram to voice his opinion on the Vols’ decision.
“The best coach that brought the best coaching staff to Tennessee,” wrote Jennings. “It’s a shame how people can turn on you so quick. Only wanted to help the kids, didn’t matter if you were a walk-on or not. Wishing you the best coach Pruitt.”
Pruitt didn’t get the results that Vol fans wanted on the field, and he left the program with a major recruiting scandal, but there’s no doubt that he was extremely popular with most of the players on Tennessee’s roster.
Featured image via USA TODAY