The Jaguars enter their 25th year as an NFL franchise and with that “XL Primetime” goes down memory lane with some of the greats from the past 25 seasons. Rashad Jennings played four seasons in Jacksonville from 2009-2012. During that time Jennings accounted for nearly 1500 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns.
However, it is Jennings’ post football career where he has made the biggest name for himself. From being a New York Times best-selling author to winning Dancing with the Stars, Jennings has been on quite a ride the past five years.
“I absolutely love Jacksonville,” Jennings told 1010XL. “It was the foundation of my career in the NFL. A city that took a chance on a seventh-round draft pick and gave me a chance. From the community, the fan base, the organization and everybody on the team that I got a chance to learn from, I loved it and I soaked it in.”
Jennings will never forget the city.
“I’m always going to be appreciative of my stomping grounds and I try to come back as much as I can,” Jennings said. “When I look back there was only one team that gave me a shot because Jacksonville was coaching the Senior Bowl, which I played in, and I was the leading rusher of the game.
“I remember they called me and said, ‘Rashad, we worked with you for a week and we don’t know how in the world you’re still on the board.’ So, I’m thankful I had that chance to work with them because if I didn’t, who knows where I would have ended up at.”
Jennings was asked about his fondest memories in a Jaguar uniform.
“I go back to my first touchdown as a rookie,” Jennings said laughing. “Maurice Jones-Drew, we all know he is a monster, and he was in the game, but his shoe came off. He couldn’t get his shoe back on and there in the huddle and David Garrard is about to call a play.
“Maurice couldn’t get his shoe on and angry as I don’t know what because he had to come out of the game. Coach puts me in and this is really my first time in a game and I was nervous, excited, all these things were going through my head. They called a run play and I scored a 30-yard touchdown vs. Kansas City.
“Now, I’m pumped, throwing the ball up in the air and going crazy and from that point forward Maurice’s shoe never came off. That’s always a fun memory I have, and also Mike Thomas catching that hail mary against the Texans. I’ll never forget that one either.”
Jennings was asked about all his post playing career achievements and if he ever believed he would have accomplished so much.
“If you would have told me that my rookie year, I would’ve laughed,” Jennings said. “I hadn’t ever danced a day in my life. I’m your average guy man, I go to the club and do my little two-step, but I had a ball and fell in love with ballroom dancing and continue to do that now.
“All these other things, I will say that I’m a nerd when it comes to learning. I’m attracted to learning. I pick up a different art every offseason from guitar to archery to poetry and Olympic style fencing.
“I’m just attracted to learning and it’s fun being in West Hollywood and Los Angeles and getting a chance to create. I feel like I’m a kid inside of an adult Toys R Us and that’s how I feel.”
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)