WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

Sophomore WRs Next in Line at UVa

Darius Jennings caught 20 passes as a true freshman wide receiver at Virginia. Now the rising sophomore is ready to play a bigger part in the Cavaliers' offense.

"I'm a lot more comfortable," Jennings said Monday morning, following the Cavaliers' first spring practice. "I played QB in high school, so it was a big jump for me last year to go to receiver. But now, I'm out here. I'm running routes; I'm doing my thing. So it's time to move forward and be a playmaker."

The Cavaliers have to replace three of their top six receivers from last year. Kris Burd led the team with 66 catches for 913 yards and three touchdowns; fellow senior Matt Snyder caught 20 passes for 225 yards in seven games. Another departed senior, fullback Max Milien, was third on the team with 22 catches.

Jennings, who finished his freshman season with 238 yards and a touchdown, now finds himself atop the pre-spring depth chart at wide receiver, opposite returning starter Tim Smith. Another rising sophomore, Dominique Terrell, is second behind Jennings on the depth chart.

"We talk about that a lot. We lost Burd, we lost Snyder, we lost (senior Ray) Keys," Jennings said. "So those are the guys who kind of led the group, just kind of showed us how to do it. So it's our turn to carry it on and just continue."

Jennings and Terrell were both rated as four-star recruits by Rivals, and among the top 150 prospects in the country by ESPNU, when they signed with Virginia in 2011. Terrell finished his freshman season with eight catches for 59 yards and a touchdown, and also returned 14 punts for Mike London's team.

Both players showed glimpses of their big-play ability as true freshmen: Terrell's touchdown came on a 27-yard catch-and-run in overtime of the Cavaliers' 21-20 win over Idaho; Jennings turned a screen pass into a 53-yard touchdown in Virginia's win at Miami.

Now that both players have gotten a taste of college football, London's hoping to get more big plays from them next fall.

"I've said it before, this might be the fastest group of receivers we've had collectively since I've been here," he said. "And they're going to have to, they've played in games and they're going to have to step up and make their play."

"One of the things we're trying to emphasize is yards after the catch," London added. "Utilize their skill and their speed if they catch the ball."


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 143587946