Breakout Game Just the Beginning for WVU's Jennings

Breakout Game Just the Beginning for WVU's Jennings

West Virginia

Breakout Game Just the Beginning for WVU's Jennings

Breakout Game Just the Beginning for WVU’s Jennings

Gary Jennings had a breakout game for WVU against Virginia Tech on Sunday but it wasn’t surprising to his coaches.

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Against Virginia Tech on Sunday, Gary Jennings had a career night, catching 13 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown.

That was the Jennings that West Virginia fans and coaches had been hoping for from the day he put on a Mountaineers’ jersey.

Now, hard work is finally paying off for the junior wide receiver.

“He’s just a worker,” receivers coach Tyron Carrier said. “He works hard better than anybody I’ve seen do it even when I was playing. He just goes out there and works every day in practice. That’s what makes Will (Grier) so comfortable to get the ball to him.”

Grier and Jennings built a strong relationship over the summer and it’s showing on the field. The aspiring chemistry between the two earned himself the trust of his coaches and his quarterback.

In fact, Holgorsen expected the breakout game from the Colonial Forge High School alum.

“I just felt like he’s ready to take the next step,” Holgorsen said. “A lot of that is not my decision, a lot of that is the quarterback sits back there and goes through reads and looks at where he’s comfortable throwing the ball and he throws the ball to a specific guy that he feels comfortable with. I’ve been saying this for three weeks, we have three guys that he’s comfortable throwing to.”

With Jennings’ work ethic and passion for the game, it makes trusting the budding star easy.

“He’s very cerebral, that’s a pretty good word on how you put it with Gary,” offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said. “He’s very calculated but that kid loves to play the game. You can see it just from the emotion that he plays with. I love it when he does the first down. He does that every single day in practice so that just translates from practice out onto the field, which I hope to be seeing a lot of that this year.

“But Gary is awesome. It’s not a shocker to any of us in the facility because that’s what we saw every single day. He’d come to work. The only problem with him is he won’t tell you that he’s hurting. He just goes as fast and hard as he can go until he starts cramping and can’t go no more, which that’s a true testament to him. He’s going to leave everything he’s got out there on the field. I’m very pleased with the progress and seeing all the work that he’s put into it and the success that he’s having.”

The nation may have just heard of the 6-foot-1, 210-pound wideout but his teammates and coaches knew the potential was there.

In 2017, Shelton Gibson had 43 receptions for a total of 951 yards and eight touchdowns. With the loss of Gibson’s production, the Mountaineers need someone to pick up the slack.

And Jennings could be just the man.

While Stafford, Va. native can’t be the sole man of the receiving corps, a big season from him is just what the Mountaineers need if they hope to contend in the Big 12.

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