In this installment of the Recruit Notebook, we meet a talented player who spurned his father’s alma mater to come play for their hated rivals (and better school): LB Bradley Jennings Jr.
A talented player from Jacksonville (FL) Sandalwood, Bradley Jennings Jr. has the name, and the game, of a P5 football recruit. Early on in his HSFB career, Jennings made his presence known with strong play against good competition.
The breakout year for Jennings Jr. was his junior year, in which he had 146 tackles and 10 TFLs. With that level of play, Jennings Jr. started getting plenty of scholarship offers, including one from his father’s alma mater: Florida State.
Jennings Jr. took a step to follow the family legacy to FSU by committing to that horrible school in Tallahasee on New Year’s Eve 2015. However, Jennings continued to engage with multiple schools, including Miami.
After receiving an offer from Miami, Jennings Jr. decommitted from FSU on August 1st, and committed to Miami on August 7th. He participated in the inaugural Paradise camp, and that was the event that sealed the deal for Miami. And, lets be clear: official offers had come out by this point, and FSU sent Jennings Jr. one. So this isn’t like they didn’t want him; Miami flipped him.
Jennings Jr. is the latest player from the Jacksonville area to commit to Miami, joining S Derrick Smith in this class, and LB Michael Pinckney and DT Kendrick Norton from previous classes.
On the 247sports composite, Jennings Jr. is a 3-star prospect, the #46 OLB in this class, the #89 player in the State of Florida, and the #690 player in this class overall.
Jennings Jr. committed to Miami over 14 other offers including Florida State (where his father played CFB), Louisville, and Michigan.
Jennings Jr. as a player
Getting downhill in the run game is what Jennings Jr. does best. He’s good at reading OL play and meeting the RB in the hole. On film, Jennings did this mostly from MLB, but also moved over to OLB as well.
Jennings Jr. loves being a powerful striker. On almost every play of his film, he’s going for a shoulder-first killshot type hit. That can be good. That can also be bad, because bigger CFB players won’t go down to a diving shoulder-type tackle, and they have moves to avoid that contact altogether.
I didn’t see Jennings Jr. in coverage much on his film, which lets me know that’s not something he’s comfortable with. While getting downhill is good and fun, you gotta be able to cover some — at least know your zone responsibilities — to be an effective LB at this level.
Jennings has good size at 6’2” 218lbs, but isn’t a spectacular athlete. He’s a grinder who will need to study his tendencies and trends to know where to be. He doesn’t have the athleticism to make a mistake on the field and run to make up for it.
As I said with the other LBs in this class, Miami has Shaquille Quarterman, Michael Pinckney, and Zach McCloud entrenched as starters. So, the LBs in this class, Jennings Jr. included, are good depth pieces who will likely see time on special teams or 2nd string defense behind that top tier trio.
Chances for a redshirt: 8/10
Jennings Jr. is kind of rough around the edges, but he has some talent to develop in time. There are other rotation types in front of him on the roster and, all things being equal, I’d rather those guys continue to get snaps and afford Jennings Jr. the chance to redshirt.
That’s it for this installment of the Recruit Notebook.