M. D. Jennings

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M. D. Jennings
M.D. Jennings .jpg
No. 38     Chicago Bears
Strong safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1988-07-25) July 25, 1988 (age 25)
Place of birth: Grenada, Mississippi
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) Weight: 187 lb (85 kg)
Career information
High school: Calhoun City (MS)
College: Arkansas State
Undrafted in 2011
Debuted in 2011 for the Green Bay Packers
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2013
Tackles 133
Interceptions 1
Forced Fumbles 0
Stats at NFL.com

Melvin Delanie "M.D." Jennings (born July 25, 1988) is an American football safety for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He was signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He played college football at Arkansas State.

Early Years[edit]

Jennings was born in Grenada, Mississippi and attended Calhoun City High School.[1][2] During his time there he lettered in football, baseball, and track and field.[2] As a football player, he played safety and wide receiver.[2] During his junior year, he made 70 tackles and eight interceptions, which earned him second team all-state honors.[2] As a senior, he earned first team all-state honors after turning in 70 tackles, five interceptions and 15 defended passes.[2] He ranked fifth in his graduating class in academics, and also received the United States National Minority Leadership Award.[2]

College career[edit]

Recruiting[edit]

Jennings was not highly recruited coming out of high school and was given a two star rating by Rivals.com.[3] He measured in at 5-foot eleven inches and weighed 160 pounds.[3] He ran the forty-yard dash in 4.55 seconds, and had a 31-inch vertical.[3] He received one scholarship offer Arkansas State, but was also scouted by Mississippi State, Mississippi, and Southern Mississippi.[3]

Arkansas State[edit]

Jennings ultimately took the offer and decided to play for the Arkansas State Red Wolves. During his first year for the team he received a redshirt and participated on the scout team.[1]

Going into the next year, Jennings played in twelve games as a backup.[1] He had his first career sack against Southern Methodist University, and his first career interception the Troy Trojans[2] Additionally, he had multiple tackles in eight different games and finished the season with twenty-six tackles.[1]

During his sophomore year, Jennings started every game at the safety position. During a game against Southern Miss, he had a career high 13 tackles.[1] He had one more game with double-digit tackles.[1] Jennings finished the year with a team-leading three interceptions, five defended passes, a forced fumble, and 67 tackles.[1]

Jennings played in twelve games during his junior year.[1] He had a season-high eleven tackles in a game against Louisville and had at least eight tackles in five more games. He was forced to sit out the last game of the year due to an injury.[1] Regardless of missing the game, he was still named First Team All-Sun Belt Conference by Phil Steele.[1] He was also named to the Arkansas State Athletic Director's Honor Roll and the Sun Belt Conference Academic Honor roll.[1] He had 64 tackles (37 solo), an interception, six passes defensed and a team-high three fumble recoveries.[2]

In his final year with the Red Wolves, Jennings once again started every game that year.[2] He was named the Sun-Belt defensive player of the week during the season opening loss against the 22nd-ranked and eventual national champion Auburn Tigers.[4] During that game he had 11 tackles, including one and a half for a loss, a sack against quarterback Cam Newton, and a forced fumble and recovery.[2] At the end of the year he was awarded first-team All-Sun Belt honors finishing the season with a career-high 84 tackles (38 solo), and three interceptions. He finished his career with 241 tackles, including seven and a half for loss, eight interceptions and 15 defended passes.

Professional career[edit]

M.D. Jennings August 5, 2011

Scouting[edit]

Jennings was expected to be drafted in the NFL Draft and did not receive an invitation to the NFL Combine.[5] In an interview with New Era Scouting, Jennings said he believed his best talents were his knowledge and ability to learn quickly, and that he had good speed.[6] He said his personal goal is to play at the NFL at a strong level for ten or more years. He trained for the draft in Huntsville, Alabama with Body Creation. Scouts stated that Jennings has a fluid, agile back who played from sideline to sideline, and that he possessed good ball skills.[7] They also believed that he had a good sense of timing and that he fought hard to defend passes.[7] However, scouts also said that he lacked the size to be a safety and was built more like a cornerback, and that he did not hit very hard.[7]

Measurables[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 0 in 187 lb 4.48 s 1.62 s 2.66 s 7.18 s 35½ in 10 ft 05 in 10 reps
All results from Arkansas State Pro Day.[5]

Green Bay Packers[edit]

Jennings went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft, and according to his agent, was heavily pursued and signed by the Green Bay Packers.[8] Had he not been signed after the draft, his high school had offered him a job as a teacher and a coach.[9] However, due to the NFL lockout at the time he was not able to sign his rookie contract until three months later.[9] During the preseason of his rookie year, in a game against the Cleveland Browns, he intercepted a pass by future teammate Seneca Wallace which he believed was a factor in himself making the team.[9][10] Later on during the preseason, he recovered an onside kick against the Indianapolis Colts.[2] During his first year with the team, he played primarily on special teams, only receiving 10 snaps on defense during the year.[11][12] Jennings had eight tackles playing on special teams during the regular season.[2]

On November 18, 2012, Jennings returned an interception against the Detroit Lions 72 yards, making this his first official interception and first touchdown.[12]

Jennings was set to become a restricted free agent after the 2013 season, but the Packers did not make a qualifying offer, and he became an unrestricted free agent.[13]

Monday Night Football against the Seattle Seahawks[edit]

Jennings was involved in a controversial call at the end of a September 24, 2012 game against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. On the final play of the game, Jennings appeared to intercept Russell Wilson's Hail Mary pass intended for Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate, Tate then took the ball out of Jennings hands, but the officials ruled that both Tate and Jennings had simultaneous possession of the ball. By rule, the touchdown was awarded to Tate with no time remaining, and Seattle would win the game 14-12.[14] The public outrage over the controversial ending followed weeks of criticism regarding the quality of officiating by replacement officials employed by the NFL during the 2012 referee lockout.

Chicago Bears[edit]

On March 12, 2014, Jennings was signed by the Chicago Bears.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "M.D. Jennings Bio". Retrieved October 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Green Bay Packers: M.D Jennings". Green Bay Packers. Retrieved October 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "M.D. Jennings- Yahoo! Sports". Rivals.com. Retrieved October 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ McNeece, Joel (September 8, 2010). "M.D. Jennings Earns Defensive Player Of Week For Sunbelt Conference". Calhoun County Journal. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "M. D. Jennings Arkansas State". NFL Draft Scout. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  6. ^ "2011 Draft Interview: Arkansas State S M. D. Jennings". January 27, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c "M.D. Jennings". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  8. ^ Silverstein, Tom (July 26, 2011). "Packers land undrafted free agents". JSonline. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c Mcneeze, Joe (September 7, 2011). "M.D. Jennings makes roster of Super Bowl Champion Packers". Calhoun County Journal. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  10. ^ Kimble, Michael. "Green Bay Packers' 10 Best Performances in the First Preseason Game". Bleacher Report. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  11. ^ "M.D. Jennings: 2012 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card". Allgreenbaypackers.com. February 11, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Packers Annual Checkup: S M.D. Jennings". Fox Sports Wisconsin. February 19, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  13. ^ Mayer, Larry (12 March 2014). "Bears add Packers safety Jennings". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Rovell, Darren. "Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers". ESPN. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  15. ^ Mayer, Larry (12 March 2014). "Bears add Packers safety Jennings". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 

External links[edit]