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Virginia Tech WR Ali Jennings Looking Healthy and Sharp After September Injury

Ali Jennings 1 Spring Practice 2024 From VT

When Ali Jennings arrived at Virginia Tech last spring, the ODU transfer likely was expecting that a year later, he would be preparing for the 2024 NFL Draft following the expiration of his collegiate eligibility.

Unfortunately for Jennings, things took a detour after a two-touchdown VT debut against his old team as he suffered an injury early against Purdue that ended him season. However, the early nature of the injury mean that Jennings had the option to return for another year to finish off his collegiate career the right way, with the Richmond native electing to do just that.

After going through plenty of injury recovery during the fall, Jennings was able to get back out there this spring and play the game he loves. In football though, it's one thing to be healthy enough to play again and it's another thing to be able to get back to your previous form in all ways, given the physical toll that the sport can take on the body.

On Saturday in the Spring Game, Jennings looked like the playmaker he was before his injury with three catches for 45 yards in a short but productive stint for the Richmond native with Kyron Drones.

Head coach Brent Pry was encouraged by what he saw from Jennings knocking off the rust that also comes from missing significant time due to injury, both in the Spring Game and throughout spring practice.

"He’s been 100 percent. I think always for him, it was this way when he first got to us, just takes him a little while to get the rust off. But I thought he looked like himself out there a couple times today. He’s a guy when the lights go on, you take him in the stadium and he elevates his game. He’s kind of proven that. So it was good to see him get that work," Pry said.

For offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen, there's no doubt that having Jennings back is a big boost even in a loaded wide receiver room. Add in the leadership factor and Jennings actually getting to do some of that by example on the field and not just as a veteran on the sidelines, and it's exactly what the third-year offensive coordinator hoped for.

“It was great, good to see him back in the stadium with confidence and playing ball. He’s obviously a big part of what we’re doing and a big part of leadership in that room," Bowen said.

Looking ahead, it's one thing for Jennings to be able to get healthy again and go through the normal routine of practice. However, it'll be another thing for Jennings to get that second chance at having a more ideal final season of college football with star QB Kyron Drones knowing that Jennings likely has his eyes on the season opener against Vanderbilt.

"He’s been good, he’s been making plays all spring. I was happy for him to get back out there, back to a game situation. It’s been real good for him. I know he’s just waiting for our first game against Vanderbilt," Drones said.

After overcoming injury, Ali Jennings showed in the Spring Game that not only is he healthy, but he's also showing signs that the wear and tear of football hasn't caught up with him and that he can once again be a dynamic playmaker this fall.

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