Early Influence: Rashad Jennings

Before training camps kick off, a number of players and some coaches will pay tribute to people who helped them make it to the NFL as part of the AFC South Blog’s summer series: “Early Influence.”

Rashad Jennings, Jaguars running back

“I’m going to go with my brothers, Butch and Bryan Jennings. They took the time to allow things to make sense to me and they pulled out my passion. It’s something very simple.

“It wasn’t that they took me out and trained me, or took me out and showed me all these drills. It’s not like they ran my life, every single day holding my hand. It was just that, when we had a conversation, when we talked, they would simplify things and show me that I could accomplish my dreams.

“They opened doors and made me push myself even further. They made me want to do better. It sounds so simple, but I think that’s how it’s supposed to be.

“I’m the accident baby; they are 10 and 13 years older than me. They both played football too. Bryan graduated from Virginia Tech and he was with the Chargers, Patriots and Titans and Butch graduated from Liberty and he played with the Giants for a year.

“So I got a chance to watch two men that I respected do this. I had somebody that I could look to that did things the right way, that worked hard, that carried themselves in a respectable manner. They kind of set the bar in that.

“They always pushed me, [that] I could do anything I wanted to do and if I wanted it I had to work at it. They drove me to ask questions and figure it out on my own.”