KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – While Super Bowl LVIII may have ended in agony for Jauan Jennings and the San Francisco 49ers, the beloved Tennessee Vol joined two NFL shortlists with his heroic performance in Las Vegas.
The 49ers lost this exciting contest in overtime to the Kansas City Chiefs, but it wasn’t for lack of effort from the former Tennessee wide receiver. Jennings became the second player in history to record a passing and receiving touchdown in the same Super Bowl.
He joins Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles as the only player to accomplish this feat. Jennings is also the sixth non-quarterback to score a touchdown in the Super Bowl.
Jennings was a highly regarded quarterback at Blackmon High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, before moving to wide receiver at Tennessee.
Those skills were put to good use on a 21-yard touchdown pass to Christian McCaffrey in the second quarter, the first touchdown of the game. The play evoked memories of Jennings’ 58-yard touchdown pass to Josh Dobbs against Florida in 2015.
He appeared to be on track to become the first Tennessee Vol to be named Super Bowl MVP since Peyton Manning when he completed a 10-yard pass to give San Francisco the lead early in the fourth quarter.
Jennings finished the game with four catches for 42 yards, a receiving touchdown, 21 passing yards and a passing touchdown. He also forced a critical defensive call on third down during the 49ers’ overtime possession.
Stay ahead of the biggest news, breaking news and weather in northern Alabama and southern Tennessee. Download the WHNT News 19 app and be sure to enable push alerts.
The historic performance didn’t bring much comfort to the third-year receiver, who compared the loss to stepping on a nail during postgame interviews.
Although Jennings left Tennessee as one of the best pass catchers in program history, he was a seventh-round pick. He began his 49ers career on the practice squad before becoming a regular contributor on offense and special teams. He now enters the offseason as a restricted free agent.