KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee quarterback Jauan Jennings could face legal action in connection to an alleged incident that occurred while the freshman was at home in Murfreesboro last month.
According to a Wednesday report from the Murfreesboro Post, Jennings is facing charges of assault, theft and vandalism stemming from his alleged actions at a graduation party.
Jennings has neither been arrested nor formally charged. He does not turn 18 until next month, so he'd likely be charged as a juvenile should he face formal charges.
The report cited an affidavit of complaint filed in Wilson County.
Jennings pushed an Oakland High School student twice, "causing pain to his neck and back and placing him in fear for his safety," the student said, according to the complaint. As the student tried to leave the party, Jennings threw a rock that damaged the hood and windshield of the car and took a cell phone, jacket and arm brace from the vehicle, according to the complaint.
The affidavit lists charges of assault, vandalism costing more than $500 and theft of property worth more than $500, according to the Post report. Vandalism and theft of property between $500 and $1,000 are Class E felonies in Tennessee, the least serious classication of felonies in the state.
Jennings returned to campus for the start of summer classes and workouts two weekends ago, so it's likely Vols head coach Butch Jones is aware of the alleged incident and has been looking further into it.
Jennings won the Class AAA Mr. Football award in December after a strong senior season at Blackman High School and enrolled at Tennessee in January.
The 6-foot-4, 202-pounder is one of three freshmen quarterbacks — along with fellow early enrollee Quinten Dormady and summer arrival Sheriron Jones — competing this offseason to be the backup to starter Josh Dobbs.
In Tennessee's spring game, Jennings completed just one of his five pass attempts, but he led all offensive players with 67 rushing yards and showed his athleticism on a 45-yard touchdown run.
Knight leaves for GSU
Tennessee defensive quality control coach Larry Knight, who played for Jones at Central Michigan, announced Wednesday he was leaving the Vols to become the outside linebackers coach at Georgia State.
"Although I have enjoyed my 2 years at the University of Tennessee it's my time to continue my growth as a coach and there's no better place to do so than GSU. I want to thank Coach Jones and the entire staff, the players, VolNation and everyone in Knoxville who has supported me along the way," Knight wrote in a message posted on his Twitter account.
Knight is the fourth quality control coach or graduate assistant to leave Tennessee for a full-time assistant coaching job this offseason.
Terry Fair is now the cornerbacks coach at Colorado State, Anthony Parker became the offensive line coach at Norfolk State and Derrick Lett accepted a job at Yale. At Tennessee, Fair helped with the defensive backs, Parker the offensive line and Lett the wide receivers.
The Vols have three new support staffers, according to the program's website.
Defensive graduate assistant Derek Day joins the programs after stints in similar roles at Western Kentucky and Iowa State. Offensive quality control coach Kevin Koger played tight end at Michigan. Tom Zagorski is now on board as an offensive quality control coach after spending the past three seasons as the offensive coordinator at Division III program John Carroll.
Phillips re-opens recruitment
Cornerback Bailey Phillips, committed to Tennessee since July, announced Tuesday he was no longer committed to the Vols and had re-opened his recruitment.
The 5-foot-7, 165-pound three-star prospect out of Duncanville (Texas) High School reportedly has scholarship offers from Clemson, Houston, UCLA, Utah, Wake Forest, Washington State and others.
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