By VIC KETCHMAN
M.D. Jennings is among the surprise names on the Packers’ 53-man roster. Jennings is one of three undrafted rookies on the 53-man roster of the reigning Super Bowl champions. That’s an uncommon number of rags-to-riches stories on a roster as deep as the Packers’.
Jennings, who postponed his teaching/coaching career to pursue the NFL, said he first called his mother with the news.
“My mom says she loves teachers just as much as football players. She said she’s glad I didn’t call it quits after not being drafted,” Jennings said.
M.D. is the son of Wesley and Nanette Jennings of Calhoun City.
Does your mother know football players make a lot more money than teachers, Jennings was asked?
“Yeah, she knows,” he said, laughing.
Jennings seems to be in perpetual smile. He has a naturally sheepish personality, but there was nothing sheepish about the way he played in training camp and in the preseason. At a position where the competition was intense, Jennings just kept making plays. By training camp’s end, it was clear to see he was in the hunt for a roster spot.
“It’s a blessing, being able to live my dream. A lot of people dream about this but it never comes true,” Jennings said.
“Become the best player I can be and stay in this business as long as I can,” he said.
“I had an interception in the Cleveland game and a couple of open-field tackles against Arizona and Kansas City,” Jennings said of what might’ve turned the tables in his favor.
In a normal year, players would’ve been signed to free-agent contracts immediately after not having been drafted but, because of the lockout, they had to wait three months before signing a contract.
“It was nerve-racking. I was offered a job at my old high school to coach and teach. I leaned toward it for a little while. I decided to pursue my dream,” Jennings said.