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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 the thrilling contest in overtime to the Kansas City Chiefs, but it wasn’t for lack of effort by the former Tennessee wide receiver. Jennings became the second player in history to record a passing and a receiving touchdown in the same Super Bowl.
He joins Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles as the only players to accomplish the feat. Jennings is also the sixth non-quarterback to toss a touchdown at the Super Bowl.
Jennings was a highly-rated quarterback prospect from Blackmon High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, before switching 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 game’s first touchdown. The play conjured memories of Jennings’ 58-yard touchdown pass to Josh Dobbs against Florida in 2015.
He looked to be on track to become the first Tennessee Vol to be named Super Bowl MVP since Peyton Manning when he hauled in 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, one receiving touchdown, 21 passing yards, and one passing touchdown. He also forced a critical defensive holding call on third down during the 49ers’ overtime possession.
The history-making performance didn’t provide much solace to the third-year receiver, who likened the loss to stepping on a nail during the postgame interviews.
Though Jennings left Tennessee as one of the top pass catchers in program history, he was a seventh-round draft pick. He began his 49ers career on the practice squad before becoming a regular offense and special team contributor. He now enters the offseason as a restricted free agent.