Before the season began, Pitt head coach Paul Chryst targeted several true freshmen that were questionable to play this season. One such player was wide receiver Adonis Jennings.
Jennings was listed on the questionable list more so based on his situation, not his talent. Having missed a lot of training camp due to injury, Jennings was simply behind and it wasn't known how much time he would see on the field because of it.
The wide receiver sat out the first four games but got onto the field in the Panthers' fifth game against Akron this weekend. Jennings caught one pass and was on the field for a handful of plays.
With the passing game somewhat in disarray, I was leaning more and more in the camp that would have liked to see him redshirted this year. It's almost always better to sit a player as a freshman and get four good years out of him instead of only three. But if he's healthy, his talent is too good to keep out, so I get the decision to play him. But now that Jennings' redshirt is officially gone, it's time to get him onto the field.
I don't know that he needs to start. Manasseh Garner, controversial comments or not, has done a decent job as the No. 2 guy. But it's time to get Jennings some work now that he won't be redshirted. The worst thing Pitt can do is play him a handful of plays the rest of the way. In addition to being a talented player, the team will need to rely on him more next year when Garner is gone. Jennings may not be a lock to start with Ronald Jones coming back but he should have a fighting chance. Worst case scenario, he will have a bigger role than he will this year.
Pitt can't sacrifice this year just for the sake of playing Jennings, but now that his redshirt has been burned, he needs to be on the field as much as possible.