Coming into the season, the Virginia Tech football team welcomed some transfer wide receivers. One of them was Ali Jennings, who came to the Hokies from Old Dominion. A speedy wideout, he was expected to give starting quarterback Grant Wells a playmaker on the outside.
Unfortunately, that never materialized for Jennings, Wells, or the Hokies.
After a very productive Week 1 in Virginia Tech’s 36-17 win over Jennings’s former team, Old Dominion, disaster struck Week 2 against Purdue at Lane Stadium. On a wild day of football that saw two weather delays, Jennings was injured early in the first quarter on the Hokies’ first drive when wide receiver Jaylin Lane rolled up on his ankle as he was blocking downfield. Jennings left the game and hasn’t been seen on the field again.
On Monday at his weekly press conference with the media, coach Brent Pry said that he might return at the end of the season, according to Andy Bitter of Tech Sideline, but if he can’t then Pry and Jennings are looking at a rather big decision.
Virginia Tech facing a big decision on Ali Jennings
If Jennings is not able to return this season then there is a possibility that he can apply for a medical redshirt season and return to Blacksburg in 2024. If he applies, then coming back next season would be as big of an addition as getting someone else in the transfer portal.
Jennings’s speed, skill, and what he can potentially bring to Virginia Tech was on display in the season-opener against the Monarchs. He caught a second-quarter touchdown pass from Wells for 10 yards, then in the third quarter, he added a 6-yard touchdown reception. He was the Hokies leading receiver that night with five receptions for 72 yards.
Since his injury, the Virginia Tech offense also had a change at QB with Baylor transfer Kyron Drones replacing Wells, who also suffered an ankle injury against the Boilermakers. Lane has picked up some of the slack, however, if Tech needs to win a game at the end of the schedule, then playing Jennings and burning the redshirt season is an option. If not, then applying for the redshirt season is a no-brainer.