Mike Jennings was among a group of freshmen in 2017-18 who joined Penn State last year and made the quick adjustment to college life and enjoyed significant playing time — but for Jennings the adjustments were only getting started.
Our FloRugby Men’s College Player Of The Week is Mike Jennings, a center-turned-lock.
Playing mostly as a center for Staples High School in Connecticut and with the Play Rugby sevens program, Jennings seemed destined to be part of the Penn State backline for years to come.
Head coach Justin Hundley had other ideas.
“We moved him to the second row,” said Hundley. “He’s a big, strong athlete and we think that’s where he belongs.”
Jennings has the height and the power, and he has embraced his new role with enthusiasm — hitting rucks, playing defense in tight, and winning set piece. His sevens experience has helped there, as a player is often required to win a ruck (wing, prop, halfback, it doesn’t matter) all on his own.
“He won ball, he made offloads, he did all the work we needed,” said Hundley of the effort Jennings put in during a 29-14 victory over Notre Dame College, an effort that earned him player of the game honors.