It is no longer news that many NFL players lose their relevance in the media after they hang up their jersey and retire from the sport. For some, it is intentional, while others happen as a result of a failed attempt to transition into another role. Either as a TV personality or football analyst. So far, Rashad Jennings, who plied his trade with the Oakland Raiders and the New York Giants while he was a player, has continued to remain relevant.
Jennings retired in December 2017, but through appearances on shows like Dancing with the Stars and in film and TV series like Power, he has remained a relevant part of celebrity conversation.
Rashad Jennings’ Rugged Journey to the NFL
His background and the challenges of his childhood days did not point towards a career in one of the world’s most lucrative sports leagues. But that is precisely what Rashad Jennings has gone on to do. He was born on the 26th of March 1985, in Forest, Virginia, to parents, Albert Jennings and Deborah Jennings.
Although his football career started in high school, Rashad Jennings, growing up, did not project the image of an athletic child as he battled asthma, obesity and wore medicated glasses. Nevertheless, his interest in the sport made him try out for his high school team and he got picked as a fifth string player.
Attending Jefferson Forrest High School, he was only able to play the last game of his junior year after all four players ahead of him suffered injuries. This unfortunate coincidence gave Rashad Jennings a chance to show the team what he can do, and he did, delivering a performance that drew the attention of a scout who was watching the game.
With the encouragement offered to him by the scout, Rashad transferred to Lynchburg Christian Academy. He began to work on his weight as he continued to build on the inherent talent he showed at his former high school. At the end of his high school career, Rashad Jennings finished as a two-time All-VISAA Division II selection.
His improved performances at high school level got him a football scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh, and he played for the school for a year before transferring to Liberty University, where he played for two years before moving on to the NFL.
In 2018, he was inducted into the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame. His jersey number, 23, was also retired by the team.
He Spent Eight Seasons in the NFL
In the 2009 NFL Draft, Rashad Jennings’ lifelong dream came through when the Jacksonville Jaguars picked up in the seventh round. He went on to play for the team for three years between 2009 and 2012. He had a good rookie season, playing 15 games, with 39 carries for 101 yards. Unfortunately, a string of injuries cut short his promising run with the Jaguars.
He played a further 23 games for the franchise but was unable to match the reputation from his rookie season. After four years of struggling with the Jaguars, the team traded him to the Oakland Raiders.
Rashad Jennings played for the Oakland Raiders for one year before moving on to the New York Giants. He spent a single season with the team, delivering one of the better performances of his career. He had 163 carries for 733 rushing yards and scored six touchdowns in 15 games.
At New York Giants, Rashad signed a four-year $14 million contract. He was with the team between 2014 and 2016, starting 37 out of 40 games. His best season with the team was in 2015 when he recorded 195 carries for 863 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
At the end of the 2016 season, the Giants released him. Despite attempts to find a new team, he was unable to, and in December 2017, he announced his retirement. At the end of his career, Rashad Jennings had played 93 NFL games, starting 54 of them. He also had 930 carries for 3,772 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns.
His Life Post-retirement: A Dancing With The Stars Victory
Since he retired, Rashad Jennings has featured on the show, Dancing with the Stars, competing in the 24th season of the show. He won the show in his debut season, becoming the fourth NFL player to win the dancing competition. His victory also earned Emma Slater her first win as a professional dancer on the show.
In the same year, he returned to the show as a competitor in a special trio Cha-cha-cha game, and in 2018, he was a guest judge on the show. Rashad Jennings’s relationship with Dancing with the Stars continued in the 27th season when he returned to compete with DeMarcus Ware and Lindsay Arnold.
Outside of his appearances on Dancing with the Stars, Rashad Jennings also appeared in an episode of the Starz show, Power, and one episode of Great News.
Rashad Jennings’ Modest Net Worth
After playing for two teams in the NFL across eight seasons, Rashad Jennings has accrued a total net worth of $6 million from his multimillion-dollar contracts as a player.
He was, by no means, an exceptional player in the NFL. But smart contracts like his Giants deal, which guaranteed him $3 million, meant he took something from his playing career. He is also an author, with five published books to his name. Four of them are part of his children’s book series, The Coin Slot Chronicles. The fifth is an inspirational story about his life and time in the NFL.
Rashad has also made a substantial income from being a public speaker. He has spoken at the Ignite Men’s Conference, Rise Panel, and delivered the Liberty University Commencement Speech in 2016. The former NFL player also maintains and boosts his earnings via entrepreneurial ventures, as well as the Rashad Jennings Foundation.
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He Has A Very Private Love Life
Rashad Jennings spent over six years playing in the NFL and not once during his career did he reveal any significant information about his personal life. Since his retirement, he has continued in the same vein. If Rashad Jennings is in a relationship or single, that is a detail that is so far unknown to the media as a whole as he has chosen to keep his personal life away from the media.
The only known relationship Rashad Jennings has been in ended in 2014 when he shared a rare tidbit about his personal life, telling the media that he had called it quits with his long-term girlfriend, whom he was engaged to at the time.
While the former running back continues to keep his personal life private, at least he hasn’t hesitated to show love to the people. In 2018, he walked out to Times Square in New York and handed out roses to different people on Valentine’s Day.