Friday, July 31, 2015

Football notebook: Adonis Jennings' rapid rise

Football notebook: Adonis Jennings' rapid rise

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By Phil Anastasia

It's happened fast for Adonis Jennings.

It's also been a long road.

"I've worked hard to make this happen," Jennings said of emergence as one of the most highly recruited football players in the state in the class of 2014.

A junior wide receiver at Timber Creek, Jennings has generated plenty of buzz this spring.

He was the only South Jersey player on the list when the ESPN 150 was announced a couple of weeks ago. A four-star recruit, he was No. 132 nationally and No. 5 in New Jersey.

Jennings was the wide receiver MVP at the Nike Football Training Camp event in Landover, Md., two weekends ago and was the Offensive MVP of the Rivals.com Camp Series at the University of Pittsburgh last weekend.

Since then, Jennings has received scholarship offers from the University of Arizona and Clemson University. He also has offers from Rutgers, Pitt, Temple, Western Michigan, Central Florida, Old Dominion and Massachusetts.

On Monday, Jennings received an invitation to play in the Semper Fi All-American game in January.

"It's exciting and it's overwhelming," said the 6-3, 195-pound Jennings. "I know a lot of kids dream about having opportunities like this. I'm getting that chance so I know how fortunate I am."

Timber Creek coach Rob Hinson said Jennings has improved his speed as a member of the Chargers' 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams this spring and has put in the time in the weight room as well.

"He's put in the work," Hinson said.

Jennings said he hopes to visit Clemson and Arizona this summer. He said he had no timetable for making a college choice.

***

Geisel new coach at Palmyra

Jack Geisel was named the new football coach at Palmyra last week.

Geisel, 50, replaces Ty Belford, who resigned after 10 seasons.

A native of Central Pennsylvania, Geisel has been an assistant coach at Gateway, Camden Catholic, Cherry Hill West, Emmaus (Pa.) and Widener University since moving to South Jersey and becoming an educator in 1996. He also was an assistant under Belford from 2007-09.

"We need to try to get the numbers up," Geisel said of participation in the Group 1 program. "We have a lot of good athletes here. We need to push them to do better in the classroom. We're only scratching the surface of what we can do here.

"Palmyra has not win a football playoff game since 1979. That has to be one of our goals, to make the playoffs and keep going."

Geisel also is Palmyra's head wrestling coach as well as an assistant outdoor track coach.

Palmyra was 1-9 in 2012.

***

Taliaferro Game.

Haddon Heights' Ralph Schiavo and Absegami's Dennis Scuderi Jr. will serve as head coaches at the Taliaferro Classic all-star game June 27 at 7 p.m. at Rowan University.

Schiavo will coach the White team, which will feature players from high schools in Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties.

Scuderi Jr. will coach the Blue team, which will include players from high schools in Atlantic, Cape May, Burlington and Cumberland counties.

Proceeds from the annual contest will benefit
the Adam Taliaferro Foundation.

***

On the rise

Holy Spirit sophomore quarterback/defensive back T.J. Anderson is starting to rocket up the recruiting lists.

Anderson, who is 6-0 and 217 pounds, recently ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds and bench-pressed 185 pounds 36 times, according to Holy Spirit coach John Iannucci.

Anderson took over at quarterback midway last season and led the Spartans to the Non-Public 2 state title.

***

This and that.

Kingsway junior running back Ray Lawry and Glassboro sophomore wide receiver Juwan Johnson were listed among the top 15 offensive performers at the Rivals.com Series Camp at Rutgers last weekend by Rivals.com recruiting analyst Adam Freidman. Lawry was the "most consistent" running back and "showed flashes of a BCS tailback," according to Freidman . . . Lawry and Williamstown junior running back/defensive back Marques Little recently picked up offers from Old Dominion . . . West Deptford junior running back Gerald Owens visited Michigan State in early April. Owens recently picked up offers from Southern California and Florida State . . . Millville junior defensive tackle Antoine White picked up recent offers from Duke and Vanderbilt. He also has offers from Rutgers, Maryland, Temple, Boston College, Central Florida and Old Dominion . . . Temple has offered Camden wide receiver/defensive back Sean Chandler . . . Clemson has offered Timber Creek sophomore defensive back Kareem Ali.

Contact Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com. Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.

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About this blog
Born and raised in South Jersey, Phil Anastasia prefers standing on the sidelines at high school football games on Friday nights to sitting in the press box at Eagles games on Sunday afternoons. He’s a graduate of Rowan University with a degree in English. Reach Phil at panastasia@phillynews.com.

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