Liberty has picked up a commitment from North Carolina transfer Bryson Jennings following his weekend visit. Jennings is a 6’4″, 230 pound defensive lineman who did not play and redshirted at North Carolina in 2022. He has four years of eligibility remaining.

He is the nephew of Liberty great Rashad Jennings and his father, Bryan, played football at Virginia Tech from 1993-1996 before playing in the NFL. He committed to UNC in July 2021 out of Clover Hill High School in Midlothian, Virginia. Jennings was a three-star prospect out of high school, ranked as the nation’s No. 26 edge and No. 13 player in Virginia in the 247Sports Composite and also ranked as a four-star according to Rivals.

During his recruitment out of high school, Jennings picked up scholarship offers from 14 schools, including Virginia, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and South Carolina.

Bryson follows a similar path to that of his uncle Rashad who began his collegiate career at Pitt before transferring to Liberty to finish his collegiate career. Rashad went on to have a very decorated career for the Flames, as he was a consensus first-team All-American during his senior year when he rushed for 1,526 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2008, while also earning his second Big South Offensive Player of the Year award and finishing 8th in voting for the Walter Payton Award, given annually to the top FCS player in the country.

Rashad Jennings became the 6th player in program history to be selected in the NFL Draft when he was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He had a 7-year NFL career playing for the Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, and New York Giants. He finished his career with 3,772 yards and 23 touchdowns. Rashad has since been elected to the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame and had his No. 23 jersey retired.

Bryson will play the newly minted Joker position, similar to that of the Bandit position Liberty used to have. The hybrid defensive end-linebacker position will have some playing time available as the Flames look to find Durrell Johnson’s replacement who just recently signed as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys following the 2023 NFL Draft. Stephen Sings was the heir apparent to be Johnson’s replacement as a starter this coming season, but Sings is currently in the transfer portal.