With no current player on the Oregon roster wearing #53, we decided to go with a blast from the past with Jennings Stewart. Stewart is the last player to don the #53 jersey for the Ducks not currently on the roster.
Before joining the Ducks, Jennings was a star OSAA 6A prospect under head coach Tom Blanchard, a former Oregon Ducks quarterback from 1967-70. Jennings was a three-sport prep star competing in football, basketball and track. In track he participated in the shot-put, 4×400 and 4×100 events. On the gridiron, Jennings earned first-team all-conference as a junior and second-team all-conference as a senior. He stared on both the offense and defense.
In 2008, Jennings redshirted his first season in Eugene while participating on the scout team. He finished the year a three-time scout team special teams player of the week honoree against Boise State, Washington State and Oregon State and on offense player of the week against Arizona. He finished the year as the offensive scout team player of the year. He played this year wearing the #96 jersey.
In 2009, Jennings switched over from the offense at tight end over to defense at linebacker. He earned scout team special teams player of the week honors three times in wins against California, USC and Arizona State. He played this year wearing the #64 jersey.
In 2010, Jennings saw the field in three separate contests and recorded his first career tackle in a 69-0 win against Portland State. He played this year wearing the #64 jersey.
In 2011, Jennings appeared in five games during the season and saw the bulk of his action on special teams. He had a career-high five tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, against Missouri State. He also recovered a fumble against Oregon State in the Civil War. He played this year wearing the #53 jersey.
In 2012, Jennings made the transition back from linebacker to tight end to help develop a young and inexperienced group. You can watch a video of him explaining the leadership role he took on in the video bellow. Jennings appeared in three regular season games during the season and played this year wearing the #36 jersey.
While Jennings had four different jersey numbers during his five seasons, we’ll choose to remember him as #53.