Described as a shy individual who would rather make his college announcement in a private and inform the world through a simple note, Darius Jennings seemed quite poised on Wednesday morning as he stepped to the podium at Gilman, in front of a room filled with family, teammates, coaches and reporters there to document his plans for his football future.

After initially joking that he had decided to stay another year and play for Gilman as a fifth year senior, the dynamic offensive performer slipped a University of Virginia cap out from under the podium and placed it on his head as he announced his commitment to play for the Cavaliers.

The decision came down to three schools as Jennings seriously considered Ohio State and Wake Forest before settling on Virginia.  He said his family played a major role in the decision.

“Talking it over with my parents, and my little brother, all three of them said Virginia,” said Jennings.  “So, I guess that was the final answer.”

Jennings also stated he had developed a deeper relationship with University of Virginia head coach Mike London and his staff.

At Virginia, Jennings expects line up in the slot as a receiver, utilizing the athletic ability he displayed as a wildcat quarterback in the Gilman attack.

The consensus offensive player of the year in the area, Jennings was voted the state’s offensive player of the year by the media. This past season, Jennings, Varsity Sports Network’s Offensive Player of the Year, accumulated 2,203 yards from scrimmage and accounted for 25 touchdowns for the No. 2 Greyhounds. He finished his four-year varsity career with a school-record 4,338 rushing yards and 53 touchdowns, surpassing former Gilman quarterback Ambrose Wooden’s 4,033 rushing yards and 46 touchdowns.

“I am going to be a receiver and I think I can make an impact early,” said Jennings.  “I have the skill sets to go to the defensive side of the ball, if they need me, and play corner.  But, I think the plan is form me to come in and play receiver and hopefully get on the field as quickly as possible.”

Gilman head coach Biff Poggi admitted that the decision surprised him a bit, as he believed Jennings may have been leaning towards Ohio State, prior to making up his mind on Monday night.  Poggi said, however, that all three final choices were great.

“He had three good final choices.  We’ve had kids that have played all three of those schools and those kids have had great experiences, starting academically,” said Poggi.  “All three of those places do a really nice job with their athletes.

“Virginia has a very special academic reputation and its a very, very good school,” added Poggi.  “I think Darius made a very good decision with his family.  As he said, it is not a four or five year decision.  It’s a 40 or 50 year decision and any of those would have been a great.  He made a great one for himself.”

“It’s definitely a weight lifted off my shoulders,” concluded Jennings.  “I really didn’t realize how stressed I was until I called Coach London,” said Jennings.  “He was very excited and he said come ready to play.”

Against Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champion Good Counsel, then-ranked No. 9 nationally by USA Today, Jennings rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown and threw for another in a 28-7 decision. Arguably his best performance came against DeMatha Catholic, rushing for 276 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-7 pounding of the perennial Mid-Atlantic and national powerhouse.

In the inaugural Chesapeake Bowl in December, Jennings compiled over 180 all-purpose yards, scored one touchdown and setup the go-ahead score in the North’s 30-27 decision over the South. Jennings suffered a concussion in the game, and wasn’t able to play in the Under Armour All-American game in Florida.