In today’s Dancing with the Stars 24 spotlight article, we’re going to be running down the field with Rashad Jennings, an NFL running back who possesses on paper many of the skills needed to rock and/or destroy this competition. He’s athletic, he’s quick on his feet, and we know that there’s a history of football stars doing well on this show.
However, are there some other things holding him back? Probably, and that’s what makes him a little bit different than some past winners like a Donald Driver, and Emmitt Smith, or a Hines Ward.
Claim to fame – Running back with the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars. His best season was in 2015 with the Giants, where he had more than 1,000 yards when you combine his running and receiving numbers. He never was a player who received a ton of attention from the mainstream media, but he was often solid. Entering the competition, his future in the NFL is not entirely clear, but at 31 he’s at the age when most running backs choose to think about stepping away from the game.
Partner – Emma Slater. She’s the sort of person who’s history with partners has really run the gamut. She’s danced with older people like Rick Perry (now leading the Department of Energy — don’t even get us started with that), and she’s also danced with people like Hayes Grier. Easily, we can see Emma being a great teacher for him.
Strengths – Easily, we can see Rashad being a very good dancer given that running backs in particular utilize footwork in a way few other people do. He’s probably got the stamina and the ability to move that even few other athletes have. He’s also in great shape coming off a recent football season and he’s notable enough that casual viewers will be familiar with him.
Weaknesses – Of course, when you think about him alongside Emmitt Smith or Hines Ward, he doesn’t have that sort of name recognition. He’s not someone who has that widespread league appeal, and he’s going to have to conquer that. Also, we’re not sure he’s someone you would have heard of if you’ve never watched more than an NFL game or two in your life.
Prediction – The one thing we’ve gotten a great sense of in watching some of Rashad’s videos online (check out one below) is just how likable he is. He doesn’t come across as someone’s who is different because of having NFL money or fame. We do think he’ll be able to win some people over who maybe aren’t Giants or Jaguars fans. Therefore, he may fare better than any of the men this season … but he’s got a challenge trying to take on Simone Biles or Heather Morris.
How well do you think that Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater are going to do this season? Let us know in the comments below!