Tennessee struggled mightily on offense in 2017 for plenty of reasons, and losing one of its top playmakers in the first half of the season certainly did the Vols no favor.

The season-ending wrist injury to Jauan Jennings was a blow for an otherwise unproven receiving corps, and the former four-star prospect from Murfreesboro, who began his Tennessee career as a quarterback, was unable to build upon his breakout sophomore season after stepping into the No. 1 receiver role after Josh Malone left early for the NFL.

Though the injury to Jennings against Georgia Tech opened the door for Marquez Callaway to step up and save the Vols on that night in Atlanta, the absence of its most proven and talented wideout hurt Tennessee's passing game last season, and the Vols will be glad to have Jennings back on the field in 2018.

According to Athlon Sports, he's the No. 42-ranked wide receiver in college football in 2018.

Jennings jeopardized his career with some of his behavior last season, most notably to profanity-laced video he posted on his Instagram page days before the 2017 season finale against Vanderbilt, which led then-interim coach Brady Hoke and then-athletic director John Currie to dismiss him from the program.

Once Tennessee turned the page to coach Jeremy Pruitt and athletic director Phillip Fulmer, though, Jennings expressed his interest in returning to the Vols and his remorse for his mistakes, and he's been in the good graces of the program all offseason.

Jennings was forced to sit out spring practice after having his knee scoped in the winter, but he's expected to be pretty close to 100 percent for the start of preseason camp on Aug. 3.

That's excellent news for Tennessee's offense, according to Athlon, which included Jennings in its preseason receiver rankings and wrote the following about Tennessee's talented-but-temperamental star.

Jennings is on track to return to Tennessee’s receiving corps in 2018. The talented Tennessee native played in just one game due to a wrist injury and was later removed from the team in November. As evidenced by his 2016 totals (40 catches for 580 yards and seven scores), having Jennings back on the field would be a huge boost for the Volunteers.

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Jennings is one of 10 SEC wide receivers on Athlon's list, which also includes AJ Brown (No. 1) and DK Metcalf (No. 33) from Ole Miss, the South Carolina tandem of Deebo Samuel (No. 4) and Bryan Edwards (No. 28), Alabama's Jerry Jeudy (No. 23), Auburn's Ryan Davis (No. 30), LSU's Jonathan Giles (No. 31), Georgia's Terry Godwin (No. 38) and Missouri's Emanuel Hall (No. 41).

Tennessee will face the No. 2- and No. 21-ranked wide receivers on Athlon's list in West Virginia's David Sills and Gary Jennings in the season opener between the Vols and Mountaineers on Sept. 1 in Charlotte.