Athlete Rashad Jennings is paired with Emma Slater on the show this season and the duo is said to be performing the Cha Cha for their premiere episode routine. In his career, Jennings has played for the NFL as part of the Oakland Radars, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Giants. Most recently, Jennings is a free agent, so he definitely has time to put into performing well in the ballroom. In an interview with Giants.com
, Jennings talked about how he got involved with sports, explaining that: I did a 180 in my life – an overweight, chubby kid with glasses and asthma, I had to figure something out. I was 270 in high school riding the bench saying, ‘I want to play in the NFL.’ I had to make a commitment in my life to change that around and it’s unique, because I get to sit back and look and where I’m at today because of some small decisions and it’s humbling.
Throughout his career, Jennings has dedicated games to his father Albert, who suffers from diabetes and had both legs amputated as a result, according to ABC
. Jennings talked about his father to the Giants, saying: My father has diabetes and he ended up getting both of his legs amputated. He doesn’t have legs, so I remembered that I do have them, so I played that way. You’ve got to find a different motivation outside this game to push you. Simply playing football, playing to my best ability is how I say, ‘Thank you,’ to God for giving me this talent.
In addition to his family, Jennings is dedicated to his faith and believes in the power of Jesus Christ. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)