It didn't take the University of Wisconsin football coaches long to make the decision to offer a scholarship to tight end Kyle Penniston, from Santa Ana, Calif., and Mater Dei High School. Penniston was going into his junior year of high school last summer when he attended one of the Badgers' three-day summer camps. "I thought it was interesting," Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson said in a phone interview on Tuesday, after Penniston said he will sign with the Badgers Monday night. "They called me right off of the field (during camp) and said, 'We're going to offer this kid.' "I said, 'That's great news, but I didn't know Wisconsin offered 10th-to-be-11th-graders.' There was a long pause. I knew they probably didn't realize that, in all of my years as a head coach, Wisconsin had never offered a kid that early, that I was aware of -- especially a California kid." The Badgers had recently been pushing up the recruiting process, in part to keep up with everyone else. Guard George Panos was the first player to commit to the 2014 class as a sophomore in April of 2012. But he was an in-state recruit from Hartland Arrowhead. The Badgers have traditionally gone after the top in-state players first. The first five commits in the recently signed class were all state players, although defensive tackle Craig Evans wound up decommiting and signed with Michigan State. In the case of Penniston, it was easy because UW was always where he really wanted to go. Although Rollinson said he rarely talks about recruiting with his players, when it came up with Penniston, the conversation kept going back to UW. "It's the perfect fit," Rollinson said. "When a kid knows in his heart, whether it's the Badgers or the Trojans or the Irish, what a great scenario — if that's the school he wants to go to.
Coach says UW is 'perfect fit' for tight end recruit Kyle Penniston
Wisconsin State Journal | Feb 19