"I hang out regularly with Matt Tucker who was my teammate in high school and Brock Osweiler and some other players on the team," Pennel said. "I also played with Josh Hubner last year. So obviously I know a lot about the program and the campus. It's a very aggressive defense. I love their defensive front and how the linebackers get involved because when they blitz the linemen get more on- on-one situations."
"I love the stadium; it's just like an NFL field. The weight room, the locker room, they are all great. I talked to (defensive line) coach Brown and I also got feedback from the players that he coaches. They all like him a lot and how he puts a lot of emphasis on technique. I saw how Junior Onyeali, who I know from back home, played last year and was freshman (Pac-10) player of the year and I like that. I like how coach Bryce is recruiting me because he always tells me like it is. "
As a freshman for the Artichokes last season Pennel registered 43 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and four sacks. His stats and the feedback he gets from recruiting coaches prove that his quickness is not comprised by his mammoth dimensions.
"Coaches do like my speed and explosiveness," Pennel stated, "but they say that I do need to work on my conditioning so I can consistently play on a high level on every play. I am comfortable at my weight and I run a 4.89 which is good for someone my size. I want to cut down my weight a little more so I can run a faster 40 (yard dash)."
Pennel was a non-qualifier out of Colorado's Grandview high school and was actually set to play for another junior college in the Valley of Sun.
"I was going to play at Mesa Community college but they were having some funding issues with their football program so things didn't pan out," Pennel explained. "When I met with the Scottsdale coaches they told me everything I wanted to hear and how they could help me take care of my academics and play at a good Division I school."
Arkansas was the first offer the lineman and Mississippi offered Pennel the same say ASU did. UTEP offered as well. Pennel added that North Carolina and USC have been pursuing him quite hard in recent weeks and feels that one or both schools could offer him as well.
"I've already been to Arizona State and after spring ball I am going to figure out my other visits to the schools that offered me so I can be familiar with them too," Pennel said. "I am planning to make my decision right before the season starts or in the first month of the season. Recruiting has been crazy for me but I know that I have to check out all my options. I'm not too overwhelmed with recruiting because my coaches have prepared me for this."
As someone who is already playing away from his home state, proximity doesn't appear to be an aspect that will heavily factor in Pennel's ultimate decision.
"I know my family said that they will come and show their support every game no matter where I play," Pennell commented. "I need to go to a program that plays a defensive system that suits me, and I want to a school that I can develop myself and have a good career after college. I want to have a good coach that will teach me good techniques that NFL scouts would notice because hopefully that's where I'm going to play one day."
Pennel is on track to graduate in December and is a three for two player in terms of eligibility.