Now that it has one half of its Mavel, Texas, Dynamic Duo in the fold, Arkansas is hoping it can get Flip-tastic with the other.
Manvel linebacker Jordan Carmouche (6-2, 230) committed to the Razorbacks on Saturday night while on his official visit.
He was joined as an official visitor this weekend by his teammate and Ole Miss pledge D’Vaughn Pennamon (5-11, 212, 4.45), one of the nation’s top tailbacks.
“I just had a really great time just connecting with the coaches and the team,” Pennamon said upon the conclusion of his official visit. “I really feel like this is a pretty good place.
“The fan base is great, the atmosphere is lovely, the weather feels good even though it was a rainy weekend. It’s all good.”
He singled out the best part of the trip.
“Just connecting with the coaches and the players like on a one-on-one level,” Pennamon said. “That’s really big with me connections and relationships.”
Obviously, Razorback fans are hoping Carmouche’s commit will sway his teammate to come to Arkansas.
“I mean, I don’t know,” Pennamon said. “It’s a long ride. I’m really happy for him because he’s one of my closest friends on the team. So it’s really big for me. He told me last night before he did it so I was kind of excited. That’s really good. “
Elaine Winn, Pennamon’s mom, accompanied him on the visit and was wowed.
"Everybody is just so amazingly friendly and they make you feel at home,” Winn said. “We don't get to see trees of color at home. The trees, mountains, all of it, just an amazing experience.
"…The visit was very nice. The atmosphere was great and the people are very friendly. The education department of the program is amazing. I just loved everything about it. I had a great time."
Winn made it clear she would be fine with her son ending up at Arkansas.
"I would be totally on board and be down here everyday,” Winn said.
Pennamon spent time this weekend with three friends - Denzel Evans, Taiwan Johnson and Will Sykes - that are Razorbacks and also from the Houston area.
“They were just talking and saying I should do it (commit),” Pennamon. “Then it was like just think about it and talk to them about and keep them updated and then just let them know. Just roll along with it.”
Pennamon, who got an offer from Alabama earlier this week, doesn’t plan to take any more visits for awhile.
“Right now, no,” Pennamon said. “This is my first one. I’ll probably schedule one a little bit later in the year, but right now I’m just going back to focusing on football. “
He got a chance to see Arkansas’ Alex Collins rush for a season-high 173 yards and five touchdowns.
Collins now has 960 yards rushing this season as he looks to top the 1,000 mark for the third straight season.
“Alex had a big day,” Pennamon said. “Three years of 1,000 yards. That was amazing He had a really good game. Five touchdowns is a lot. You don’t get that everyday. Running the ball isn’t a problem so I like it."
Pennamon, who got an offer from Alabama earlier this week and now has over 25 of them, is averaging 13.5 yards per rush this season for a team that is 8-1 and has been destroying its foes.
He has rushed 58 times for 785 yards and 12 touchdowns and has 15 catches for 140 yards and two more scores. Pennamon says he has bonded with Arkansas running backs coach Jemal Singleton.
“He and I have a really good relationship,” Pennamon said. “His personality and my personality are kind like the same. We mesh really well. I like that and it’s stuff to look at.”
Pennanmon, who had six carries for 96 yards in his team's 65-10 win over Pasadena Memorial on Thursday. likes the vibe of the Arkansas coaching staff.
“Once again they’re family-oriented and about making me a better player and not just on the field as a person and a young man to get better,” Pennamon said.
Winn noted that Pennamon wants to major in athletic training.
“He wants to go into the physical therapy part of it,” Winn said. “They have a very good program him. We got to talk to some people that were actually in it. I think this will be a good fit for him."
Winn remembers a time when Pennamon almost gave up football.
"I am very proud of him,” Winn said. “He came a long way. I remember the time he was like, 'Mom, I don't know if I want to play football.' He cried and he cried. I told him you started it you have to finish it. I never thought he would blossom into the player he is now."
That happened very early on in his life.
"Pee wee, middle school. It just seemed like that I would wake it up to practice and he was like, 'I don't want to run.' Then he would cry and then I thought about taking him out. But, I didn't want to raise him up to be a quitter. It has turned out good for him."