Big 12 offer is first for Riverside tight end

Even though he has yet to take a snap at the college level, Riverside TE Gus Penning (6-6, 245) already has his first offer and several other schools could be getting close to pulling the trigger...

"I got an offer from Baylor earlier today," Penning told "They had been showing me some interest and today they offered. Besides them, I have offers from Nebraska and Texas Tech told me they want to offer, but that they need to be sure about what type of prospect they are getting so they said they probably won't offer until they've seen a game or two this season."

As a freshman last fall, Penning redshirted at Grand Rapids Community College, but when the Raiders discontinued their program he decided to head west to play.

"My coaches back at home (in Michigan) told me that California has the best junior college programs," Penning said. "I had both Mt. San Antonio and Riverside that wanted me, but I chose Riverside because of the coaches and the program they have built here."

The first thing you notice about Penning is that he's an impressive athlete with outstanding size and 4.6 speed. He attributes most of his positives to playing wide receiver in high school.

"I never really played tight end in high school," Penning admitted. "That really helped me with my route-running and my receiving skills. One of the biggest adjustments for me was getting used to blocking, especially college defensive ends. That's something I never had to do before, so that's a big area of improvement for me and an phase of my game I'm focusing on."

Penning is on pace to graduate in December and he will have three years to play three wherever he ends up.

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