Florida RB Chooses Michigan State

Michigan State has always recruited the Sunshine State very well and that hasn't changed under new head coach John L. Smith. The Spartans recently received a verbal commitment from Hallandale, Florida running back Leon Pennington Jr.

Leon Pennington Jr., a 6-foot-1, 220-pound running back from Hallandale, Florida has given Michigan State his verbal commitment.

Hallandale Head Coach Bob Wood had this to say about Pennington.

"Leon is a bell-cow type of running back," said Wood. "In our last game, Leon carried the ball 40-times for 168 yards.

"He (Pennington) committed to Michigan State and he'll be a running back up there for them. Michigan State runs a lot of one back sets and that's what we run down here.

"Leon also knows (former Hallandale star) Greg Taplin up there so he felt comfortable on his visit. Leon transferred to Hallandale from (Ft. Lauderdale) Dillard and there are a bunch of Dillard kids at Michigan State as well."

Pennington said that his junior season was his break-out year and the reason he received so much attention in the recruiting circles.

"I transferred here (Hallandale) after my 9th grade year." Pennington said.

"I came out for spring ball as a sophomore and won the starting tailback job. My junior year I rushed for 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns and that's when I knew I had a chance to play D-1 football."

Why did Leon choose Michigan State?

"I've been wanting to go there (MSU) since I was a kid. I've always loved the football team and the tradition at Michigan State.

"I wanted to play in the Big Ten conference, the facilities at Michigan State are incredible and I also liked the academic center and facilities. I also loved the atmosphere and I just feel comfortable at Michigan State." Pennington said.

Pennington has been fighting through injuries in 2003. He missed three games due to injury but has still managed to rush for 1,000 yards.

Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Florida, Kansas State and Central Florida all offered scholarships. Is Pennington done looking around or will he take a few more official visits?

"I think I'm done," said Pennington. "I might visit Florida because that's where my daddy went to school but that's about it.

"I had an official visit set up with Ohio State (12-5) for the first weekend in December but I think I'm going to cancel that visit."

Pennington made his Michigan State official visit during the first weekend in October.

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