NC State landed a big-time in-state commitment last Friday when Raleigh (NC) Sanderson athlete Trent Pennix committed to the Wolfpack coaches. Pennix was on campus earlier that day with his family and that trip sealed the deal.
"I was talking to coach Doeren about it, and I really felt like the time to do it was now," said Pennix. "I've been to NC State for a lot of practices and games, but we finally started going in-depth on the school recently. That was big for me... I talked with the academic staff while I was there, and I spoke with AD Debbie Yow. A lot of good information was given out and that was important to me."
Pennix had over 20 offers from a variety of programs such as Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Maryland, and Louisville among others, and he admitted that early in the process he was leaning towards Virginia Tech. However, a talk with Doeren left an impression on him.
"Coach Doeren really talked about how important it could be to stay in-state," said Pennix. "Coach Doeren talked about how if you leave the state you may get homesick and look to transfer back closer to home if things aren't working out. So for me, I thought about it and I really wanted to stay close to my family. My family supported me throughout the process but deep down I know they are happy with me picking [NC] State."
After his visit he called the coaches back Friday evening to inform them of his decision.
"They were fired up," said Pennix, laughing. "Coach Doeren said he was happy that I'm going to be a part of the team and he can't wait for me to get there. Coach Kitchings was happy about it too. That made me feel even better about it."
NC State was one of the last schools to offer Pennix, but that didn't seem to matter much to him, as he said a recent visit put the Wolfpack in strong position. A few weeks ago he made an unofficial visit with Sanderson teammate Alim McNeill and the duo spent time with NC State commitments Ricky Person and Devin Carter.
"It was great being there with Ricky and Devin... we were all talking about State," he said. "I'm really good friends with Alim as well... he's my teammate and I've known him since the sixth grade so we have great chemistry. That whole day we were having a good time and getting a feel of what State is about. That visit was definitely big for me."
At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Pennix is a dynamic athlete capable of playing multiple positions. He could line up at tailback, wide receiver, or H-Back on offense, and defensively he could play safety or linebacker. How does NC State plan to utilize his talents?
"I believe they want to start me out at running back, but I can play a lot of different spots," he said. "They mentioned how they use Jaylen Samuels as a possibility, but really they are recruiting me as an athlete. I play a lot of different positions and they may try to move me around."
Pennix doesn't plan on enrolling early but is happy to have his recruitment behind him.
"It's stress relieving," he said. "There was a lot going on with coaches hitting me up every week, but I narrowed it down as the weeks went by until I came to my decision. I'm really happy about it. I can just play football now and finish out my senior year."