Earlier this spring Manvel running back D’Vaughn Pennamon famously called SMU’s junior day better than TCU’s. But SMU running backs coach Claude Mathis’ affinity for Pennamon’s game also has him highly interested in SMU.
“They are just telling me that I have a chance to come in and be a baller,” Pennamon said. “I can come in and be good. He (Mathis) said he feels like I’m ready now, which I think is awesome.”
Pennamon likes the other aspects of SMU too, especially the distance from home. He’d like his parents to see him play, especially if he becomes the force the SMU staff thinks he can be.
“I like the campus, and just being able to get up there. It’s not too far away from home, that’s a bonus. My parents could come see me play,” Pennamon said.
Linebackers coach Archie McDaniel made the four-hour drive to Manvel to catch Pennamon at his spring practice, but Mathis told Pennamon he wants to see him practice as well. The junior running back visited USC’s spring game and Houston’s junior day in addition to SMU and TCU’s junior days. He said SMU’s junior day ranks with a lot of schools’ junior days, not just TCU’s.
“It’s pretty high,” Pennamon said. “It was really good, it was a good experience to get up there and they have a lot to offer. Coach Morris is a great coach too. Just how it was run and how organized it was, it was really simple and that made it really nice for me.”
Pennamon plans to release his top schools at the end of the spring and commit shortly before the start of his senior season. He has offers from SMU, TCU, Arkansas, California, Houston, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Tennessee, UCLA, Utah, Louisville, Colorado, Colorado State, Purdue, Maryland, Washington State and Louisiana Tech. He said Arkansas and Tennessee are the schools recruiting him the hardest, with “SMU being a close third.” Two of those are really getting his attention.
“Arkansas and SMU are definitely catching my eye,” Pennamon said.
Manvel’s spring practices kicked off a couple weeks ago, but Pennamon won’t practice every day. Instead, he spends his springs on the track running relays for the Mavericks.
“I don’t get the full spring season because I have track, so it’s kind of tough since I only get work out two days a week,” Pennamon said. “After the area meet, we were officially ranked number one in the nation in the 4 x 400.”
Pennamon is 6-foot and 207 pounds.