Commitment Date: 9/27/15
Commitment in the Class: 17th
Accolades: Rated the No.19 cornerback in Florida, No.47 in the South and No.132 in the country ... first-team all-state by Associated Press as a senior ... finished his senior season with 57 total tackles, 4 TFLs, 2 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for touchdown ... also averaged 7.8 yards per carry while rushing for 125 yards and a touchdown ... caught 10 passes for 293 yards and 3 TDs ... first-team all-state as a junior and second-team all-state as a sophomore, helping University Christian (Jacksonville) to consecutive Class 2A state titles ... also lettered in basketball and track and field.
Recruiting Story: With 16 scholarship offers to choose from, including five from power five conferences, in June 2015, Pennamon got to the point where he was ready to start thinking about his commitment. He settled on a top three: local schools Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech and Wisconsin.
“Basically they are the ones who are showing the most interest out of all the other schools,” Pennamon said. “What I like about Georgia Tech is they are good education wise, have a good fan base, good football and the coaches really get the best out of their players. Georgia Southern is an all-around good school. Everything is perfect with the weight room, school tradition and anything you name.
“I like Wisconsin a lot. I’ve always liked Wisconsin. I like their colors, their tradition and that they care a lot about their football. They are football crazy up there. Those are the three schools I am focusing on from now on.”
Former defensive coordinator Dave Aranda handled the recruitment, selling him on the opportunity to play together and compete for every playing time. Having seen both Georgia schools, Pennamon took an official visit to Wisconsin for its primetime game against Hawaii in late September. Admitting he went into the weekend thinking the Badgers were going to be the right fit for him, Pennamon’s official visit confirmed his thinking.
His recruitment wasn’t quite over, however. After Aranda left and former UW co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Chris Ash was hired at Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights offered Pennamon the beginning of January. While maintaining he was firmly committed to Wisconsin, Pennamon took an official visit to Piscataway, NJ, to check out Rutgers to make sure he was making the right decision. Shortly after the visit, he declared he would sign with Wisconsin.
Why Wisconsin? “I love Wisconsin. The tradition of the school is amazing. The fan base, the facilities, academic department, all of that draw my attention. Then when I met the players and the coaches, it was a bullseye then. Wisconsin just fits me well and it's where I want to be.”
Scouting Report: Pennamon is a speedy all-around athlete who stars in the return game. Pennamon is a hard-nosed defensive back that does a good job of wrapping up and driving through his defender. He has no problem coming up in the box and getting his nose dirty in the run game, but also does a good job of getting his hands on the receiver and knocking them off their route.
Although he's slated to perform on the defensive side of the ball in Madison, Pennamon is a slippery athlete on offense that has the speed and elusiveness to pile up yards in a hurry. This hard-hitting and versatile playmaker is always looking to hand out punishment, and possesses some nice upside heading into his collegiate career. – Scout’s Florida recruiting analyst Corey Bender
Coach’s Quote: “He’s an inside-outside guy. I see him as a nickel, and you know how much we play nickel in the Big Ten and in the scheme. He can also be a boundary corner and can play safety if he needs to. If you have a chance to talk to him, he’s a very neat kid. His smile is contagious a little bit. He enjoys playing the game of football, and anyone who enjoys playing the game of football is a good start to being a fit at Wisconsin. He’s good at basketball, too, so you try to get that guy who is a dual-sport athlete who plays both sides of the ball. What we’re looking for on the defensive back end we felt he fit.” – Former Wisconsin defensive backs coach Daronte Jones
BadgerNation Prediction: The first of three corners to sign with Wisconsin, Pennamon will get an opportunity in fall camp to compete for some playing time, although it appears a redshirt might be the most likely option. Wisconsin has had success with smaller cornerbacks coming out of Florida (Antonio Fenelus and Sojourn Shelton, especially) and this should be no different, as Pennamon has the ball skills, athleticism and quickness to compete at the highest level.