Penn hopes to get some looks late

Nasty offensive linemen are always a hot commodity for OL coaches and one of the biggest and nastiest of the bunch in the California JUCO ranks this past season was Santa Monica's Ronald Penn (6-3, 340). The big man, who hails from the Evergreen State, will be a late graduate and that's had some teams holding back their interest, but he's hoping to convince them to take a chance on him.

"At the coaches convention earlier this month, my coaches handed out over 20 tapes to different schools," Penn told recently. "They've been working hard to promote me and let everyone know I'll be qualified during summer school."

Penn prepped at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington and had some trouble qualifying.

"I actually had planned to give up football and just start working, but my dad knew I loved to play the game and he told me about JC football," Penn recalled. "In Washington they don't have JC ball, so I had to come down here to play and my dad knew some of the Santa Monica coaches so I came down here and I've been having a lot of fun.

"When I got here I had some classes that didn't work, so I had to retake some stuff early on and that's why I'm not going to be done until summer.

"A few schools talked to my coaches about me, but when they found out I wasn't going to be done until the summer they said they needed to go in a different direction."

So far, Penn has gotten looks from Arkansas State and Jackson State, but he's hoping to make a return to the Northwest.

"Washington, Washington State, Oregon State and Oregon all got my tape at the coaches convention," Penn said. "I'd love to go back up there and play and I might even consider walking on up there if the situation is right."

Penn benches over 400 pounds and has quick feet, according to his coaches, but his biggest asset as a player is his nasty style of play.

"I played tackle last fall, but I'm a guard," Penn said. "I like being more aggressive and pulling. I don't think there's anyone in JUCO football that can pull like me and when I get to the edge, it's about pounding someone into the ground and making them not want to be on the field with me anymore."

Wherever Penn ends up, he'll have three years to play two.

We'll continue to follow his progress and update things as they change.

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