Leon Pennington Update

Hallandale (FL) High School running back Leon Pennington (6-2, 220, 4.48) talked to Gene's Page about recruiting. Leon, one of the top running backs in the nation, has scholarship offers from Florida, Mississippi State, Ohio State, South Florida, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Temple, among others.

Leon Pennington interview.

I've heard Mississippi State is recruiting you. Is that true?
"Yeah, that's true."

Have you set up an official visit with them?
"Yes, on the 23rd (January)."

Are you still committed to Michigan State?
"I'm still committed to Michigan State. They are still my number one school."

What schools are you interested in?
"Michigan State, Mississippi State, South Florida, Oklahoma and Pittsburgh."

Do you plan on visiting all of those schools?
"I've got South Florida (1/9) and Mississippi State set up."

Have you officially visited Michigan State?
"Yes, I visited them on October 3rd."

Have you set up official visits with Oklahoma and Pittsburgh?
"I'm supposed to set up an official visit with Pittsburgh sometime this month."

When did Mississippi State start showing interest in you?
"Last spring. They were the first school to offer me."

What is your impression of the coach that is recruiting you, Coach Holliday?
"He is real cool. He is real down to earth and straight forward with you."

What did he say he liked about you?
"He said they saw enough film on me to know that I am a great combination of size, speed and quickness. He said I have a chance to be like (former MSU running back) James Johnson."

What kind of interest do you have in Mississippi State?
"I have a lot of interest in Mississippi State because they are in the toughest conference in college football. With them getting a new head coach, they should be in the limelight a lot this year. I can step in and play a major role for them and make a name for myself early."

Do you know much about their new coach?
"Yeah, I know he is a running back coach for Green Bay Packers."

Did you watch their playoff game Sunday?
"Yeah, I watched it."

Does their new coach enhance your feelings about them?
"That's exactly what got me back interested in Mississippi State because I like his style of coaching. I also know that he was the offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions. I like that about him. I think he is a good person and a real sharp person."

What will you look for when you go to Mississippi State on your official visit?
"I want to check out the atmosphere. I want to know I will be able to live there for four or five years. I know they have a high graduation rate, about 70% of their athletes graduate."

Academics must be pretty important to you?
"It is real important to my parents, too."

What are you going to major in?
"Probably Business."

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi high school sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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