As the unofficial recruiter for the University of Wisconsin, Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei tight end Kyle Penniston has kept busy since committing to the program in late February.
He's active on Twitter reaching out to prospects, sending text message, making phone calls and even giving a recruiting pitch in person to prospects close to him.
Needless to say, Penniston has been pleased that he's had a small part in contributing to an ever-expanding recruiting class of quality football player and high character guys.
"It's coming together real nicely now," Penniston told BadgerNation. "It's really cool that we have kids from all over the country. We have kids from New Jersey in the Northeast, the Southeast, kids from the West and the South. It's cool that we're hitting all different parts of the country and we all have the same goals."
Penniston was on campus earlier this month for Wisconsin's high school summer camp and started to build bonds with his future teammates. He hung out at length with quarterback Austin Kafentzis, offensive linemen Jon Dietzen and David Moorman and defensive end David Pfaff, meeting with the coaches, watching the camp and going out to eat with his classmates.
From coast-to-coast conversations over social media to selfies around Madison, Penniston couldn't help but be excited about the future prospects.
"A lot of us have been joined at the hip," said Penniston. "I hung out with Austin from 10 o'clock in the morning to 10 o'clock at night. A bunch of us hung out like that. We did a lot of stuff to just bond and be welcoming to the new commits. It was really fun to hang out with the guys whether they were new commits or old commits. Being with the group was a lot of fun because you can see the team chemistry."
There were a lot of commits to celebrate with, as the group's dinner reservations got bigger as the weekend progressed. While the group of previously committed players was on campus, Chris Orr, Sam Madden, Nate Howard and Brandyn Lee all committed, while David Edwards and Mohamed Barry, who both visited over the weekend, committed after returning home.
"They are a lot of great guys," said Penniston. "Sam is the most down-to-earth kid I've ever met, and I look forward to getting to know him. Brandyn was awesome. I met with him and Coach Andersen, and I think he'll be a perfect fit here. He plays for a great team back at home.
"We met with Nate, who was very humble and very open. We knew coming into this weekend he was a sleeper, so we got on him and we're happy he committed. He's a great athlete, person and is social. Chris, we've been on him for awhile, so I'm glad he pulled the trigger. It was great to talk to him. It was a really productive weekend."
While he didn't camp when he was in Madison, Penniston instead chose to spend his time getting to know the other assistants on Wisconsin's coaching staff who he hadn't directly met through his recruitment. He also got to meet some incoming 2014 prospects, like offensive lineman Jacob Maxwell and wide receiver George Rushing, to get their takes on the program.
"Coach Andersen and I have really grown and he appreciates all the recruiting we as a class have been doing," said Penniston. "I know Coach Genyk really appreciates me helping him in Michigan with Moorman. Right now I am helping Coach Chad out (on the West Coast) with any kids that he needs. I'll reach out to kids and gauge their interest about becoming a Badger, and I've had a couple kids reach out to me."
Since committing to Wisconsin, Penniston picked up offers from Louisville and Oklahoma, while garnering interest from many other schools. He still plans to enroll early at Wisconsin to get a jump on the college playbook and feels he's benefited in the long run because he hasn't had to concern himself with the stresses of the recruiting process this summer.
"It's helped me keep tunnel vision (and my) eyes on the prize," said Penniston. "My big goal is to have a really good senior year. I want to win state. I really want to exceed my team goals and my individual goals.
"That's my first priority, but I am really excited to get here with my future team and my future coaches."
Having a hand in helping Wisconsin put together an impressive recruiting class nearing the halfway point, Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei tight end Kyle Penniston sees an impressive group of guys who get along really well with one another.