Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Mike Pennel, DT, Colorado State – Pueblo
Mike Pennel was an under the radar guy that blew up after a tremendous JUCO career where he landed a scholarship to play for Arizona State. The 6’5, 360 pound defensive tackle only played in 5 games before transferring to Colorado State-Pueblo. The one thing you cannot teach Mike Pennel is how to clog a lane. The monster D-Lineman shuts down the middle of the field, which earned him an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. SENIOR HIGHLIGHT
How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?
Zero, I did not qualify out of high school!
Where did you choose and why?
Went to Scottsdale community college, chose it because the coach Doug Madoski had a vision for my future and I believed in it.
What were your goals for your senior year?
Get recognized, go undefeated, and change my mentality.
Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?
Met with lots of scouts, they love my size, athleticism, and potential.
At your position, what separates you from the others?
My aggressiveness, speed, and quickness.
Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?
The o lineman’s tendencies so I can capitalize on there weaknesses.
Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?
I honestly believe I haven’t faced him yet.
If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
Not graduating high school, coming out of junior college, and transferring from D1 to D2
What system fits your style of play the best?
I love the 4-3 but playing nose in the 3-4 works as well. I pride myself on my versatility.
What is your biggest strength?
Strength at the point of attack, my get off, and my film study before games.
What is your biggest weakness?
Technique would love to improve that.
If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?
I haven’t reach my potential yet, when I do I’ll be a top lineman in the NFL.
Growing up, who was your role model?
Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?
Kansas City Chiefs, I like Kris Jenkins and Deacon Jones. Love there style of “directed aggression”
What was the most tragic event that ever happened in your life and how did you overcome it?
Not playing at ASU, had some issues with the coaching staff. They made me feel like I wasn’t good enough to play football and it really had me depressed to the point where I wasn’t going to play football anymore. I overcame that by the support of my mother and family and transferring to Colorado State University-Pueblo. I was fortunate enough to get a fresh start and take advantage of it.
If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?
Kris Jenkins, John Randle, and Malcolm X
With your first paycheck what would you buy?
Whatever my mother wants. House, car, or clothes. Doesn’t matter she deserves it.
NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at email@example.com