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July 23, 2012Gus Penning said on Sunday night he could commit to Baylor within the week. Turns out, the Riverside (Calif.) TE needed less than 24 hours.
Penning called the Baylor staff around 7 on Monday night and made it official: He has committed to Baylor, giving the Bears 18 members in the 2013 class.
"I'm kind of relieved that I finally found a school and I don't have to worry about finding a school anymore," Penning said. "I'm also overjoyed. Three to four months ago I didn't know if i'd get a scholarship offer or have the chance to play college football."
Things did happen pretty quickly for the Grand Rapids, Mich., native. Though he hasn't played a down of JUCO football yet -- he redshirted in 2011, his lone season at Grand Rapids CC, before transferring to Riverside -- college scouts noticed him this spring.
Baylor was the first to offer, and though San Diego State followed, he liked Baylor from the start. A visit to Waco this past weekend confirmed his thoughts. While visiting Baylor, he told the Bears' coaches he'd like to graduate this December so he can enroll for 2013 spring practices.
"Before I left, I told them I'd try my best to get out," he said. "I'll probably have to take over 20 hours during football season, but i'm going to try my best.
"It's looking good right now."
Penning said his family is "really excited" for him, partly because he'll get to continue his football career, and partly because of Baylor's academic reputation.
"Playing on Sundays might not be for everyone," he said, "so Baylor will definitely give me a good degree."
Asked if he could tell Baylor fans anything, Penning didn't hesitate: "It's an honor to play for them," he said, "and I look forward to making them proud."