Cary-Grove's Pennington puts his hopes on the line at Arkansas
It's time for former Cary-Grove football star Tyler Pennington to hog the spotlight.
The preferred Arkansas walk-on is replacing the Razorbacks’ Jamario Bell after Bell broke his foot on Aug. 1, just three days into training camp.
Pennington replaces Bell as a backup linebacker behind senior Karl Roesler.
Pennington was a four-year starter for the Cary-Grove Trojans and holds the school record for career rushing. He had 5,161 rushed yards at Cary-Grove, taking the No. 15 spot on the Illinois High School Associations’ career list, and also scored 84 touchdowns.
Pennington chose Arkansas after not receiving any offers to play from other universities. At 5-foot-10 and 220 pounds, Pennington would usually be consider him too small to play linebacker, but with a little help from assistant coach Matt Ruhland -- a teammate at Iowa with current Arkansas coach Bret Bielema -- Pennington got his shot as a preferred walk-on with the Razorbacks.
“All I asked for was an opportunity, because I feel once I get anywhere I go I’m going to be able to prove myself and show people what I can do,” Pennington told the Northwest Herald after committing to Arkansas. “What better place to do it than the SEC West?”
The Razorbacks open their season at home against Florida A&M.