Lawrence High linebacker Jon Penny, an all-Class 6A and all-Sunflower League performer for the Lions, has decided to walk on to play football at perennial power Nebraska.
Penny, a 6-foot-1, 220-pounder, visited Nebraska last Tuesday and made up his mind shortly afterward.
"I had sent them tapes after signing date (on Feb. 5)," said Penny, the Lions' leading tackler last season. "They liked them, I guess. And I sent them more full-game tapes."
Penny said the Cornhuskers will have 20 walk-on spots available instead of their normal 40. He will receive preferred walk-on status.
"Nebraska showed me the most interest," Penny said. "They really treated me well. They play a 4-3 defense, and maybe someday I could play in the middle.
"I'll for sure redshirt next year and maybe in a year or two I may play some special teams. By the time I'm a junior and senior maybe I'll get a backup spot. Time will tell. Through hard work, I hope to contribute to the team."
Penny will report to Lincoln, Neb., in early August. NU coaches want Penny to gain 15 to 20 more pounds.
Kansas, Baylor and Kansas State were among other Big 12 schools showing interest in Penny.
"They were kind of recruiting me and I didn't get a scholarship," Penny said of KU. "Nebraska appealed to me. I liked KU and coach (Terry) Allen. They'll be successful."
Before reporting to Nebraska, Penny will play in a couple of all-star games in Australia and the Kansas Shrine Bowl this summer.