After earning an offer earlier this month at Wisconsin's junior day, four-star tight end Kyle Penniston gave a commitment to Gary Andersen and the Badgers on Monday.
The 6-foot-4, 232-pound prospect from Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei is the second commitment in UW's 2015 class, joining three-star quarterback Austin Kafentzis.
"I just felt like it was the right fit for me," Penniston told BadgerBlitz.com. "I think athletically it's a great place to go, especially as a tight end and the way they help people get to the next level. And then academically, I looked at all my majors and Wisconsin has most of them. Academics played a huge role and I think I can grow socially with coach Andersen and coach (Jeff) Genyk. I think they can help me transition from a teenager into a young adult.
"I really think it was a great fit in all three phases."
Genyk, Wisconsin's tight ends coach, served as Penniston's primary recruiter. He was also in contact with defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a but broke the commitment news to Andersen on Monday.
"I talked to coach A before he went off on a trip," Penniston said. "I had a great talk with coach Andersen and he seemed pretty fired up. I talked to coach Genyk after that and he's known for a few days that I was pretty interested in Wisconsin. Coach Kauha'aha'a was in a defensive meeting but he got the news and was excited. The staff was excited about the decision."
Penniston chose the Badgers over offers from Florida State, Miami and Washington State. And while there's 11-plus months before now and Signing Day, he's fully committed to Wisconsin.
"There was no reason to wait and there's nowhere else I wanted to be," Penniston, the No. 7 tight end in the nation, said. "Wisconsin was always the school I wanted to go to and my family is behind the decision.
"I'm 100 percent committed to Wisconsin. If schools want to come in and talk, I'll listen. But Wisconsin is the place that I want to be."
Penniston and Kafentzis had a chance to work together in Madison this summer at UW's camp. The two give the Badgers a nice start on the offensive recruiting front in 2015.
"I talked to Austin and he was trying to get me to commit early," Penniston said. "I told him that I wanted to take my time, but I'm really excited to get working with him -- he's a heck of a player. I'm excited for our future together."
Wisconsin will likely look to sign at least one more scholarship tight end in the current class along with Penniston.
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