Kyle Penniston recently took a Midwest swing to three Big Ten schools and it was definitely worthwhile for the Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei tight end.
The 2015 prospect started at Ohio State where he met with coach Urban Meyer and tight ends coach Tim Hinton among others. The Buckeyes did not offer but Penniston said it was a positive trip and he'll keep the Big Ten powerhouse in mind moving forward.
"Ohio State really liked me," Penniston said. "Coach Hinton and I did a lot of things together. They brought me in during the last day and I did a workout with one of the quarterbacks. Urban Meyer came out and watched me. That was cool.
"After the camp was done they wanted me take a tour. I saw all the facilities, the weight room and all the different fields. I got to sit down and talk with them about the academics and what it takes to be an Ohio State student-athlete. He wants me to call him once every few days. It was definitely positive."
Penniston then drove from Columbus to Northwestern where he worked out, chatted with coach Pat Fitzgerald and toured all the facilities. He was especially impressed with Fitzgerald's message and the location - being so close to Chicago is a big draw for the 2015 standout.
"I went to the camp and I wanted to do better there but I guess I did pretty well," Penniston said. "They play more of a hybrid tight end and I really like their coaches. I did pretty well in one-on-ones.
"I got to meet coach Fitzgerald and they knew about the athletics but academics is huge at Northwestern. I really like how coach Fitzgerald holds your academics at a very high level. His primary goal is to actually develop you as a person.
"I toured around Evanston, saw the campus, saw the facilities, they're putting in a brand-new building on Lake Michigan so that's being constructed now. The campus is pretty small but it was kind of cool to see how close it is to Chicago."
The Midwest trip finished up at Wisconsin where Penniston worked out with new quarterback commit Austin Kafentzis.
Penniston talked a lot with tight ends coach Jeff Genyk, offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig and liked the offensive structure in Madison. No offer but Penniston, who also visited USC in the last few weeks and already has an offer from Florida State, is excited about the future.
"I really like coach Genyk," Penniston said. "He used to be at Cal so it was a really good camp. We were out there throwing and there were a couple other quarterbacks.
"It was good. They're going to keep talking to me. I talked to coach Ludwig and we'll keep in contact with the tight ends coach and he really liked my film. Being a tight end at Wisconsin you have to be a good blocker and that's hard to find."