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On Thursday, we profiled running back Mychale Salahuddin from Washington D.C. Today, we’ll take a look at another running back in Trent Pennix.
Pennix is listed at 6-foot-2, 200-pounds. He plays for Sanderson High School in Raleigh, NC. and is teammates with Virginia Tech defensive line target Alim McNeill. Sanderson is rated as a 3-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite and is a top-30 player in the state of North Carolina. Pennix has 14 reported scholarship offers, including offers from Boston College, UNC-Charlotte, East Carolina, Louisville, Maryland and Wake Forest.
Sanderson primarily operates out of the shotgun, meaning Pennix will be experienced with it when he gets to college. He runs outside and inside equally well, and is patient when it comes to using his blocks and finding the open hole. Once he gets to the hole, Pennix has great straight-line speed and runs with good balance. He won’t break a ton of tackles, but he’s elusive and can run away from defenders once he gets going.
Pennix can also catch out of the backfield, a trait that Justin Fuente and Co. covet. Virginia Tech didn’t get to run many screens out of the backfield last season, and are assuredly looking for running backs who can contribute as receivers as well. Pennix seems like a solid fit for Justin Fuente’s offense, especially if he can show he’s a capable blocker.
Minnesota was considered the favorite to land Pennix until Virginia Tech offered on March 2. Since then, the Hokies have put themselves in great position with the 3-star back. Pennix has yet to visit Blacksburg, but it would be surprising if he isn’t on campus in the spring. North Carolina has yet to offer and if they do, they could be a factor.
As we’ve said, there are several running backs that Virginia Tech is targeting in the Class of 2018. Jamal Elliott and Justus Woods are two of the Hokies’ top targets there, along with Marcus Caldwell and Chris Curry. Jalynn Sykes is also high on the Hokies’ board, and would be a boost to the running back unit. Despite signing two running backs in last year’s class (Jalen Holston and Terius Wheatley), the Hokies could once again take two running backs this year to bolster their depth moving forward.