Jonathan Pennix Excited About Future At Virginia Tech

Jonathan Pennix
Jonathan Pennix recently committed to Virginia Tech. (@jonathan_pennix)

Jonathan Pennix
Wide Receiver, Class of 2023
Appomattox County, Appomattox, VA
5-11, 170

Thinking back to when he was in middle school, before he had played a snap of football, Jonathan Pennix had already thought about the college he would attend.

“Virginia Tech, that was a college dream,” he said. “I realized it’s a big deal, especially in the state of Virginia. It’s like Alabama to people in Virginia.”

But even after he’d become a sought-after football recruit, as Rivals.com’s No. 37 player in Virginia for the class, the Hokies weren’t a sure thing for Pennix. He had to wait, much longer than he had hoped, for the opportunity. But when it came, Pennix took it, as he committed to Virginia Tech on Oct. 13. Now he’s ready for the chance to make an impact at the school he’s long revered.

Pennix said he made a few inroads with the previous staff, under former coach Justin Fuente. He camped last summer in Blacksburg, but didn’t feel like his relationship with the Hokies had progressed. That changed when offensive line coach Joe Rudolph, his primary recruiter, told Pennix he was the best player he’d seen in the area.

Still, Pennix had to be patient, as an offer still didn’t come after he attended Virginia Tech’s junior day in January.

“I was a little mad at the time, but it was never, ‘I don’t want to go there,’” Pennix said. “It was, ‘I’m going to make them give me that.’ I went to camp and they said they were going to watch my first few games. They invited me to the Wofford game. After the game, I went to Coach Pry’s office and they offered me. It felt like we were on the same page. When he said I earned it, that it wasn’t given to me, that stuck with me. I earned it, I worked for it.”

It helped that assistant coach Fontel Mines watched Pennix’s film and also saw him play in August. Their communication increased.

“Coach Mines saw what I did offensively and said they needed playmakers,” Pennix said. “He’s a big reason why I committed. I love the energy he has, how he’s relatable. The whole staff is relatable. Coach Cheetah, Coach Pry, they’re all like that. Like 20 fans at halftime of the Miami game walked up to me and it just felt right.”

Pennix said he also considers more stability at a position key, too. He played both wide receiver and cornerback as a freshman, moved primarily to wide receiver as a sophomore, then separated himself a bit as a junior last season.

“My junior year, I took another step as the No. 1 guy on the team,” Pennix said. “This year was different, because a lot of guys are moving on, so I took on more running back and receiver and that’s where I took off. Teams are more focused on me. Coach Mines, he said they’ve got a lot of possession receivers, so that’s what they look for. They said they like that I’m a natural ballhandler. They like me there, lots of routes to get open.”

At the Miami/Virginia Tech game, which Pennix visited unofficially, he talked with Hokie commits Dante Lovett, Lance Williams and others. But he also spent time with his teammate and friend on the visit, Virginia Tech commitment Tavorian Copeland.

“We started playing football seriously and said this is what we wanted to do in sixth grade,” Pennix said of their pledges to the Hokies. “We’ve been brothers, grinding

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