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February 12, 2012
On the field, St. Louis (MO) athlete Aarion Penton is a take-charge playmaker.
So, it only made sense for him to be proactive when he came to his recruitment.
Penton, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound athlete, arrived in Columbia on Saturday for Missouri's Junior Day. At the time, Penton didn't have an offer. Missouri's coaching staff began expressing interest in him during his junior season. He led CBC with 40 catches for 842 yards and 13 touchdowns, and added 51 tackles and two interceptions on defense.
But, an offer hadn't materialized. Despite that fact, Penton took charge.
"It felt like there was a lot of love there," Penton said. "There was a lot of attention toward me. I spoke with all the coaches, and they saw my highlight tape and said they liked everything about me. I thought it was a good place to be."
Penton talked with his recruiting coach, Cornell Ford. Ford asked Penton what he thought, and Penton didn't mince his words.
"I told him I loved it. I loved the school," Penton said.
Soon, Penton talked to head coach Gary Pinkel. He was even more forthcoming.
"I told him I wanted to be a Mizzou Tiger," Penton said.
Penton committed before even receiving an offer. Immediately, however, Pinkel did offer, and Penton's recruitment began and ended in one conversation.
Penton said he's grown up a Missouri fan, so the decision was easy. He was born in Columbia, but lived in Memphis, Tenn., before moving to St. Louis. Penton said he still has family in the Memphis area.
"I've been in Missouri most of my life, though," Penton said.
With his decision made, there's only one choice left for Penton. He needs to decide on a position. Missouri is recruiting him as a cornerback or a slot receiver, but is leaving the choice in his hands.
"I can't decide right now if I want to play offense or defense," Penton said. "I told them I'll play whatever position helps the team."
While Penton's speed and agility make him an electric athlete, he said his best quality on the football field is his desire.
"I always give 110 percent," Penton said. "I'll do whatever it takes for my team to be successful."
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