McDERMOTT — Mohawk fans won’t have to go too far to see one of their soon-to-be graduates play on Saturdays in the fall.
Northwest senior Aaren Penn became the most recent member of the Mohawk football program to sign to continue his education and football career at Otterbein University.
Otterbein — located in Westerville — is a NCAA Division III member school, which competes in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC).
Penn said at his signing he felt Otterbein was the place he felt most comfortable — and would also give him the best chance to succeed in the classroom and on the field.
“It’s truly a great experience and I’m really excited. I think Otterbein and myself are a great fit — excited to show my skill set at the next level,” Penn said. “I know I’ve got a lot to improve, but I truly think the coaches at Otterbein will help push me to succeed to the best of my abilities.”
Penn was an all-Southern Ohio Conference Division I member during his senior season at Northwest — and was named to the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association (OPSWA) all-Southeast District Division V first team as a defensive lineman.
The Otterbein coaching staff — led by head coach Tim Doup — saw Penn’s qualities as a front-seven difference-maker, and extended an offer to become part of the Cardinals program.
“Because it’s a 3-lineman defense, they think I can play at linebacker or as a down lineman. They think I can be pretty lethal in keeping the quarterback contained and keeping the run down,” Penn said. “I was able to go on several visits, one of which I was able to meet with the players. They were really welcoming and I felt like I fit right in. The coaching staff really cares about who you are as a player and a student.”
In addition to his four seasons as a part of the Northwest football program, Penn was a track athlete for four seasons, a four-year powerlifter, and competed on the NHS shooting sports team his senior year.
Penn plans to major in Mechanical Engineering upon enrolling at Otterbein this fall.
“It’s a blessing having friends and family that have been truly supportive through the whole process,” Penn said. “They’ve kept on me to make sure I ended up playing at the next level and I can’t say enough about them.”
The Northwest senior said he’s going to remember his time as a Mohawk football player with extreme fondness — as he prepares to begin the next chapter of his journey.
“Extraordinary time, experiences I’ll never forget till the day I die,” Penn said. “Building bonds with friends and it’s helped mold my character to where I am today. Football is a sport, but it’s been and will keep being a part of my lifestyle.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved