Iowa Native and UNI Alum Penning Makes History in First Round
The first night of the NFL Draft had a ton of storylines, from the wide receiver frenzy to the big trades that took place. One under the radar story was that of the UNI Panthers, who had their first ever first-round pick when Trevor Penning was selected by the New Orleans Saints.
Throughout the draft process, Penning was considered a 1st or 2nd round pick, and the Saints made the former a reality by selecting the Panther tackle at 19th overall.
Penning, a native of Clear Lake and Newman Catholic High School, makes history as the first ever Panther to be drafted in the first round.
Teammate and standout Spencer Brown, who also was considered a possible first round pick in the 2021 draft, fell to the third round (93rd Overall) and is now excelling as a member of the Buffalo Bills.
Per an article at unipanthers.com:
His first-round selection tops Brad Meester's second-round choice by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2000.
Here's a little more on Penning from the official site story:
Penning has the accolades to prove just how "good" he is, including earning first-team All-Missouri Valley Football conference recognition during the 2021 season. That same year, he was also named a finalist for the Walter Payton Award which distinguishes the most outstanding offensive player in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
Penning signed with the University of Northern Iowa after graduating high school in 2017. He was a redshirt for his first year, meaning he took the season off of playing games to train. During the 2018 season, he saw action on the field in four games. Finally, in the 2019 season, he played and started in all 15 games.
Penning will look to bolster the Saints offensive line, and help the team improve on a 9-8 finish to last season.