Penny was expected to be the second or third round pick but, in a surprising move, Seattle selected him as the 27th overall pick. He has the credentials to be a first-round pick but after being snubbed by the Heisman Trophy selection committee, his chances looked slim.
At the end of last season, Penny led the FBS with 2,027 rushing yards, 2,698 all-purpose yards and 168.9 rushing yards per game. He scored 19 rushing touchdowns while averaging 7.4 yards per carry. He also caught two touchdown passes, returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and returned one of his two punt returns for a 70-yard touchdown.
He was named Associated Press All-America first team, one of the highest honors in college football. Penny also was the first player to win two conference player-of-the-year awards, the Mountain West Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the year.
Throughout his playing career at SDSU, Penny was often compared to another Aztec great, Marshall Faulk. Last season, he broke Faulk’s school record all-purpose rushing yards in single game. So, it’s fitting that Penny is the first Aztecs running back to be drafted in the first round since Faulk was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1994.
Penny is the first Aztec to be selected in the first round in 20 years since Kyle Turley was drafted seventh overall in 1998 and only the ninth first-round pick in the program’s history.
This was the first time the Seahawks have used a first-round pick for a running back in the Pete Carroll-John Schneider era and the third time in the franchise’s history, the previous two were Curt Warner and Shaun Alexander. Penny is the eight running back selected by Carroll and general manager Schnieder.
Penny is expected to be an immediate starter for the Seahawks.
Editor’s note: An early version of this story erroneously had Faulk as the last Aztec chosen in the first round of the NFL draft. Times of San Diego regrets the error.
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