Orange Coast College running back Robert Penny was named the Southern California Football Association Southern Division’s Offensive Player of the Week after dominating the game against Long Beach City College.
Penny rushed for 608 yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman in the Pirates 2010 season and is currently eighth among all Southern California running backs in rushing yards.
As a freshman, Penny earned second-team, all-conference honors with his solid play for OCC.
In the classroom Penny, 22, is a business major and on the field he is a 6-foot 210-pound football player who focuses on running the ball.
Penny came to Orange Coast and played for the 2010 season with the Pirates and was second team all conference. He took the next year off to focus on his classes then this season as a sophomore he says he has achieved a good balance with football and his grades, he said.
His teammate, 20-year-old defensive back and criminal justice major Clay Guess, said Penny has a lot of offer OCC.
“We’ve known each other since 2010 as freshmen starting on the sophomore team and we both decide to red-shirt for the 2011 football season ,Guess said. “He’s doing good. He’s one of the premier backs in the league always on top of the charts and hopefully I will play against him in Division 1 someday.”
Penny was born and raised in Norwalk and lives in Los Angeles County. He and his 19-year-old brother, who also attends OCC, carpool to school everyday.
“I said this to him a few years ago that it’s a little difficult for him to get here but that is the level of commitment we don’t often see,” Pirate running back coach Steve Fullmer said. “He comes from a family that is very talented and his brothers are following in his footsteps. I’d be happy to have them if they play here.”
Penny attended Norwalk High School and led the Lancers to the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. He held the rushing record with a total of 1,280 yards and 14 touchdowns on 140 carries for a 9.14 yards-per-carry his senior year at Norwalk.
Penny has set an example for his brothers and sister in pursuing his education and playing football.
“My mom gave me a real good image of my self and how she is proud of me going to college and staying focused and not giving up on what I want to be in life,” Penny said.
Penny’s friends see positive things in his future.
“His drive and passion to become a great inspires the whole running back group,” freshman running back and business major Graeme Fraser said. “Off the field he is a good friend and I feel if I ever needed something he would be there for me. Ultimately, I view Robert Penny as a great player but an even better friend.”