Athlete Spotlight: Jalen Penn

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Athlete Spotlight: Jalen Penn

Jalen Penn (#95) playing in Mercer football game against Furman.

Jalen Penn (#95) playing in Mercer football game against Furman.

Jalen Penn (#95) playing in Mercer football game against Furman.

Jalen Penn (#95) playing in Mercer football game against Furman.

Aliyah Dorsey, Contributing Writer

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Senior Jalen Penn is a defensive end for Mercer’s football team. He has been playing football since he was 8 years old.

Penn is from Kennesaw, Georgia and is a double major in Management and Marketing as well as a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated.

He remembers the first game he played with Mercer football in 2014. He describes it as being “really exciting” with a packed stadium.

Penn says he chose Mercer specifically because it was the most academically rigorous of the schools he was choosing between.

“That was the selling point, I guess you could say. That was the most important point to me when making a decision about what school I wanted to play football at…how valuable an education I was gonna get,” Penn said.

Penn is very close with his position coach, Kenny Baker. He considers him a mentor, and they talk regularly about football and life in general.

“He’s bought into me you know. He’s been my coach all four years, and I’ve been lucky enough to really develop a really good a relationship with him you know, and he’s seen me grow.”

He said that having Baker as a coach is even more rewarding because of how close they are and that it makes playing for him more fun.

As he wraps up his last year with Mercer football Penn said, “This is the year of lasts.”

“You think about that and you start running out of lasts and they start meaning more and more to you,” he said.

Penn said he attributes his success to staying humble and always striving to be the best he can be.  

Penn has played in nearly every game this year and said it’s a tiring experience.

“I can definitely feel the effects of playing this much. I keep telling everybody I’m getting old now. You know out of those other guys that come before me, I never thought I’d be the one who’s got all the old man aches and pains.”

He is still adjusting to the spotlight as he said, “People look up to me now…that’s different.”

After graduating, Penn plans to work for a marketing firm in Macon and gain experience in his field.

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