Potential second-generation Jets made moves on National Signing Day
Twenty years later, Pennington and Becht might still be responsible for big gridiron scores.
Cole Pennington and Rocco Becht, the respective sons of former New York Jets stars Chad and Anthony, were among the many athletes who committed to a new college on National Signing Day. Cole is following in his father’s footsteps as a quarterback at Marshall University while Rocco is headed to Iowa State, also as a passer.
Pennington and Becht are best known for manning the Jets’ offensive endeavors at the turn of the century, each coming to New York as first-round picks in the 2000 draft. The tight end Becht caught eight touchdowns from Pennington, including one in the postseason during the Jets’ 2005 Wild Card win over San Diego.
Now, their sons are moving forward with their own football careers, making their college decisions on Wednesday.
— Marshall Football (@HerdFB) December 15, 2021
One of the proudest moments of our life @RoccoBecht. Your mom and I can’t wait to watch YOU fill the pages in the next chapter of your life. You’ve been blessed…we’ve been blessed. Cyclone nation take care of him💛🌪❤️ @CycloneFB https://t.co/v32wPoErRr
— Anthony Becht (@Anthony_Becht) December 15, 2021
Cole, a pro-style quarterback at Sayre School in Lexington, Ky., previously committed to Marshall in June and also had offers from Ball State, Akron, Eastern Kentucky, and Tennessee-Martin. He’ll have some big cleats to fill, as his father departed Huntington as the Thundering Herd’s all-time leader in all major passing categories.
Nonetheless, the elder Pennington believes that this is a prime opportunity to forge his own path rather than just simply serve as Chad 2.0.
“Congrats (Cole)!! Mom and Dad are so proud of you!” Chad wrote in a celebratory tweet. “This is not a path to follow; it’s a new trail to blaze. Go Be You!!”
Marshall is coming off a seven-win season and will face off against 23rd-ranked Louisiana in Saturday’s New Orleans Bowl (9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Meanwhile, Rocco hails from Wiregrass Ranch in Zephyrhills, Fla. The pocket passer also received offers from West Virginia, Wake Forest, Bowling Green, Florida International, and Eastern Kentucky, as well as Ivy League schools Harvard and Columbia. He previously committed to Ames in April and was named the Quarterback MVP of Rivals.com’s Five-Star Challenge over the summer.
Congratulations to today’s Quarterback MVP at the @RivalsCamp Five-Star Challenge, Iowa State QB commit Rocco Becht @RoccoBecht @williamseals | @WilsonFootball | @EvoShield | @XenithFootball pic.twitter.com/wxc2b5qL69
— Rivals (@Rivals) June 17, 2021
“Your mom and I can’t wait to watch YOU fill the pages in the next chapter of your life,” Becht wrote in his congratulatory post. “You’ve been blessed…we’ve been blessed. Cyclone nation, take care of him.”
Iowa State is likewise destined to partake in the coming bowl festivities, taking on Clemson in the Cheez-It Bowl in Orlando on Dec. 29 (5:45 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags