When offensive lineman Kevin Pendleton (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Lee’s Summit West), a transfer from Lincoln College Prep in nearby Kansas City, Mo., was given his LSW football gear, he was given a specific jersey number. Teammates laughed, and the newest member of the team didn’t understand why.
“I arrived in August, and when I got my game stuff, one of the coaches threw at me No. 77,” Pendleton said. “Everyone started saying, ‘You got the number.’ I looked in the gym, and there’s a huge poster of him. He had on the jersey. I got the joke.”
The “him” Pendleton referred to was Evan Boehm, a 2012 LSW graduate who just finished his freshman season at Missouri. On Wednesday, Pendleton verbally committed to Missouri and continued the trend of LSW offensive linemen wearing No. 77 moving on to Missouri.
Pendleton’s pledge gave Missouri seven commitments for 2014, and he's the first lineman to pledge in this class. The 6-foot-4, 328-pound prospect -- a tackle in high school expecting to play guard in college -- chose Missouri over an offer from Memphis and interest from Nebraska, Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa and Northern Illinois.
“Being the home state, that was huge,” Pendleton said of Missouri. “As a kid, you go and get that Madden game, and you play with Mizzou. I’ve made three visits, and I loved it every time. It’s always been great. The coaches are great, and the fans through social media have been really supportive.
“I didn’t have to think long about it. I was ready to wrap this up.”
Pendleton was recruited to Missouri by quarterbacks coach Andy Hill. Pendleton’s father Maurice played at Missouri in the 1990s before sustaining an ACL injury and ultimately transferring to Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Because he was at a different school, Pendleton didn’t get the opportunity to know Boehm until recently. Now he considers Boehm a big-brother type, someone he has been able to call about anything on his mind.
“I first met Evan at our [Kansas City] Staley game [in August],” Pendleton said. “Getting to know him from the recruiting process has been great. I did wrestling for the first time this year, and he was a state champ at West. That’s where we really clicked.
“We got in the weight room together and really connected. He’s been pushing about Mizzou jokingly, but he’s helped me with whatever questions I had.”
Pendleton said the Tigers are going to use him at guard and not at tackle primarily because of his ability to pull. Academically, he said the decision was easy, as Missouri has a solid business program. He’s expecting to major in business.