“Our team, we did good this year,” Brandon Pendergrass said of his 2007 season. “We went 11-2. We made it to the regional finals and got knocked out. Me, I had right at 1,500 yards on 150 carries with 18 touchdowns.”
Pendergrass’ Royal Palm Beach High School team was virtually unstoppable this season on offense. They averaged over 30 points per game, mostly on the ground with Pendergrass and Wisconsin-bound running back Zacchaeus Brown leading the way.
Pendergrass expects to be able to carry over his success from high school to the next level. “Looking at the offense [at Wake Forest,] I think I fit in great with the scheme with zone reads. That’s my strong point is seeing the holes and being able to hit it. Me as a back, I’m 5’9, 195 right now but I see myself as a complete back that can run outside, between the tackles, up the middle. I can pound it in and I play like a big back with speed.”
Though Pendergrass believes he can run well between the tackles and to the outside, there is no player in particular whose game he tries to replicate. “There’s nobody I try to model my game after,” he said. “I want my game to be mine and my style. From coaches I talk to, a lot of people say I run with a style like Emmitt Smith and O.J. Simpson.”
While Deacon fans should not expect Pendergrass to come in and be Emmitt Smith or O.J. Simpson, Wake Forest fans can rest assured that they are bringing in a very impressive running back.
“I was 1st team All-Conference, 1st team All-Area, All-Area player of the year, and the Lou Groza award winner as the best player in Palm Beach County,” Pendergrass said when asked what awards he won. Pendergrass beat out a host of big-time college prospects including Damien Berry, Johnnie Dixon, J.B. Clark, Ernest McCoy, Deonte Thompson, Nick Provo, Tyler McDermott, Tarus McKinley and others to win the Lou Groza award for the county.
Though he beat out a number of Division-I prospects, schools have not been pounding at Pendergrass’ door – for the most part because he has let everyone know that Wake Forest was the school for him. “Schools talk but I pretty much made it known my commit was as solid as you can get. For the most part, they respected that and didn’t come hounding me.”
Pendergrass will sign with Wake Forest on signing day and enroll at Wake Forest over the summer. “I’m going to get up in the summer for the second summer session,” Pendergrass said. “I know Coach Grobe likes to redshirt everyone but I want to get up there and learn. I want to learn about the offense and learn the plays. I want to learn and condition.”
Pendergrass will likely redshirt his first season, but Wake Forest fans can expect to see big things from the 5’9, 195-pound back. “They can expect to see a lot of good things from me,” Pendergrass said of Wake fans. “I don’t want to say anything in particular, but I’ve got my mind made up that I’m going to make a mark while at Wake Forest.”