OU tackle to skip senior season

By John Helsley Published: October 26, 2006
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NORMAN -- Defensive tackle Carl Pendleton will skip his senior season at Oklahoma.

Not for the NFL, as so many college players are wont to do.

But for graduate school and family responsibilities that include caring for his 10-year-old brother Kierstan.

Pendleton has recast his priorities, since taking legal guardianship of Kierstan last summer, providing a home while their parents sort through a difficult divorce.

“With the new responsibility of raising my younger, brother I realize that football is not the best choice for me,” Pendleton said. “Football was a way for me to get my education. Graduate school will allow me to further my education and allow me more time to spend raising my brother without having to play football.

“He has become my center.”

The transition to graduate school became easier today when it was announced Pendleton will receive one of nine $18,000 Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarships from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame awarded to players on the Division I-A level.

Pendleton had struggled with the thought of giving up his football scholarship, which supported he and Kierstan.

Now Pendleton will play out this season, graduate in December, then move on to the next phase of his life.

“I wasn’t really sure about the decision of not playing next year,” Pendleton said. “I really needed some confirmation, and if $18,000 doesn’t confirm it then not much does. The ability to take care of school and spend more time with Kierstan is really a big thing.

“I think he was more excited than I was. He was dancing around saying, ‘Isn't that like 18-grand?’ So, yes, it's big.”

Pendleton, a 3.86 student in sociology with a minor in religious studies, will be honored with other recipients at the 49th Annual Awards Dinner, a black-tie affair at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria, on Dec. 5.

Then it will be back to Norman to complete his undergraduate degree and begin thoughts of graduate school at OU and of being more available for Kierstan, a fifth-grade student at Lincoln Elementary in Norman.


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The Carl Pendleton File

Honors
Jay Meyers Outstanding Student Athlete Award, 2003
Big XII First Team Academic All-American, 2005
Big XII First Team Academic All-American 2006
Participant in the 2006 NCAA Leadership Conference

University Involvement
Football Team Student Athlete Advisory Committee, 2003-05 Criminology Club (monthly)
Fellowship of Christian Athletes President (weekly)
Jesus Week Committee Board Member (weekly)
University of Oklahoma Cheerleading Squad, 2004

Community Involvement
Volunteer at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital (monthly)
Tutor and volunteer Washington Elementary (weekly)
Sunday school teacher, 3rd & 4th Grade Boys, 2004-2005
Sunday school teacher, 5th & 6th Grade Boys (weekly, Journey Church)
Motivational speaking to schools across Oklahoma (twice weekly)
Speaking to churches and youth Groups (weekly)
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Oklahoma
FCA Director of Community Christian School (twice monthly)
FCA Summer Sports Camp Huddle leader, 2004-2005
Junior Sooner Sports Camp Volunteer, 2004-2005

2006 NFF Post-Graduate Scholarship Recipients
Division I-A

Brian Daniels, University of Colorado, OG, Finance, Superior, Colo.
Rhema Fuller, University of Connecticut, DT, Finance, Cocoa, Fla.
Jay Henry, West Virginia University, LB, Finance / Accounting, Tulsa
Chris Leak, University of Florida, QB, Sociology, Charlotte, N.C.
Brian Leonard, Rutgers University, FB, Labor & Employment Relations., Hailesboro, N.Y.
Carl Pendleton, University of Oklahoma, DT, Sociology, Sapulpa, Okla.
Paul Posluszny, Penn State University, LB, Finance, Aliquippa, Pa.
Joe Thomas, University of Wisconsin, OT Business, Brookfield, Wis.
John Wendling, University of Wyoming, S, Business Administration, Rock Springs, Wyo.

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