116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR FALLS - Brothers on the same Northern Iowa football team has been quite common in recent seasons.
Jake and Jared Farley shared one season together (2014) as Panthers, while AJ and Trevor Allen (2015-2018) and Xavier and Jaylin James each shared three (2015-2018).
What's uncommon about UNI's latest pair of brothers - Trevor and Jared Penning - is not that they play the same position. The Farleys and Jameses did, too. It's the fact both are starting on the Panthers' offensive line and lined up next to each another at left tackle and left guard, respectively.
'It's definitely an advantage, because I feel like we both know where we're going to go with the block,” Jared Penning said. 'When we're double-teaming we both have the same demeanor about it. It is a little different, because I haven't played next to him ever, but I'd say there's definitely chemistry there because we're brothers.”
Off the football field, the classic brotherly competition thrives.
The two played a lot of one-on-one basketball during the summer and neither admits one is better than the other. In the weight room, Trevor out-benches Jared, but Jared has the edge at the squat rack.
When the pandemic shutdowns began and the two were confronted how to train and stay in shape - like the rest of the team - the brothers moved quickly, buying a weight rack, plates, barbell and everything else to turn their home garage in Clear Lake into a weight room.
'We'd lift there for about an hour-and-a-half. After that we'd do some position drills (and) conditioning. We'd do that like five times a week,” Trevor Penning said. 'Just really grinding. Work on our online school, eating (and) getting the right nutrition.”
Trevor admits he wasn't sure how his mom kept up with the grocery bill while they lived at home all summer, but enjoyed the steaks and lasagna. Jared made sure to mention mom's taco casserole.
Once school and athletics began to open back up late in the summer, the two made their way back to Cedar Falls and Jared began his journey to win the spot at left guard - despite having only played tackle throughout his career.
'I feel like he's more confident there. He's really a mauler. He likes to punish down linemen,” Trevor said. 'When we do that it's definitely fun. It's a lot of weight going down on one guy and getting up to the second level. It's fun to double-team.”
Combined the brothers deliver 659 pounds on defenders whenever they team up for a double-team.
With their second game on Saturday at Youngstown State, the two are eager for more of those double-team opportunities, but more than anything looking forward to the opportunity to register their first win while starting next to each other.
'We've just got to execute our technique better. We were not even close to what we want to be (last) Friday (in a 24-20 loss to South Dakota State),” Trevor said. 'We're just putting our head down (and) working. Flush the past. We're focused on getting the little things right.”