Penix should be “full-bore” by spring

On his radio show Wednesday, IU coach Tom Allen said redshirt freshman quarterback Michael Penix Jr. should be “full-bore” for spring football following a right sternoclavicular injury.

Penix was injured in the Northwestern win, and he had what Allen termed an “exploratory” surgery on the Monday following the game. At that point, the Hoosiers hoped Penix could return.

“That was a big disappointment for both himself and us,” Allen said. “Really didn’t know. We kind of went through and had to do a procedure. We kinda thought it was more exploratory and felt pretty good about him being back in a week or so.

“That proved to not be the case. It was a lot more serious than they thought. But he’s already gotten that taken care of. We get him back and he’ll be full-bore by spring ball and ready to go.”

Penix’s surgery was one of several mentioned by Allen during the radio show. Allen also brought up that freshman defensive back Josh Sanguinetti has been sidelined by a prior shoulder surgery.

Allen’s son, linebacker Thomas, also just had a shoulder surgery following an injury in the Nebraska game. The redshirt sophomore will be out six months, Allen said. This is his son’s third surgery.

“Life hits you in the gut,” Allen said. “You have to keep fighting on.”

Whitehead gets another year

Allen also said redshirt senior Haydon Whitehead has been granted a sixth year of eligibility.

The punter from Australia is listed as a redshirt senior, but he’s in his third season with the Hoosiers. His debut season was as a “sophomore” in 2017, but his previous institution didn’t offer football, which gave IU grounds for an appeal.

Whitehead, who will turn 25 in July, was an Australian Rules Football player for 15 years prior to training with Prokick Australia and making his way to Bloomington. He’s currently a nominee for the Ray Guy Award, which goes to the nation’s best punter.

For the year, Whitehead has landed an FBS-high 36.1 percent (13-of-36) of his punts inside the 10-yard line. He’s also averaging a career-high 41.9 yards per punt with six 50-plus yarders, including a career-long 65-yarder.


  1. Good news about the injuries and it will be great if Penix can be full bore in the Spring. With so many players coming back in 2020 that season could be very good with great shots to beat the top programs in the B1G especially in the East.

    Coach Allen is building a very good roster and our S&C staff are doing a very good job building up the bodies of our players. Another year of S&C and our team will be bigger and faster. I hope IU can hold on to their assistants and keep the staff together for 2020 and beyond.

    1. 2020 size should be significant. But mental toughness and fire tested experience will be apparent from any angle viewing the field. I put great value on results leveraged by a determined state of mind. No matter the task, job or goal. It’s taken near 10 years for IUFB to develop a measurable amount.

  2. Played rugby for fifteen years? How old is this guy? Born July 12, 1995 according to the roster on the IU website, he’ll be twenty-five when he starts his sixth year of college, er, “eligibility.” Not exactly George Blanda, but still.

  3. Exploratory surgery? With the quality of today’s medical imaging technology, especially the new high powered MRI technology available, I am surprised that any surgeon would need to perform exploratory surgery to determine the extent of a problem with any bone, joint or connective tissue. It probably was not the best day for the radiologist who provided the report. Either that, or they need to upgrade their MRI.

    I had no idea that your Mr. Allen has had three shoulder surgeries. Those are usually most difficult to recover from. I hope he makes a full recovery and gets to finish out his career without any other significant injuries. He’s one of the better tacklers on IU’s defense.

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