Ramsey named captain for remainder of 2019

In the days following a win at Maryland, Tom Allen began discussing an idea with his coaching staff.

Down one captain because of a season-ending injury to Coy Cronk, Indiana could use another leader-in-title on the field. And there was one very obvious choice — a player who led despite a title being taken away from him.

Peyton Ramsey, last year’s starting quarterback, was demoted in fall camp but stuck around to back up Michael Penix Jr. He more than proved his value on the field during wins at Maryland and Nebraska. And when the Hoosiers head to Beaver Stadium this week, Ramsey will not only be the starting quarterback but a captain.

But just because he wasn’t a captain before doesn’t mean Ramsey hasn’t been a leader.

“He’s just proven himself over and over in this program,” Allen said Thursday after announcing Ramsey’s new title. “I just think that’s something he’s earned and is very worthy of. I just feel like those kinds of guys, the buy-in, all the things he does off the field, the way he trains, the way he prepares, the way he works in the weight room in the offseason, is infectious to this program.”

This is another honor for Ramsey in a season that says as much about his character as his play on the field. Heartbroken at the end of fall camp when the redshirt freshman Penix was awarded the quarterback job, Ramsey has gone on to play in seven games this season, steadying the Big Ten’s No. 1 pass offense.

Allen said he met with Ramsey about the captainship before it was even known that Penix, who suffered a right sternoclavicular injury versus Northwestern, would be out for the season. He also told the redshirt junior to be prepared for the next team meeting.

“I said ‘Hey, when I announce this, they are going to give you a standing ovation.’ I never said a word to the team and sure enough, when I announced it, they just woosh,” Allen said, recalling the Hoosiers’ collective reaction. “Because I just know what they think of him. So it was pretty, pretty awesome.”

Allen said in the team’s preseason vote Ramsey was just a tier below the four who were selected, including Cronk, senior guard Simon Stepaniak, senior linebacker Reakwon Jones, and senior receiver Nick Westbrook.

Cronk has still been a part of the Hoosiers’ quartet for the coin toss, but he’s been sidelined by an ankle injury since Week 4 versus UConn.

“With Coy going down, we really kind of lost that fourth guy on the field,” Allen said. “I had actually met with (Ramsey) before I found out Michael was going to be out. Just felt like that he’s earned it.

“He’s a guy, we go through and vote and everything, he was the next guy on the list of votes, and just felt like the way he’s handled everything and the way he responded, especially when that first time at Maryland, when he had to come in at a critical time and play at a very high level without even knowing he’d be out there.”

In the Maryland game, Ramsey threw for 193 yards and a crucial, late first-half touchdown. He then exploded for 351 yards in the win at Nebraska, adding 108 yards in mop-up duty versus Northwestern.

For the year, Ramsey has completed 72 percent of his passes for 1,302 yards and nine touchdowns. He has just three interceptions.

Allen also updated Penix on Thursday, saying the redshirt freshman will be able to travel with the team.

“I had a really good meeting with him this week, one-on-one, and just kind of going through and talking to him about just, hey, it’s just life, it’s how you handle all this,” Allen said. “It’s hard and we are going to take him on the trip with us (to Penn State). I think that’s important to continue to keep him around our guys. He’s able to do that.”

Penix finished the season with 1,394 yards and 10 passing touchdowns, completing 68.8 percent of his throws.

The next step for the 6-foot-3, 202-pound lefty, who had to be pulled early from three games in 2019, is an obvious one.

“Right now it’s a matter of letting it heal up and, hopefully, I feel very confident he’ll be 100 percent by spring ball,” Allen said. “But we gotta also not just heal. We have to get stronger, get bigger, and get ourselves where we keep growing and developing. That’s part of the next step for him.”

2 comments

  1. Good idea. PR has earned team respect, regardless, Team should realize his importance regarding this year’s success.

  2. This the right move and a good one naming Ramsey a captain. It is clear the team respects him and believes in him. I hope he can provide some magic to get the Hoosiers a win at PSU.

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