Penix pushing for starting job at IU

Michael Penix enrolled early at Indiana with a clear objective.

The freshman quarterback wants to assert himself as a contender for the starting job when IU’s spring practice opens on March 3.

Penix, a former Tennessee commit who chose the Hoosiers over Florida State and hometown South Florida, has been on the IU campus since the spring semester began early last month.

The past few weeks have served as an acclimation process geared toward helping the newcomer from Florida adapt to school, workouts and the Indiana playbook with the hopes of staking a claim to first-team reps during the course of the coming months.

“Coach (Tom) Allen told me when I came in, it’s going to be an open competition,” Penix said. “He has nobody at the starting spot right now. It’s going to be an open competition. We’re all competing day-to-day, workouts, running. We’re always competing and whenever we get on the field, he said it’s gonna be a competition. Whoever wins that spot is gonna be who’s playing.”

Penix, of course, wants to be that guy.

Earning the job will be his objective.

The Florida southpaw will face challenges from fellow in-house candidates Peyton Ramsey, a rising redshirt sophomore, and Nick Tronti, a rising redshirt freshman.

Ramsey, a BTN.com Big Ten All-Freshman honoree, completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 1,252 yards and 10 touchdowns with five interceptions during the 2017 season, making four starts for the Hoosiers during the middle of the season.

Ramsey and Tronti are athletic options at the position, as is another incoming freshman, Reese Taylor, who could see time at quarterback when he arrives this summer.

Penix threw for 61 touchdowns with six interceptions in 24 games as a starter at Tampa Bay Tech and also ran for 16 scores during his high school career. He describes himself as a pro-style passer but is willing to run when opportunities arise.

“I always look to pass first,” Penix said. “I want to get the ball into the playmakers’ hands. I want to make everybody else look good before I make myself look good, because I know it’s a team sport. I always try to get the ball to my teammates and, if nothing’s open, then I’m going to run the ball.”

Penix was a late pickup for the Hoosiers, who secured his commitment on the first day of the new early signing period on Dec. 20. Adding a quarterback in the 2018 class was a priority for Allen, who has also explored the possibility of bringing in a more experienced option, be it a junior college quarterback or a graduate transfer, in the coming months.

The Hoosiers are extremely young at quarterback, with Ramsey the most experienced player of the bunch. So the number of competitors inside the upcoming quarterback battle may yet continue to grow by the start of fall camp in August.

“It’s really hard to say (if we add an older quarterback),” Allen said. “But with the age of that group, there is some common sense to that, for sure. I’d say that’s the logic at several positions.”

The familiarity between Penix and the members of IU’s coaching staff stretches back a few years. Offensive coordinator Mike DeBord held the same role at Tennessee when the Volunteers originally offered Penix in June 2016. Penix had been committed to Tennessee from April 22, 2017, through Dec. 13, before deciding he wouldn’t mesh with new Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt’s staff.

At one point in December, Indiana sent a handful of coaches to visit Penix in Florida, offering an opportunity to become a Hoosier and compete for early playing time.

“It showed me that they cared,” Penix said. “It showed me that they really wanted me. I felt good about that.”

During the buildup to spring practice, Penix is aiming to add weight to his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame. It’s all part of a process he hopes will have him ready to compete for starting reps in short order.

“I feel like I can be a big factor now,” Penix said.

54 comments

  1. I’ve got a good feeling about this young man. He was very successful at a very high level of competition and he figured into the plans of some top programs. He appears to communicate well.

    Hope springs eternal.

    1. Chet,

      I am in agreement with you on this. I like what I am hearing from him. If your going to be the Quarterback, you cannot shrink from any challenge including battling for the starting position. Like you the caveat with IU football always is, “hope springs eternal.” Kind of like we all were every spring for the Cubs. Then amazingly, it actually turned out to be true!

      I am old enough to remember the ’67 season very well and up to that point it was pretty much the same as now. Maybe lightening can strike for IU football twice, we shall see. I do however, like this young man, especially how well he has performed against Florida level high school football. Can’t overstate the difference in competition level between kids coming out of football hotbeds as opposed to other areas. Night and day difference.

  2. Hope, springs eternal at IU fb (bb has become that way also). Penix has to beat out Reese Taylor. Both, are 3 star. Penix is an excellent get for IU. Both, will be better than P.R. or anything IU has now. Reese Taylor will find his way onto the field in some capacity. Don’t be surprised if it is not at qb. Maybe, both will play qb. If Penix had gone to FSU or even Tennessee, how much would he have played? Especially, first 2 or 3 years. At IU he has the possibility of starting as a fresh…then there is 5′ tall Reese Taylor.

  3. Exactly, t. Much better chance to start, and start sooner, at QB challenged IUFB. The mystery is why other QB prospects don’t see it that way. Although it’s been said that it’s better to ride in the back of a Cadillac than drive a beater VW.

  4. Yes, later one was Tommy Stevens/Decatur Central a high 3 star who decommitted from IU to go set on the bench at Penn State (even though I am sure he thought he would be a star there). He still will have one year of eligibility after McSorely is through next year. Still not a sure thing. Franklin has put in a few packages (very few) for Stevens. What position has IU really lacked? Quarterback and Stevens would have probably been a good one at IU that would have created a 7 win season or two and maybe a little better. He may have been looking at a pro career possibility by now. Of course all this is barring injury. Attendance might be in the 50000 neighborhood just on this one deal.

  5. Don’t they all think that they’re going to be the star, wherever they go? And all think they’ll be in the NFL? Older and wiser, we know what a long shot that is, but these kids have been reading their own press clippings since they were in eighth grade (which is not the fault of eighth-graders). Driving the beater VW might make more sense in terms of getting into the NFL; if you don’t play they can’t scout you. I don’t think NFL personnel personnel miss too many players just ’cause they played at lousy or small-time programs. I glanced at the 2017 draft and in the first two rounds players were taken from W. Mich. (x2), W. Kentucky, Temple(x2), So. Alabama, Ashland (Great Lakes conf., had to look it up), and E. Carolina.

  6. Can’t disagree with you thinking on this. One of the better QB’s in IU history was Trent Green. Don’t remember who all was recruiting him when he signed with IU, but he came anyway. Had a good college career and got noticed by the NFL. Had a long career in the pros and with the exception of an unfortunate injury could have been the QB of a Super Bowl winner instead of his backup. Some guy named Warner.

    These kids need to understand the odds are against them if they are a 3 star going to a Penn State. They might have the luck of fate like Trent Green and Kurt Warner, but again the odds are against them. The photo in a Penn State uniform might look good to Tommy Stevens 30 years from now. Only problem is there will be very little dirt on it and not because of great pass protection. If your playing there’ll be some dirt on the uniform.

    1. I remember the preseason game when Green got hurt and Warner stepped in. He was 13 for 13 at the time. He fit perfectly into the Mike Martz offense.

      So did Warner.

  7. Penix looks to have the most potential. No one else has size, arm strength and athleticism but most have 2 of the 3. Payton Ramsey looks like the least talented but he’s really accurate and love his leadership qualities. This group is a big step up from when the backups where guys like Nate Boudreau and Danny Cameron. At least all these guys have potential to develop into good college quarterbacks. I wouldn’t be surprised if 1 if not 2 end up transferring. All these guys could start for a non Power 5 school. Reese Taylor will get some plays next year- he’s too talented to not use. But his small size probably keeps his play count limited to 10 or less per game.

    1. I agree with Penix having the most potential, but I wouldn’t relegate Reese Taylor to just a few plays per game. I see his talent being much more useful in an Antwaan Randle El, Steelers type role. Not that Randle El wasn’t at times a great college quarterback, he just got beat up so bad virtually carrying the team on his shoulders most of the time. That is not how you want to use such athleticism long term. A well developed strategic role is much more effective at the college level and at the next level such as was used with Reggie Bush, especially when you may have a very good QB in Penix.

      What would be a lot of fun, especially if successful, is Penix at QB with Taylor rotating in and out forcing the defense to account for both every 2 or 3 downs. A very disruptive proposition for opponent defenses for the next few years. There are all types of play sets which could be developed for Taylor based on his multiple skills. Penix becoming a dominant QB and both playing to a high level could present a Defensive Coordinator’s nightmare.

      Obviously, with IU Football hope springs eternal. However, if a lot of other things offensively were to occur, it could be interesting.

  8. It is good to have a freshman QB withthe approach Penix is taking but IU has two QBs in front of him that will not be easy to beat out. Ramsey has been a 65% passer as a HS Qb and IU’s QB. Tronti was Mr Football in Florida with a 130 QB rating while he completed 66% of his passes; threw for 5756yds with 59 TDs – 9 INTs and 27 rushing TDs in his final two years of HS. Penix had a 114 QB rating while he completed 54.7% of his passes for 4243yds with 61 TDs – 6 INTs and 16 rushing TDs in his final two years. I didn’t put Reeses impressive stats because he has said he wants to play defense. The only stat much different is ave rushing yds with Penix #1 10.0 ave, Tronti #2 5.5 ave, and Ramsey #3 with a 2.5 ave.

    We all fall in love with the new QB but HS stats show they are similar in talent. This will create good competition and whichever one comes out to start will be a solid B1G QB. I am looking foward to the Spring Game to see how each of the three play. Last year Ramsey showed he could step in and this Spring may show Tronit or Penix ready to challenge.

    1. v13, Could not agree more. As high as I am on Hoosier talent Reese Taylor I just don’t see him getting much Frosh playing time at QB. If he should see 15-20 opportunities then it could be ‘Katie bar the door’ for 2k19. I do see he and Tronti closely related in talent and skills. But Tronti with the advantage of size and the years maturity is my pick to win the QB job. If not at the start of of the season then sometime during. Certainly Ramsey will be a strong personality in the QB room but I believe his future at IU is as a sideline leader. Would not be surprised to see him be the 1 to transfer. Just better younger stuff challenging.

  9. personally, I think it is a stretch to say all three QB are BIG 10 Quarterbacks…..we have yet to see Tronti or Penix take a snap in a BIG 10 regular season game. As for Ramsey, maybe a good team leader (but the question is still, wait and lets see), but lacks the arm strength to be a BIG Ten regular starting QB. An what makes everyone think Tronti is this savior when Tronti could not beat Ramsey out last year??? If this coaching staff is serious about building depth and building the roster, they should redshirt Penix, and go out an grab/seek a grad transfers or JC. There is no way (from what i witness last year) that Ramsey is a five or six game win quarterback…An my guess is Tronti is not either. There is no gimme games on the IU schedule this year (i.e. ILLINOIS). Personally (looking on paper), I think Penix will give IU the best chance to win in the future…strictly because he seems more athletic. But, we have to wait an see how Tronti and Penix perform on the BIG Ten stage.

  10. Great discussion, guys. I think a combination of several key factors contribute to weather a QB makes it or does not make it. Assuming that at a certain level of competition (i.e., Big Ten Conference) all QBs have to have a minimum amount of talent (arm strength, accuracy, mobility, etc.), then it becomes a matter of the philosophical fit between the QB and the coaching staff. That “fit” determines the QB’s comfort, which determines the amount of confidence that the QB develops. I think we witnessed that in last night’s Super Bowl game. Nick Foles was/is comfortable with his coach and the offensive philosophy and system the Eagles run. As he gained experience as the starter, his confidence increased along with the quality of his performance. That obviously wasn’t the case for Foles when he got traded to the RAMS a few years ago, but now he’s the Super Bowl MVP. Before these athletes can do something, they have to believe they can do it and that they will be successful, so having self-confidence is essential. As for Penix, if he got offers from TN and FSU, that’s an indication that two very good coaching staffs believed he had the potential to be a big-time success, because those schools have been known to produce high quality QBs and they play in a league that is every bit as competitive as the Big Ten. My guess is that Penix is the real deal. If he stays healthy and is “managed” correctly, my guess is he’ll be IU’s full-time starter by the beginning of his sophomore season.

    Does anyone besides me think that Allen and staff are doing a better job of recruiting quarterbacks than Wilson and his staff did? It may be too early to tell, but the early indications are that Allen has been able to attract a more promising stable of QBs than Wilson ever did during his six seasons at IU. And don’t give credit to Wilson for recruiting Sudfeld, because Wilson did not recruit Sudfeld. Wilson got lucky and had Sudfeld dropped in his lap. Anyways, if that turns out to be true, I find it highly ironic that a former Defensive Coordinator would be better at recruiting quarterbacks than a renowned Offensive Coordinator and “quarterback guru” who once coached a Heisman Trophy-winner.

    1. Po,
      I was with you in your comments until I nearly choked on my oatmeal with this one; “they play in a league that is every bit as competitive as the Big Ten.” Bowl results are deceiving at best, BCS playoff results are not. TN and FSU play in leagues at a higher level than the B1G currently. Remember, I am B1G at heart, but am realistic. OSU is the best the B1G has had to offer for several years now, and the last time they played an ACC team in the playoffs; it was a beat down of epic proportions. They would have been lucky to have survived Alabama’s schedule this year with two losses, more likely three, maybe four.

      I said that to say this, getting Penix over TN & FSU tells us one thing, this kid has good judgement. He is realistic about his limitations and knows if he went to either school as a borderline 3 – 4 star player, he would likely be competing against 4-5 star recruits. Not that he is afraid of the competition, but unlike Tommy Stevens, he was not swayed by their recruiting hype. If there is one thing the QB job requires more than anything else, it is good judgement.

      A good skill set matched with good judgement is a powerful combination whether you are a 3, 4, or 5 star recruit. Good judgement makes a 3 star athlete a 4 star performer. Conversely, lack thereof will make a 4 star athlete a 3 star performer. If Penix pans out to be a really good QB for IU, then those staff southern prep football hotbed ties may give us cause for cautious optimism about the football future. I did say cautious, but winning Penix over two schools known for producing quality QBs hopefully is a sign of good recruiting things to come in the future.

      1. I’d like to see Alabama have to compete in the BiG East. The argument the SEC and ACC is so much better is bogus. But there is no doubt HS FB from West Texas to the Atlantic is a hotbed to focus recruiting for aspiring prospects.

        1. HC,

          I don’t think any of us would want to see a Oklahoma of the 50’s style 56 game win streak. That is what would happen if Alabama were to play in the B1G, period. Not particularly a fan of Alabama, Nick Saban or the SEC, but time to stop drinking the B1G Kool-aid from 60 years ago. B1G has had a few up years in terms of being dominant in the time period, but far more down than up. Remember this, Alabama did what they did this year with a reported 50 injuries this year. It wasn’t any accident Saban had to play 6 of 5 star Freshmen in the championship game, the number of injuries required it. Don’t think any B1G team could come close to duplicating that feat.

          It is hard for folks to understand the difference in competition unless you see it first hand for a number of years, not to mention the championship results. No overstatement to say other than maybe OSU, not a single B1G school could make it through the SEC west without three losses. Don’t believe me? Use Bret Bielema as very good example. Had a pretty good run at Wisconsin, managed to win 11 SEC conference games in 5 years at Arkansas.

          Arkansas is not an also ran SEC school, pretty good football tradition. Despite the blown year in ’12 with John Smith, the preceding coaches didn’t leave the cupboard bare talent wise. Both Bobby Petrino and Huston Nutt had relative success compared to Bielema during their tenures. Most B1G schools would love to have their success below the top 3 or 4 schools. Like I have said before, I’m B1G at heart, but you have to be wearing B1G tinted glasses to not realize the major difference in competition level between the B1G and SEC. B1G is more comparable to ACC than SEC.

        2. The SEC absorbed a total beat down in the post season.

          Claiming the SEC is head and shoulders above other conferences when they can’t win outside the conference in the post season is a bit ridiculous.

          The SEC went 10-12 overall in non conference games. They went 1-3 against the Big Ten. Those numbers are not deceiving. They are the overall record. No picking and choosing.

  11. Did anyone notice how the Eagles won the Super Bowl? Can you imagine “going for It” on 4th down while still in your own territory….? Wow. Who does that anymore? Can you say Wilsonesque? And it’s how you beat superior teams with superior qb’s. Not by overworking your punter’s toe and being risk averse. Understand that field advantages are exaggerated. A fourth down conversion is just as damn dynamic a shift in emotions/momentum as your defense forcing a turnover(fumble/interception). Take risks to keep a Hall of Fame qb off the field.

    How much flack did Wilson get for his many fourth down decisions…? Some of you just didn’t get it. It won a Super Bowl for the Eagles.

  12. If transfers of qb’s continue to happen if they are not starters then IU fb will never be solid at qb. Yes, good qb’s have to be willing to set on the bench until and if their opportunity/s come as being part of the IU fb program for IU fb to be solid at qb and a winner. (above 500)

  13. I was watching the NFL Network today and one of the talking heads, in reference to whether Sudfeld was a quality back-up, dismissively mocked IU Football by sarcastically saying something like, “yes, Indiana University, the birthplace of college quarterbacks.” Ouch!

    1. Indiana has as many quarterbacks in the NFL as Alabama, Auburn, Texas, Ole Miss, or Miss State and more than Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, or LSU.

  14. PO- I was thinking what you were thinking re: QB recruitment- and it being too early to tell for sure. I wrote before the 2017 season that Wilson was a scheme-first guy, and that maybe Debord would have success w/Lagrow because it seemed that Debord’s approach was going to be to build a scheme suited to the QB rather than cram the QB into a pre-fab scheme. That did not work, maybe on account of injury to Lagrow, or maybe just because Lagrow was Lagrow and Debord was Debord.

    It may have been that QB recruits got the vibe that KWilson was not going to customize his scheme for them- that they would have to do it the KW way- and the better prospects wanted a coach who would scheme for them, for (what they at least thought were) their talents. Maybe the TAllen recruits get the vibe that the defensive oriented TA is going to stay out of the kitchen and let Debord whip up special-recipe schemes for them. Just a theory. I know a lot of us (me included) didn’t find Debord’s cooking too appetizing in 2017, let’s hope a little seasoning has helped.

    Harv, glad to see you on my “field position way overated” bandwagon (OK, mini-mini bandwagon). Most ridiculous about the Super Bowl were the announcers who blabbed their incredulity that Phila. would actually go for it on 4th and goal at the 3yl (or whatever) at the end of the first half, then after(!) the pass to Foles marveled for the rest of the broadcast at Pederson’s call as inspired genius.

    As to Sud and the Phila. QB line-up, what are Eagles going to do with Wentz AND Foles on the roster this fall? Trade one of ’em, I suspect, but I have no idea how the contracts and salary-cap-thingy figure into the equation. Sud probably stays right where he is.

  15. davis, I think the Eagles will keep Foles unless another team approaches them with a crazy offer that the Eagles can’t refuse, like high first and second round draft picks in trade, etc. It is not a sure thing that Wentz will be ready to play come September (he got hurt in the 13th game of the season), and if he’s not fully recovered from his knee reconstruction (it usually takes a year), Foles is an outstanding insurance policy that gives the Eagles a chance to win their division again. I mean, Foles’ performance in the Super Bowl was almost perfect. He did throw any bad passes, and his one INT was not his fault but resulted from his receiver batting the ball back toward the defender. The old scouting “book” on Foles had to be thrown out after his performances in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl. They said he could not remain poised in the pocket; he showed great poise. They said he was not comfortable throwing into tight windows; he completed two TD passes into a window the size of a shoe box. They said his deep balls lost velocity; on Sunday he threw several deep passes that looked like sniper shots fired from a 60 cal rifle. So Foles is going to be a highly desirable QB to those teams that have the right pieces in place (a solid O-line and quality receivers) and a few of them are going to approach the Eagles and try to make a deal. But if I was Phli, given the obvious harmony between my head coach, the OC and my back-up QB, how can I justify trading the Super Bowl MVP away for draft picks when my franchise QB just had major knee reconstruction surgery? If I want to have a chance to get back to the Super Bowl next year, I’d keep Foles. He’s not that expensive…..yet!

  16. HC, I did not say that SEC and ACC football “was so much better” than Big Ten football. Here’s what I wrote; “As for Penix, if he got offers from TN and FSU, that’s an indication that two very good coaching staffs believed he had the potential to be a big-time success, because those schools have been known to produce high quality QBs and they play in a league that is every bit as competitive as the Big Ten.”

    think about it, we’re on the same page, but I was being kind to the football programs in our beloved Big Ten Conference.

    I believe 11 of the last 12 FBS National Championships were won by teams that play in the SEC or ACC (two different ACC teams, including FSU, and three different SEC teams won championships during that period). OSU in 2014 is the one exception over that span of time. If those stats don’t support my statement that FSU and Tenn play in leagues that are every bit as competitive as the Big Ten” (I was actually being kind), then no stats will matter. My point was, when a high school quarterback gets scholarship offers from blue blood football programs like TN and Florida State, both of which have produced a lot of outstanding college quarterbacks over the last 20 years, it’s a good indication that he’s a high quality player with a lot of potential. How can you credibly disagree with that?

  17. HC & Chet,

    You are missing the big picture and I think Po just hit it. You can hang you hat on the bowls but unless you are in the playoffs bowls are meaningless except for bragging rights. For the record of the 4 head to head B1G versus SEC games, only evenly matched was UM & So. Carolina, and it didn’t end well. NW escaped a mediocre KY team due to a boneheaded coaching decision. PU beat a bad Missou team early in the year. We can debate this forever and not accomplish anything.

    The big picture is what Allen and staff are doing recruiting wise, and we all need to be paying attention. They are making minor inroads into the southern hotbeds and taking what would be 2nd and 3rd team players (depth) from SEC/ACC schools and bringing them to IU with a chance to start. This is significant and shouldn’t be lost in the conference debate. If IU is to ever exit the perennial football world dumpster, this may be the correct strategy. Don’t think this strategy has been overlooked by OSU and UM, why do you think they want football camps in the south?

    Continued success in this approach such as with Penix and others could be very useful for the future. No guarantees, but a whole lot of what ifs, especially if it should pan out.

    1. Michigan kicked South Carolina all over the field in their game. It took a Harbaughian meltdown for to Wolverines to give that game away.

      At the end of the day, the SEC took a beat down against teams selected, in large part, for the assumed parody based on regular season results. The assumption of being a superior conference lead to SEC teams being paired against superior opposition.

      End of story.

  18. But, I agree it’s a pointless discussion.

    I have a brother in law who insists the SEC is the top basketball conference every year because of Kentucky’s consistence. He thought they were head and shoulders above everyone else when South Carolina fielded their first decent team in years.

    I also have Texas friends who are adamant that IT is the premier football program in America.

    So…there you go.

  19. SEC- better talent at the top.
    Big Ten- better depth

    IU recruiting getting better? Yes, but so is all of Big Ten. IU is behind all but Rutgers in the division and Illinois in the league. Purdue has gone from worst to equal to IU. IU is only team in the league without a consensus 4 star recruit but overall quality is good.

    Recruiting better at Quarterback? Not until Penix fell in their laps. I think that’s a case of being more lucky than good. Allen and Co. struck out on more than 20 QB prospects before Penix. Allen was able to offer joining the team as a mid year recruit and an open QB battle. Penix would have been behind a 5 star talent at FSU that had experience. IU is Penix’s best chance for early playing time at a Power 5 team. Penix chose IU the same way Nate Sudfeld did- first choice had a coaching staff change and IU was best alternative.

    My 2 cents

    1. Like I wrote- Penix grabbed the chance to play right away- a chance which just about any hot QB prospect would have had under KWilson, but none took. Kiel almost took the bait in KW year one, but he probably figured out/was warned off KW before signing on the dotted line.

  20. Well, let’s install some facts into this discussion about the best conferences in college football. Here’s one: “in 2016 SEC schools averaged 77,507 fans per home game. SEC games were far more well attended than the runner-up Big 10 (66,151).”

    Here’s another fact: “In the 82 first rounds since the draft started in 1936, 397 SEC players have been picked in the first round – more than any other conference. The next closest is conference is the Big Ten.”

    Here’s a more timely fact: “This year (the 2017 draft), 12 of the 32 players selected in the first round – including the No. 1 overall pick Myles Garret – hailed from SEC schools. The Big Ten had the second most with seven picks.”

    I could go on, but for the sake of time, here’s the last fact I’ll provide: “Currently, the SEC has the most football players in the NFL with 309. The ACC has 239 and the Big Ten has 224.”

    Our loyalty to the Big Ten aside and argue all you want, but those facts, plus the number of championships SEC teams have won over the last 12 years, support the claim that the SEC is the best conference in college football. And if IU is signing players who received offers from SEC teams, chances are they’re quality recruits.

    1. I get that.

      However, using that criteria, IU basketball is currently one of the most successful programs in the country.

      1. Chet,

        That’s an apple and orange comparison. If you want to use the basketball, exactly how many of the former players are actually on an NBA. Not the development leagues. I think the figures Po was using are roster members of an NFL team. As for the IU players in the NBA development leagues, I rather say IU could have been one of the most successful programs in the last several years. Unfortunately, as we know, they were not well coached.

  21. Coach Allen is on the lookout for a graduate transfer QB to go along with the younger QBs. Tronti redshirted because coach DeBord thought Lagow would improve over the previous season. Once it was clear he hadn’t then they went with Ramsey and didn’t want to burn Tronti’s redshirt. Just like this year, unless Penix is noticeably better than Ramsey or Tronti I expect Penix to redshirt. With the hype behind Penix I posted HS stats to show the competition is closer that fans want to believe. Tom Brady when at Michigan was never the favorite of the fans because he didn’t have a strong arm yet he set passing records for UM. Being accurate and having the proper timing along with throwing receivers open are the most important trait. QBs need to have good feet in the pocket to do these things but not necessarily not be a great runner. Hopefully in the future IU can get higher rated QBs to chose IU as they see an improving team just needing a few top players to get them over the top.

    1. What passing records did Tom Brady set at Michigan other than his Orange Bowl performance? I recall him being a rather pedestrian college quarterback.

      1. Yes and no on Brady. He sat behind Brian Griese his first two years. Then, per Wikipedia: During his first full year as starter, he set new Michigan records for most pass attempts and completions in a season … he set a school record for completions in a 31–16 loss against Ohio State in 1998, a season in which Michigan shared the Big Ten Conference title … Brady finished his career ranking third in Michigan history with 710 attempts and 442 completions, fourth with 5,351 yards and 62.3 completion percentage, and fifth with 35 touchdown passes.

  22. v13,
    Penix is a higher rated QB! He’s probably the highest rated QB signed by IU in over a decade. Now you can argue that we need more guys like Penix in every class to elevate competition, but when was the last time a QB signed with IU over offers from Florida State and TN? I think the answer would be …… NEVER, or at least not since I’ve been an IU football fan.

    And if Allen intended to red shirt Penix, I doubt he would have encouraged him to enroll at IU in January so that he could compete during Spring camp. I think DeBored considers Penix the early favorite to win the starting job, or to at least become the primary back-up.

  23. Overall, it appears that IU’s depth at quarterback is now better than it has been in many years, even compared to when Sudfeld and Tre Roberson were splitting time as starters. Although the guy who ends up being the starter will not have a lot of experience, the overall talent and depth appears to be much better. That’s why I believe you’re going to see more than one QB get significant playing time during the first three games of next season (assuming the defense plays well). Ramsey is the only QB on the roster with any college-game experience, so DeBord is going to have to get one or two of the other guys some game experience early on, in case Ramsey goes down again. My guess is that next year, either Penix or Tronti will split time with Ramsey to begin the season. And if our other freshman quarterback/athlete isn’t ready to play quarterback next year, but is assessed to have all the necessary tools, he’s likely to be red-shirted in 2018 like Tronti was last year and Ramsey was the year before. If he is assessed to not have the tools necessary to play QB, they’ll start using his excellent speed and athletic skills to play other positions immediately. But wow, that kid was an excellent HS quarterback, so I hope they give him a real chance to play QB at IU.

  24. Splitting time in games will only happen if the QBs are really close to one another coming out of summer practice. If someone emerges, then they’ll get all the snaps sans any garbage time. I would be concerned about our QB depth if one of these new guys or Tronti doesn’t rise up ahead of Ramsey.

    Sometimes you see a kid come in and play, maybe struggle a bit, but you can see his potential. Ramsey’s abilities seem peaked to me. Gimpy arm, average speed (but Flash Gordon compared to Lagow, who would come in third in a race with a pregnant woman). I’m not impressed and would not feel great about going into the season with him as the starter.

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