Tim Carpenter did not grow up an Indiana fan, but he fondly remembers watching the Hoosiers excel in 2020.
Living in Dayton, Ohio, Carpenter was an Ohio State fan. But the 6-2 IU team during the COVID-affected season was a memorable team for him. And that’s largely because of quarterback Michael Penix Jr.
Carpenter watched Penix play and saw a quarterback whose game resembled his own. He looked up to Penix because of that.
“Just his play style, and just the person. I didn’t know him off the field, but just getting a sense of who he was off the field. I looked up to his play style a lot,” Carpenter said. “It was just amazing watching him on the TV, just how he carried himself and stuff like that.”
Carpenter is hoping to follow in Penix’s footsteps as an IU quarterback. He became Indiana’s fourth recruit in the class of 2024 to commit to the program, as he announced on Twitter on Sunday.
— Timothy Carpenter (@timcarpenterqb) May 21, 2023
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound quarterback committed to Indiana one week after receiving a scholarship offer. IU was his only power five offer, as he received more interest from MAC schools and some other FBS schools outside the power conferences. Carpenter also committed to the Hoosiers before visiting Bloomington.
Carpenter quickly felt strongly about the Hoosiers, and that created the trust he leaned on in making his decision. IU head coach Tom Allen and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Walt Bell sold him.
“We just built a good connection off the rip, from the day coach Bell offered me, to that same night being on the phone with coach Allen for like two hours just talking ball, life, things outside of football, school, just everything. We just built a great connection,” Carpenter said. “And hearing what he has to say and what his plan is to do with me and how to develop me as a man, not just a football player, it just clicked instantly.”
Carpenter is visiting IU’s campus on June 4, and he’s especially excited for it after committing. He knows the facilities and the town he’ll tour will be his collegiate home.
Penix is one of several similar quarterbacks whom Carpenter enjoys watching and models parts of his game after. He also mentioned C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Caleb Williams, Bo Nix and Jeff Sims — mostly quarterbacks with both mobility and good arms.
Carpenter likes having the ball in his hands every play at quarterback. He’s played the position ever since he started playing football in elementary school.
But he didn’t fall in love with football immediately. Quite the opposite, in fact.
“Fourth grade was my first time ever playing football, and I hated it. I didn’t like football at all,” Carpenter said. “But as I started to play it more, I just started to love the game more and just fell in love with it, really, going into middle school. That’s when I really fell in love with football. Ever since then, football has just been my life.”
Carpenter’s initial dislike stemmed from a bad performance in his first game. He didn’t know what he was doing, was unsure of what was happening, and was nervous.
But even though he had a bad first experience, he stuck with it. ‘Finish what you start’ is a motto Carpenter lives by. After playing that first game, he felt like had to finish out the season to have given the sport a real chance.
And that sort of ‘no quit’ mentality is part of what he thinks he’ll bring to the table at IU.
“Hoosier Nation is getting a quarterback that’s going to lead, a quarterback that’s going to win games, and just getting something special.”
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