IU quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. was named to the The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award watch list on Tuesday. The award is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback.
Penix completed 124-of-220 passes (56.4 percent) for 1,645 yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2020, and he rushed for a pair of touchdowns. He averaged a Big Ten-leading 274.2 passing yards per game (18th nationally) and recorded a 136.54 pass-efficiency rating.
The Tampa, Fla. product played in six games before suffering a season ending knee injury against Maryland.
Full release from IU Athletics:
PENIX NAMED TO DAVEY O’BRIEN AWARD WATCH LIST
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana redshirt junior quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was named to the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List, the Davey O’Brien Foundation announced on Tuesday morning. Penix, who was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List on Monday, is one of 30 quarterbacks on the list.
Compiled by a subset of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee, this year’s list was selected based on career player performance and expectations heading into the 2021 college football season. All nominees are required to have previously started at least one game at an NCAA Division I institution.
Twelve of the watch list members are previous Davey O’Brien Award semifinalists, including Penix (2020) and a trio of two-time semifinalists in Miami’s D’Eriq King (2018, 2020), Florida State’s McKenzie Milton (2017, 2018), and Iowa State’s Brock Purdy (2019, 2020). The other previous semifinalists are Utah’s Charlie Brewer (2019), Matt Corral of Ole Miss (2020), UCF’s Dillon Gabriel (2020), Sam Howell of North Carolina (2020), Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall (2020), Tanner Morgan of Minnesota (2019), Spencer Rattler of Oklahoma (2020), and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder (2020).
The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award. Appearing on the preseason watch list is not a requirement for a player to win the award.
A 2020 team captain, Penix was a second-team All-Big Ten honoree (coaches, media) and IU’s Anthony Thompson Most Valuable Player alongside linebacker Micah McFadden.
The Tampa native completed 124-of-220 (56.4 percent) for 1,645 yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions, and he rushed for a pair of TDs. He averaged a Big Ten-leading 274.2 yards per game (18th nationally) and recorded a 136.54 pass-efficiency rating.
Penix started all six games in which he appeared before he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the Maryland win (Nov. 28). Entering the Terrapins game, he led the league in passing yardage, passing yardage per game (312.2, 9th nationally), passing scores, completions, attempts, 60-yard passing plays (4, T-2nd), 50-yarders (6, T-7th), 40-yarders (tied 6, T-33rd), and 30-yarders (11, T-39th).
The southpaw owns a 10-2 record as a starter and is 255-of-414 (61.6, 2nd in program history) for 3,258 yards with 25 touchdowns, eight INTs, and a 143.8 pass-efficiency rating in 15 games. He has 189 yards on the ground on 47 attempts (4.0 average) with four TDs.
For the second straight year, players honored as weekly Davey O’Brien Great 8 recipients, as well as any additional quarterbacks approved by the selection subcommittee, will be added to form the official Davey O’Brien QB Class of 2021, which will be announced on Monday, Oct. 25.
Sixteen semifinalists selected from the QB Class of 2021 list will be named on Monday, Nov. 8. The Foundation will announce the three finalists two weeks later (Monday, Nov. 22). The 2021 Davey O’Brien Award winner will be unveiled live on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 9, during The Home Depot College Football Awards. Fan voting on social media will again play a role in the semifinalist, finalist and winner voting totals when combined with the national selection committee’s ballots.
The 45th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 21, 2022, in Fort Worth, Texas.
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