Credit - IU Athletics

Michael Penix Jr. named to Walter Camp Award watch list

Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was named to the Walter Camp Award watch list on Friday. The award goes to the nation’s best college football player.

Penix threw for 1,645 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, and is returning from a late season ACL tear.

The release from Indiana follows:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana redshirt junior quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is one of 35 “players to watch” for the Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year Award, the WCFF announced on Friday morning. Penix is also on watch lists for the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien Awards, and he was one of 10 players to receive Big Ten preseason honors.

Penix was a 2020 team captain, 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.

There are 25 offensive players (13 quarterbacks, 8 running backs, and 4 receivers/tight ends) on the preseason watch list along with 10 from the defensive side of the ball. In all, 29 schools and 11 conferences (including independents) are represented on the list.

“We are proud to continue the great work of Walter Camp and recognize the best college football players in the nation,” Foundation president Mario Coppola said. “This watch list is a great start to what is shaping up to be another exciting year of college football.”

The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists in mid-November. The 2021 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, which is voted on by the 130 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 9.  The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation’s 55th annual national awards banquet on Jan. 15, 2022 in New Haven, Conn.

Please note: Appearing on the preseason Watch List is not a requirement for a player to win the Walter Camp award or be named to the All-America team.

Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries, and the restriction of play to 11 men per side. The Walter Camp Football
Foundation (; @WalterCampFF) – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.

The Walter Camp Foundation is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit to learn more about the association.

Indiana Football 2021 Preseason Watch Lists

Dodd Trophy – Tom Allen
Maxwell Award – Ty FryfogleMichael Penix Jr.
Bednarik Award – Micah McFaddenTiawan Mullen
Davey O’Brien Award – Michael Penix Jr.
Doak Walker Award – Stephen Carr
B1G Preseason Honors – Michael Penix Jr.
Biletnikoff Award – Ty Fryfogle
John Mackey Award – Peyton Hendershot
Jim Thorpe Award – Tiawan Mullen
Butkus Award – Micah McFadden
Outland Trophy – Matthew Bedford
Lou Groza Award – Charles Campbell
Wuerffel Trophy – Michael Ziemba
Paul Hornung Award – D.J. Matthews Jr.
Walter Camp Player of the Year Award – Michael Penix Jr.