One of the more interesting quarterback competitions in recent IU football history is over.
Coach Tom Allen announced that redshirt sophomore Peyton Ramsey will lead the Hoosiers at Florida International on September 1. Allen had stated earlier in the week that someone had become a clear leader, and apparently that was Ramsey.
While there may be packages or playing time for the other quarterbacks, Allen indicated that there is no plan to have a quarterback rotation. This is Ramsey’s job to lose.
Allen indicated that the primary factors that led to Ramsey being named the starter were his ability to “protect the football and move the team down the field.” Another factor was a quarterback that had the support of his teammates. Allen indicated that team was clear on this last point.
“We want a young man that the team believes in. That was very, very important to me. We go through and we selected our leadership council earlier in fall camp, he was our leading vote-getter by a landslide.”
Ramsey’s composure and accuracy were apparent from his first action last season.
All he did in his first significant action against Virginia last year was complete his first 11 passes. For the game he went 16 for 20 for 173 yards and threw 2 touchdowns, leading IU to a win. He also added 32 rushing yards and a touchdown in that game. He added a 321 yard passing game against Charleston Southern and completed 31 of 41 passes against Maryland.
Ramsey also set an IU program record in 2017 with a completion percentage of greater than 65% for the season.
The Ohio native also earned the respect and admiration of other Big Ten coaches last year.
After Indiana lost an overtime thriller to Michigan last year, Jim Harbaugh went out of his way to seek out Ramsey and tell him that he was “proud of the way you competed”, and “you’re a tough kid.”
The announcement is an interesting turn of events for graduate transfer Brandon Dawkins. When it was announced that he was transferring from Arizona to Indiana in April, he immediately became the presumptive favorite. Reports from fall camp indicated that the California native was rusty while adapting to a progression read offense from a run-pass option system in Arizona.
Freshman Michael Penix was also reportedly a strong contender down to the wire. A gifted athlete with a strong arm, Penix may still be the quarterback of the future for this program. With Ramsey a sophomore and Penix a freshman, this certainly won’t be the last competition for the starting job.
The Hoosiers will be in the fortunate position of having high quality backups in the event of injuries or performance issues. Both Dawkins and Penix appear to be ready to step-in and lead this team if duty calls.
You can follow us on Twitter: @daily_hoosier
Find us on Facebook: thedailyhoosier