The Washington Huskies were never gifted a Heisman Trophy hopeful at quarterback until Michael Penix Jr. came along. Penix has clearly become everything the Huskies have asked for and much, much more in guiding the nation’s No. 7 ranked team, plus an aspiring College Football Playoff contender.
But why did Penix become attracted to the Pacific Northwest?
Why Did Michael Penix Transfer to Washington?
The Tampa, Florida native showed lots of flash during his time with the Indiana Hoosiers under head coach Tom Allen. And that included one year Penix had future UW head coach Kalen DeBoer as his offensive coordinator in 2019.
Unfortunately, his Hoosiers career saw him being unable to finish the entire season as the injuries mounted — including a torn ACL in 2018 and a shoulder strain in 2019. But his final significant ailment was another ACL tear in 2021.
Penix, in an interview with Sports Illustrated back in December 2021, said that it was his decision to enter the transfer portal.
“I talked to Coach (Tom) Allen about it, and it’s my decision,” Penix said to SI. “Look, I’m a Hoosier, and I’ll always be a Hoosier. I’m graduating in May, and I have loved everything about playing for Coach Allen and being a part of this team. These are my brothers.
“But I just want a new start, a new beginning,” Penix continued. “I want to finish my college career the best way possible, and I think I need to do that somewhere else.”
Sure enough, a reunion with DeBoer was in the works. Since then, Penix has become a household name in the college football landscape and a trending Heisman contender.
How Penix Has Taken Advantage of New Surroundings at UW
For starters, Penix has had a healthier tenure in the Seattle region. He’s stayed healthy the last two seasons.
And with his new fresh slate of health, he’s shredded defenses the last two seasons with the following numbers:
- Penix has thrown for 6,640 yards in his last 18 games
- During that same span, Penix has thrown for 47 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions
- As a starter, Penix has posted a 16-2 record with the Huskies
In addition, Penix has established himself as one of the game’s top deep ball passers with 19 completions that stretched beyond 20 yards.
Penix Is An Elite Pac-12 QB, a Conference Full of Elite QBs
Penix mania has swept through the Pacific Northwest. Up to and even past a date with the Oregon Ducks.
Prior to their meeting, the Ducks pass defense rattled a previous aspiring Heisman Trophy candidate in Shedeur Sanders of Colorado — bottling him to a season-low 159 passing yards and -34 rushing yards in Oregon’s 42-6 rout of the Buffaloes.
However, Penix had an advantage over the Ducks, leading Washington to its last win over Oregon in 2022 by throwing for 408 yards and two touchdowns.
Regardless of Oregon vs. Washington’s outcome, Penix transferring to UW ended up being the best thing to happen for a career that’s seen a multitude of injuries.
And has now ascended Penix into the conversation of potential Heisman winner.