Geno Smith says he worked out with UW quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in the offseason. The two Seattle-based quarterbacks threw together. They talked. Maybe that mutual admiration for one another is what led to Penix echoing Smith after he led Washington to a Pac-12 Championship.

“They tried to write us off, but we ain’t write back,” Penix said as he and the Huskies celebrated a win over Oregon to claim the conference crown.

It was the same line Smith delivered in September 2022 after leading the Seahawks to a 17-16 win over the Denver Broncos in the team’s opener.

“He’s a really special player, special guy. To be able to share Seattle with him is awesome,” Smith said on Thursday. “I love what they’re doing at UW, man. I hope they win it all. Rooting for Mike. Appreciate him doing that, that was pretty cool.”

Washington will face Texas in the 2-3 matchup of the College Football Playoffs on New Year’s Day. The Huskies (13-0) are also looking to claim their first-ever Heisman Trophy on Saturday.

Penix was named a finalist for the 2023 Heisman earlier this week. Smith said he’s a deserving winner.

“I hope he wins it,” Smith said. “I think he’s had a great year. When you look at all the candidates, to lead his team to 13-0 and all the great things he’s done throughout the year — he’s got the numbers, he’s got the moments. I think he deserves it.”

UW’s star quarterback leads the nation in passing, with 4,218 yards and 33 touchdowns.

The winner of the Heisman will be announced on Saturday, Dec. 9, during a live ceremony on ESPN at 5 p.m. PT.