Michael Penix Jr. opens up about injuries in Pac-12 Network feature
Michael Penix Jr. is at the top of his game right now, but it wasn’t that long ago that there were major questions about his ability to even win the starting quarterback job for Washington.
Seems silly now, knowing what we know. When Penix arrived in Seattle, he was a bit of a mystery as a quarterback. The talent was obvious, but he had battled significant injuries for four consecutive seasons at his previous school, Indiana.
In a feature on the Pac-12 Network that debuted on Saturday, Penix took a deep dive into what he said were dark days at IU.
“There were times where, in the 2021 season, day of the game, I’d wake up and I’d wait until my roommates leave and I’d just lay on the floor and I’d just cry to God,” Penix said.
Penix spent four years at Indiana. In three seasons as a full-time starter, he never played in more than six games. Injuries were a major part of his story in Bloomington, ending each of his final three years prematurely.
In 2018, it was an ACL tear in his right knee. In 2019, he dislocated the sternoclavicular joint in his right arm. In 2020, he tore the same ACL again in his right knee. Then in 2021, he separated his shoulder at his AC joint.
“I knew where my head was at that time. It wasn’t truly fresh. A lot of tears man,” Penix said. “There was a lot of stuff I went through.”
He entered the transfer portal prior to the 2022 season seeking a fresh start.
With Kalen DeBoer — his coordinator at IU in 2019 — and Washington, Penix didn’t just find a fresh start. He found a revival.
Now a Heisman Trophy contender and a potential first-round draft pick in next year’s NFL Draft, Penix has completely turned his career around with the Huskies.
“It wasn’t easy to get here,” Penix told Pac-12 Network’s Yogi Roth. “Everything that I’ve accomplished to this day, it came with a lot of heartbreak, a lot of tears. Nothing was ever going to be easy to be great.”