March 2, 2024

Michael Penix Jr., remaining positive despite skipping Senior Bowl

Washington Huskies Football

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., throws a pass during Senior Bowl practice Wednesday January 31, 2024 at Hancock Whitney Stadium. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

MOBILE, Ala. — The former Washington quarterback raised several eyebrows after he decided to not participate in the Senior Bowl Saturday.

After all, Michael Penix Jr., put himself through three grueling scrimmages this week, and looked sharp in Thursday’s practice. However, the gunslinger felt he showed the scouts enough against the best of the best, and is now shifting his focus to the NFL Scouting Combine.

There’s no denying Penix has tremendous upside as a passer at the next level, considering he led the entire FBS with 4,903 yards through the air last season. It’s no mystery that Penix is a winner too, after leading the Huskies to a Pac-12 Title and berth in the National Championship Game. He earned several accolades for his heroics on the gridiron, including the Maxwell Award, and was one of four Heisman finalists.

The only knock on Penix is his durability. The Florida native has a history of injuries, that dates back to his days at Indiana. Penix has overcome a lot though, and that’s what keeps him hungry. He got banged up a bit against Michigan, but didn’t shy away from the challenge of competing during Senior Bowl week. His journey has been inspiring, and he likes the direction it’s going.

“Obviously I don’t take back anything I’ve been through, I’ve been through a lot of injuries, and it was tough at times, but I do feel like it all prepared me and built me into the person and player that I am today,” Penix said. “Being through that much adversity, especially at a young age, it taught me a lot of patience, and how much I love the game.”

Penix was able to hold his own with Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman, and Oregon’s Bo Nix on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. He impressed scouts with his decision-making, arm and mobility. The six-foot-two, 212-pounder has enjoyed every minute of his path to the NFL Draft.

Penix has also trained with Hartman out in California. All eyes were on him throughout the week in Mobile, and he didn’t disappoint.

“It’s all about your preparation, how you go into it, because once you get to this level, everybody knows football,” he said. “So it’s about what extra things are you going to do to separate yourself from everybody else.”

Penix is taking everything he learned from Coach Kalen DeBoer, and applying it on the field and during interviews with the different NFL teams. The signal-caller was satisfied with what he displayed, from pocket awareness, to arm strength and footwork.

Most importantly, he understands what comes with the territory of being one of the headliners of the annual event. No doubt Penix has the football IQ, drive and arm to take him far at the next level. Still, he knows there’s still unfinished business on his path to the NFL Draft, and wants to prove he’s one of the best gunslingers in this year’s class. Penix is confident he has what it takes to be successful, and knows what to avoid when throwing the ball against elite defenders.

“Basically not forcing the ball downfield, or putting your team in a bad position, you don’t want to turn the ball over in this league, it’s hard to manage, and it’s hard to score.”