Indiana redshirt sophomore quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is one of 17 semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, the it was announced Monday afternoon.
In alphabetical order, the semifinalists include Notre Dame’s Ian Book, Matt Corral of Ole Miss, Texas’ Sam Ehlinger, Justin Fields of Ohio State, UCF’s Dillon Gabriel, Sam Howell of North Carolina, Alabama’s Mac Jones, D’Eriq King of Miami, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Grayson McCall of Coastal Carolina, Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond, Penix, Iowa State’s Brock Purdy, Spencer Rattler of Oklahoma, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, Kyle Trask of Florida and BYU’s Zach Wilson.
In all, 17 players received the honor, while 16 will be eligible to be named finalists. Penix will not be eligible for finalist honors due to a season-ending injury. Per Foundation protocols, the next highest vote getter was added to the semifinalist contingent.
Penix, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury against Maryland on Nov. 28, completed 124-of-220 (56.4 percent) for 1,645 yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions, and he rushed for a pair of TDs in 2020.
Entering the Terrapins game, he led the league in passing yardage, passing yardage per game (312.2, 9th nationally), passing scores, completions, attempts, 60-yard passing plays (4, T-2nd), 50-yarders (6, T-7th), 40-yarders (tied 6, T-33rd) and 30-yarders (11, T-39th).
Penix owns a 10-2 record as a starter and is 255-of-414 (61.6, 2nd in program history) for 3,258 yards with 25 touchdowns, eight INTs and a 143.8 pass-efficiency rating in 15 games. He has 189 yards on the ground on 47 attempts (4.0 average) with four TDs.
The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, first issued in 1981, is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious quarterback award. The Foundation’s national selection committee is comprised of journalists, broadcasters, commentators and former winners.
The next step in the process will be to select the award’s three finalists from these 16 quarterbacks. Round two fan voting is now open and will close on Sunday, Dec. 20. National selection committee voting will take place from Dec. 16-20.
The three finalists will be named on Tuesday, Dec. 22. The winner is to be announced live on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, on the 30th annual The Home Depot College Football Awards, which will be held virtually from 7-8:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN.