Home USA News Michael Penix Jr. went undecided in the NFL draft but will play...

Michael Penix Jr. went undecided in the NFL draft but will play in UW Huskies games.


Michael Penix Jr. did not play his final game in Washington.

While UW’s redshirt junior quarterback — who leads the nation with 4,354 passing yards — has yet to decide whether he will enter the 2023 NFL Draft, he confirmed in a virtual news conference Monday that he plans to play for the future Huskies. decisive bowl game.

“I really haven’t had a chance to think about what I’m doing at the next level, whether I’m staying or going,” Penix said. “But as far as the bowl game goes, I’m definitely looking forward to playing with my team and being around these guys. I definitely want to be around those guys.”

When asked to clarify whether the above response represented some commitment to the cup, Penix added: “Yes sir, I’m looking forward to playing in it.”

Penix — a fifth-year transfer and Indiana transfer — has yet to play in a bowl game, with each of his previous four seasons ending early due to injuries. He has completed 66% of his passes in 12 games this fall for 33 touchdowns (29 passing, 4 passing) with seven interceptions.

No. 9 Washington (10-2) leads the nation not only in passing yards, but also in passing yards (27.4), third-down conversions (57.06%) and completions of 10 or more yards (182). The Huskies are second in total offense (522.2 yards per game), trailing only Tennessee (538.1).

The Penix Aerial Theater will last at least one game longer.

“No, it’s never been talked about,” UW offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb said when asked if they’ve reached out to bowl-playing Penix. “I am not surprised at all. Mike is a competitor and he is the best teammate. To be honest, I didn’t even feel that we needed such a discussion.”

UW defeats disease

Washington had a lot more weather than WSU last week.

UW coach Cullen DeBoer said Monday that “the only thing I was maybe a little nervous about on both ends is the week of practice with the illness. I know Darren Nystrom, our head athletic trainer… this morning I said, “Give me a number,” and he said there were over 50 guys that had some sort of illness and symptoms throughout the week. There were some days where we had at least 10 guys missing practice.”

Indeed, UW sophomore Faatui Tuitele tweeted Sunday that he and fellow defensive lineman Tuli Letuligasenoa “battled the flu during the game [among many others on the team] and struggled with it.’ Junior defensive lineman Ulumu Ale missed the game due to an illness, DeBoer confirmed.

“[Winning despite that adversity] — that’s something that I’m really proud of because it just shows the resilience of this team and how far we’ve come since the middle of the year — when maybe we couldn’t go through something like this,” DeBoer said.

Grab’s next move

Grubb deserves credit for improving an offense that nearly doubled its scoring rate this season from 21.5 points per game in 2021 to 40.8 (fifth in the nation) in 2022.

But the finalists for the Broyles Award — which honors college football’s top assistant coach — were announced Monday, and Grubb was not included.

The finalists were Tennessee offensive coordinator Alex Golesh, Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken, TCU offensive coordinator Garrett Riley and Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters.

“I just saw it before coming up here,” DeBoer said. “I mean no disrespect to the other finalists because these finalists are obviously very deserving. But man, what he’s done for our program and what the offense has looked like this year … with the same guys for the most part. Your trigger is different, but Ryan just instilled a lot of confidence in our attack from day one — the organization, the plan that’s in place, making sure that employees are on the same page every day, where the message is very clear, whether it’s focused on X and O or just focused on culture within the crime.

“Man, he’s built a great relationship with these players, not just offensively, but across the board. The impact he has made certainly does not go unnoticed.”

Athletic directors looking for a head coach may soon notice. Grubb admitted on Monday that he is looking to become a head coach, but added: “I think you have to take the same advice as your quarterback, right? You have to put those things aside, do your job and focus on what’s in front of you. I think that obviously served Mike very well. He did such a good job with it, leaving those things on the sidelines. I am very happy in Washington. I told my guys that, and I couldn’t be more passionate about continuing to lead this team.”

In addition, Grab may also have unfinished business in his current position.

“I said [athletic director Jen Cohen] that, and I told Cullen this: I have a deep passion for putting on plays, he said. “For me, there is a desire to be the best O-coordinator in the country. It is a deeply rooted belief in who I am and who I want to be. So there’s definitely a path that I’m on right now.”

Extra points

  • Three UW players earned weekly honors Monday as Penix was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, right guard Henry Bainivalu was named the Pac-12 Offensive Lineman of the Week and tight end Jeremiah Martin was named the Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week.
  • Sophomore linebacker Daniel Heimuli has been suspended indefinitely for violating UW’s code of conduct for intercollegiate athletics, DeBoer said Monday. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker from East Palo Alto, Calif., tallied five tackles and one tackle for loss in seven games as a backup this fall.
  • Junior tight end Jack Westover left the Apple Cup with a concussion, DeBoer confirmed. The injury occurred on a two-yard reception in the third quarter that ended with a hit to the head by WSU quarterback Sam Luckett III. DeBoer said UW forwarded the play to the Pac-12 office for a potential targeting review. The Huskies expect Westover to return for their bowl game.

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