Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest Tennessee recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers. Check out previous editions here. In this edition, we discuss Tennessee commit Michael Penix and the latest in his recruitment.
Not looking anywhere else
Tennessee showed over the weekend against Southern Miss that it is in desperate need of more quarterback depth.
Well, Vols fans have to be encouraged by an interview Friday on the SEC Country Tennessee podcast. WMNL’s Josh Ward spoke with Tennessee quarterback commit Michael Penix about the status of his commitment.
“Life’s been great,” Penix said. “Not too many coaches have been coming to me ever since I committed. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I’ve been really good. I’ve been excited about my commitment and I’m still locked in.”
The coaching staff helped put the Vols over the top when he committed in April.
“I like how the coaches treated me and the players,” Penix said. “I like the fans and the atmosphere.”
How strong his connection is with the fans and the atmosphere to Tennessee might prove very important.
The big question, though, is if he would look elsewhere if coach Butch Jones is ultimately fired. Not having active conversations with any other teams at this point is a great sign for Tennessee.
Penix has not spent much time thinking about the calls for Jones’ job, either.
“I don’t pay any attention to it,” Penix said. “All the fans are going to say what they have to say. At the end of the day, they don’t know what is going to happen to the coaching staff.”
Penix still believes in this coaching staff and continues to keep his relationship with them.
“I talk to the Tennessee coaches, a lot,” Penix said. “Every day I message at least one of them.”
Official visit planned
Penix has not visited Knoxville this season, but that will change fairly soon.
“I’m very excited,” Penix said. “I’m always excited to get up there. I don’t get up there often because I live in Florida, but every time I get up there, it’s always a great time.”
Penix will attend the LSU game and take his official visit during the Vanderbilt game.
The visits will give Tennessee ample opportunity to completely secure the already solid commitment from Penix. He also plans on taking advantage of the early-signing period in December. Taking the two visits at the end of the season will prevent another school from possibly swooping in to make a late charge.
The lefty rates as a 3-star prospect and ranks as the No. 20 quarterback in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Improving as a senior
Penix has helped lead Tampa Bay Tech to a 9-1 record this season. He has thrown 26 touchdowns this season, according to maxpreps.
“I’ve been working really hard with my quarterback coaches, so when I get to that, I’ll be well prepared,” Penix said. “I want to make sure I know everything so I can come in and compete for that No. 1 spot.”
Penix has worked hard during the past season to prepare for college.
“With this being my senior year, I think I’ve grown a lot,” Penix said. “With everything. Trying to learn everything on the field and knowing all the positions. Being able to read defenses. It’s all been a lot. Thanks to my coaches I’ve been working with.”
Penix never takes credit for the season or his performance when asked. He shows his leadership by deflecting the praise to the teammates around him.
“Our season has been going really good,” Penix said. “Everybody has been clicking, the offensive line has done a great job, which has allowed everyone to make plays. Our defense is doing pretty good. They are making stops when we need them so we can get back on the field and put points on the board.”
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