KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee coaching staff continues to build terrific relationships that benefit the team on the recruiting trail.
For quiet-mannered quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who committed to the Vols in April, he isn’t even considering another school.
Tennessee quarterbacks coach Mike Canales led the recruitment for Penix and forged a special relationship.
“He’s been great,” Penix said. “He’s been like a father figure to me even though I’m not here yet. I know that when I get here, we are going to have a strong bond like we are building right now.”
Penix now focuses solely on improving his play with the decision of where to go to school behind him.
The Tampa, Fla., native has put on eight pounds and now weighs 190. His arm strength has improved with it.
“It’s growing,” Penix said. “It’s all part of working out. Just get bigger and stronger and everything that comes with it.”
Penix feels like he has improved the most at leadership as a quarterback over the summer.
“My leadership, my accuracy,” Penix said. “As a quarterback, being able to lead the team to sets that we need. Lead over summer workouts and pushing everybody. Make sure everyone is on the right track.”
Tennessee holds a commitment from one other quarterback, Adrian Martinez. With Penix in Florida and Martinez playing in California, the two future practice competitors have not talked a lot, but do communicate.
“We have a group chat where we all keep in touch with all the commits in the 2018 class,” Penix said. “We keep in touch, he’s a cool guy. I really like him as a player and a person.”
Penix plans to visit Tennessee for the LSU game on Nov. 18 and make his official visit for the Vanderbilt game the following week.
Then, the quarterback will be on campus as a January enrollee.
“I felt like it was going to be better for me,” Penix said. “So, I can come here early and get to know the program and be more comfortable with the offense and coaches.”