Tampa native, Michael Penix Jr., drafted by NFC South rival

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Quarterback Michael Penix Jr., a Tampa native, was selected Thursday in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.

Penix attended high school at Tampa Bay Tech and finished his college career with the Washington Huskies. Penix was a Heisman finalist and played in the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship against the undefeated Michigan Wolverines.

In Penix’s two years at Tampa Bay Tech, he threw for 4,243 yards with 61 touchdowns.

He committed to Indiana, where he wore the same number as he did at Tampa Bay Tech – No. 9.

He started off his college career unlucky at Indiana University. He redshirted the 2018 season and suffered a season-ending ACL injury against Penn State. From there, he had three more season-ending injuries – his freshman, sophomore, and junior years.

But he still persevered.

By the end of his tenure as a Hoosier, Penix Jr. finished his career 342-of-576, 59 with 29 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, and five 300-yard games.

Penix ranks 10th in passing touchdowns on Indiana’s career lists and won the following awards: Maxwell Award Watch List, Davey O’Brien Award Watch List, Walter Camp Player of the Year Award Watch List, Manning Award Watch List, and Johnny Unitas Award Watch List.

Then, things started to really take off.

He transferred to Washington and won the Maxwell Award as the nation’s outstanding player. The signal-caller finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting, which is the highest ever for a Husky.

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