In so many ways, Penix is the face of a new era. He’s a testament to the virtues of leaving a good situation for a great one—a reminder that sometimes the grass is greener on the other side. “I’m gonna be honest, coming out of high school, when I committed to Indiana University, my dad, he didn’t really want me to go there,” Penix admitted after ripping the horns off Texas. “He didn’t understand why I was going there. That was something that was hard for me, having somebody I love the most, he didn’t see my vision. Obviously, it led me here.”

The recent annals of college football include several lionized figures (Cam Newton, Baker Mayfield, Joe Burrow, etc.) that also transferred away from their original school. Hell, this year’s Heisman winner—LSU’s Jayden Daniels, who narrowly beat Penix for the prestigious award—was originally an Arizona State Sun Devil. Two of the most famous players in the nation this year—USC’s Caleb Williams and Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders—also began their collegiate voyages elsewhere. There is always a time and place for loyalty, starting what you’ve finished, all that jazz. But many modern players are realizing, like Penix, that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith in hopes of finding a powerful wind. And think about how many players could have reached Penix’s heights if they weren’t deterred from transferring by the requisite year of watching from the sidelines!

But with Penix specifically, we’re not only getting to watch a motivational story of perseverance unfold every week, we’re getting to watch one of the sickest quarterbacks in recent memory, too. Penix is for everybody who eschews the easy throw in favor of the downfield bomb while playing Madden. Every time Washington’s offense is on the field, you typically don’t have to wait more than like five plays until Penix is pulling his bow all the way back and shooting an arrow directly to an in-stride receiver. It’s breathtaking both in its audacity and execution.

The fact that Penix is also left-handed adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to his aura, as well. Watching a lefty quarterback definitely takes a little getting used to at first, but most well-adjusted people stop fretting over that after the first time he plants a seed into Rome Odunze’s hands. There have been plenty of storied southpaws in recent college football lore, but they didn’t have a fraction of the juice that Penix does. Matt Leinart, Tim Tebow, and Tua Tagovailoa were great and all, but their parents were never getting shouted out by Plies.

So tonight, as you settle in for what should be an instant classic, cherish Michael Penix Jr. No matter what, his long, arduous college football career—which began on September 1, 2018!—ends tonight in Houston. He’s earned your attention, and he’s more than earned your praise. Now, he might just earn a national championship.

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