TBT QB Michael Penix Jr. named Athlete of the Week

By Lindsay Liquori, Spectrum Sports
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 5:01 PM EDT

This June the stars aligned for Tampa Bay Tech quarterback and Tennessee commit Michael Penix Jr.

His future team broke the news.  Running backs coach Robert Gillespie called him.

"He was like what star are you? I was like I’m a 3-star. He’s like you sure? I was like yeah as far as I know. He was like go look again."

Penix Jr. looked on twitter and there was an extra star next to his name, according to Rivals.com

"He just got his fourth star nationally, to everybody else, but around here we still feel like he is still a star short," said Tampa Bay Tech head coach Jayson Roberts.

He is a four-star athlete, who Roberts thinks has a five-star mentality.  He took to twitter after the upgrade and tweeted "a four-star athlete, a five- star general on the field!"

"The way he commands his team," said Roberts.  "The amount of leadership and confidence he exudes on the rest of the team."

"Whoever I’m against, I’m always trying to compete and go 100%," said Penix.

Penix can grip and rip.

A 6-2, 185-pound lefty, the Vols drooled over his arm strength. Roberts loves his accuracy.

"He’s so careful with the football," said Roberts.  "The kid only threw one interception last year to 31 touchdowns."

Those 31 touchdowns are the single season record for the Titans.  That is 18 more than former Tech QB and national champion wide receiver, Deon Cain

"He like Deon all over again," said teammate and defensive end Jonathan King, who played with Cain his freshman year.  "He’s so mobile, but he’s such a good quarterback at the same time."

"As far as being a freak, totally," said Roberts about comparing Penix Jr. to Cain.  

"Deon was a freak athletically as far as, when he decided he wanted to run the football there was nothing anyone could do about it. Michael is the same way when it comes to passing the football."

Can he pass Cain’s career passing record (4,655 yards)? 

It’ll take 2,755 yards.

"I’m gonna try to pass it," said Penix Jr. with a grin.  "I think I can do it."

He’s gonna try with four stars to his name.