Michael Penix Jr. doesn’t have to sort through scholarship offers, read every letter that comes in the mail or visit programs all over the nation. The quarterback knows where he’s playing his college football.
Penix committed to Tennessee on Saturday night after the DISH Orange & White game in Knoxville.
“It feels great,” Penix told InsideTennessee. “It’s just a burden off my shoulders. It all felt good, it felt like the right thing. So I’m glad I made the decision.
“I was born here (in Knoxville). I just wanted to get back up here, showcase my skills and show the whole town what I’m capable of doing here at Tennessee.”
Butch Jones and the Big Orange coaching staff reacted with smiles and hugs at the news.
“They all seemed excited just like me — very excited,” Penix said.
“(Jones) told me he was proud of me. He said that he was real happy. I made his night, so I’m glad to hear that.”
Penix, whose family moved him to the Sunshine State when he was an infant, chose Tennessee over offers from programs like Arizona, Oregon and South Florida.
“It went real good,” Penix said. “I enjoyed every last bit of it. I had a great time.
“The atmosphere is crazy up here. The coaches, they all treat me real well. I love being here.”
Tennessee’s new quarterbacks coach Mike Canales has strong ties to the Tampa Bay Technical (Fla.) High School junior said.
“Right now, it’s real good,” the Scout three-star prospect said. “We talk almost every day, and we always try to get on the phone as much as possible, try to keep good communication, always try to stay close, so it’s real good.”
The southpaw plans to shift gears and will try to get more talent to join him on Rocky Top: “I’m gonna recruit for the school.”