Hoosiers QB Penix bulks up in effort to stay healthy for full season

Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. had his first season cut short by a torn anterior cruciate ligament. His second season ended after six games because of a right shoulder injury.

Now the talented lefty returns for his third season, bigger, stronger and stouter in hopes of playing all nine games and perhaps a 10th as Indiana’s clear offensive leader.

“It feels great,” said Penix, who went from 202 pounds to 218 this season. “It didn’t change anything with my mechanics; it’s just more weight so I can absorb the hits and I can be out there and make plays all the time. And to protect myself so I can make plays for the team.”

Nobody questions Penix’s play-making skills.

He has a big arm, nimble feet and a propensity for highlight-reel moves. The Hoosiers see it routinely in practice and fans have seen glimpses, too, like last season when he had 10 touchdown passes and completed 69% of his throws.

Penix is working with his third offensive coordinator in three years, though Nick Sheridan’s playbook hasn’t changed much from what Kalen DeBoer left behind when he became Fresno State’s coach.

The supporting cast looks awfully familiar, too, including receivers Whop Philyor, Ty Fryfogle and Miles Marshall. Tight end Peyton Hendershot also returns, as do running backs Stevie Scott III and Sampson James.

So if Penix stays healthy, the Hoosiers could be headed to a second straight bowl game.

“I think Michael has developed physically,” Sheridan said. “I also think his

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