Skip to main content

High School Coach 'Taken Aback' By Tennessee Abruptly Pulling Offer From QB Michael Penix

An outside shot of Neyland Stadium before a game.

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 20: A general view of Neyland Stadium before the start of the Florida Gators versus Tennessee Volunteers on September 20, 2008 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Michael Penix, a three-star quarterback out of Tampa, decommitted from Tennessee on Wednesday. It apparently wasn't really his choice.

New Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt called Penix and his fellow future Vols to assure them that their spots with the program were safe, shortly after taking the job.

For Penix, that situation was quickly flipped on its head.

His coach at Tampa Bay Tech, Jayson Roberts, said that Penix actually had his scholarship offer pulled, and he was asked not to come on a planned official visit to the school. From SEC Country:

It’s Pruitt’s first time as a college head coach, and calling the 11 players who were committed to Tennessee at the time was almost certainly one of the first things on his to-do list. Sure enough, Pruitt called Penix last week to tell the quarterback he was honoring his commitment.

That changed Wednesday, when Penix received a text asking him to call the UT football office. Penix said that when he made the call, new offensive coordinator Ty Helton told him not to come on the official visit to Knoxville that had been planned months earlier.

Apparently, the Vols had another pro-style quarterback they were bringing in to visit.

Roberts saw the decommitment on Twitter, but didn't know that the scholarship had been pulled until he spoke to the quarterback.

Roberts figured Penix had contacted Vols coaches and decided to de-commit after determining they had a different philosophy than Jones’ staff.

“But then I found out that, no, they had pulled the offer and told him to start looking somewhere else, and that they didn’t need him to come on the visit this weekend,” Roberts said. “That took me aback.”

There is always a lot of recruiting turnover from both sides with big coaching changes like this, but it sounds like the new Tennessee administration is definitely trying to figure things out on the fly.

Luckily for Penix, he has some options. Indiana has been making a huge push to land him, and new Florida State head coach Willie Taggart recently extended an offer.

[SEC Country]