Washington sixth-year quarterback Michael Penix Jr. highlights The Associated Press midseason All-America team, one of 19 players honored who have been in school at least five years.
Penix is among the many players in college football who have extended their careers by taking advantage of the NCAA’s decision to give an extra year of eligibility because of the disruptions of the 2020-21 pandemic year.
Penix, who transferred to Washington in 2022 after four injury-plagued seasons at Indiana, is leading the nation with 383 yards passing per game for the Huskies (6-0), who are ranked fifth in the AP Top 25.
“The production, the talent, all that, that’s one thing. The heart that he’s got. The guts he’s got and the willingness to just grind through it. Grit. There’s not enough words to describe how I feel about him,” Washington coach Kalen DeBoer said after Penix led the Huskies to a 36-33 victory against No. 9 Oregon last week.
Penix is one of five sixth-year players who made AP’s midseason All-America teams, which were selected by a panel of media members who vote each week in the Top 25.
North Carolina State linebacker Payton Wilson joined Penix on the first team, and UConn guard Christian Haynes, Missouri tackle Javon Foster and Vanderbilt punter Matthew Hayball were the sixth-year players selected to the second team.
LSU’s Jayden Daniels is the second-team quarterback and one of 14 fifth-year players to receive midseason All-America honors.
Kansas State guard Cooper Beebe, Alabama kicker Will Reichard, UCLA edge rusher Laiatu Latu, Notre Dame defensive tackle Howard Cross III and Auburn safety Jaylin Simpson were the fifth-year players selected to the first team.
Notre Dame and Alabama led all teams with three players selected to the first team. Joining Cross were Fighting Irish teammates tackle Joe Alt and running back Audric Estime. Edge rusher Dallas Turner and cornerback Kool-aid McKinstry from Alabama joined Reichard on the first team.
Quarterback — Michael Penix Jr., sixth-year, Washington.
Running backs — Jonathon Brooks, third-year, Texas; Audric Estime, third-year, Notre Dame.
Tackles — Joe Alt, third-year, Notre Dame; Taliese Fuaga, third-year, Oregon State.
Guards — Cooper Beebe, fifth-year, Kansas State; Zak Zinter, fourth-year, Michigan.
Center — Jackson Powers-Johnson, third-year, Oregon.
Tight end — Brock Bowers, third-year, Georgia.
Wide receivers — Malik Nabers, third-year, LSU; Luther Burden III, second-year, Missouri; Rome Odunze, fourth-year, Washington.
All-purpose player — Ashton Jeanty, second-year, Boise State.
Kicker — Will Reichard, fifth-year, Alabama.
Edge rushers — Laiatu Latu, fifth-year, UCLA; Dallas Turner, third-year, Alabama.
Interior linemen — Howard Cross III, fifth-year, Notre Dame; Jer’Zhan Netwon, fourth-year, Illinois.
Linebackers — Payton Wilson, sixth-year, North Carolina State; Jason Henderson, third-year, Old Dominion; Edgerrin Cooper, third-year, Texas A&M.
Cornerbacks — Kool-aid McKinstry, third-year, Alabama; Kris Abrams-Draine, fourth-year, Missouri.
Safeties — Malaki Starks, second-year, Georgia; Jaylin Simpson, fifth-year, Auburn.
Defensive back — Cooper DeJean, third-year, Iowa.
Punter — Tory Taylor, fourth-year, Iowa.
Quarterback — Jayden Daniels, fifth-year, LSU.
Running backs — Ray Davis, fifth-year, Kentucky; Blake Corum, fourth-year, Michigan.
Tackles — Olu Fashanu, fourth-year, Penn State; Javon Foster, sixth-year, Missouri.
Guards — Christian Haynes, sixth-year, UConn; Tanner Miller, fifth-year, Oregon State.
Center — Sedrick Van Pran, fourth-year, Georgia.
Wide receivers — Marvin Harrison, Jr, third-year, Ohio State; Troy Franklin, third-year, Oregon; Xavier Legette, fifth-year, South Carolina.
Tight end — Cade Stover, fifth-year, Ohio State.
All-purpose player — Keon Coleman, third-year, Florida State.
Kicker — Graham Nicholson, third-year, Miami (Ohio).
Edge rushers — Jonah Elliss, third-year, Utah; Mohamed Kamara, fifth-year, Colorado State.
Interior linemen — T’Vondre Sweat, fifth-year, Texas; Byron Murphy II, fourth-year, Texas.
Linebackers — Danny Stutsman, third-year, Oklahoma; Jay Higgins, fourth-year, Iowa; Power Echols, third-year, North Carolina.
Cornerbacks — Denzel Burke, third-year, Ohio State; Maxwell Hairston, third-year, Kentucky.
Safeties — Tyler Nubin, fifth-year, Minnesota; Calen Bullock, third-year, Southern California.
Defensive back — Sebastian Castro, fifth-year, Iowa.
Punter — Matthew Hayball, sixth-year, Vanderbilt.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll