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Heisman Trophy Finalist Michael Penix Jr. Looks Up to Michael Vick as an Idol

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Today, there are many young quarterbacks watching Jalen Hurts lead the Philadelphia Eagles (10-2) and there’s a good chance that one of them who makes it to the league will have memories of watching him and others when they prepare to launch their own NFL careers.

While Heisman Trophy finalist and Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is too old to have idolized Hurts, he does fondly recall another Eagles quarterback.

In an exclusive interview with Men’s Journal, Penix Jr. said, “I didn’t grow up a fan of any NFL team. I was more of a player guy. You know, I grew up watching Mike Vick a lot.”

Penix Jr. is aiming to achieve something that Vick never did by winning the Heisman Trophy and a National Championship this season. He and No. 2 Washington (13-0) will face the No. 3 Texas Longhorns (12-1) at the Sugar Bowl in the College Football Playoff Semifinals on New Year’s Day.

Before that, he will be one of four candidates to attend the Heisman Trophy presentation in New York City, joining fellow quarterbacks Bo Nix (Oregon Ducks) and Jayden Daniels (LSU Tigers) and Ohio State Buckeyes receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

HurtsAdelphia – Great Jalen Hurts and Da Birds gear

As part of the prelude to it all, he spent Friday working with a new team inside the Raising Cane’s Time Square franchise. He found that teamwork is an essential trait both on the football field and in a fast-food restaurant.

“It was an amazing experience,” Penix said. “I feel like the same teamwork in the restaurant has a lot to do with how our teamwork is on a football field. We have to communicate to make sure the orders are correct and the customers are satisfied. Translating that to the field, it’s similar to communicating and making sure everyone on the field knows the right play.”

Heisman Trophy Finalist quarterbacks Bo Nix (Oregon Ducks, left), Jayden Daniels (LSU Tigers, center), and Michael Penix Jr. (Washington Huskies, right).Photo Courtesy of Raising Cane’s

Vick’s popularity was due to his individual accomplishments as well as his teamwork at Virginia Tech and in the early NFL years.

Penix Jr. has also made remarkable achievements on his own, rushing for 13 touchdowns in his college career. However, he may not possess the same running abilities as Vick.

Thankfully, he may be a better passer than his favorite player, as shown by his second-straight 4,000-yard passing season.

If he defeats Texas and leads Washington to a National Championship, he will become only the 10th quarterback in history to accomplish both in the same season.

When asked about the Heisman Trophy, Penix Jr. said, “This is obviously the biggest award in college football and I feel like this is something a lot of people dream of. I’m just super blessed to be in this position to be up here on the stage with the three other contestants, and I’m just super excited for the weekend.”

Related: Eagles vs. Cowboys Week 14: How to Watch, Betting Odds

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