Written by: TJ Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
Strength and conditioning coach Dave Ballou opened a training session at Indiana University and spent time speaking with the media on Wednesday in Bloomington. In his second year at Indiana, Ballou and Dr. Matt Rhea have had time to implement their programs and it is anticipated that fans will really be able to see the gains and rewards from the players hard work on the field during the 2019 season.
Any player that is trying to come back from a significant injury has to push themselves even harder with Ballou and one of the most notable players recovering is quarterback Michael Penix. After showing glimpses or what he could become as a player, Penix tore his ACL against the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 20. He had surgery to repair the knee and the initial hope was that he could be ready for fall camp. Thankfully for Hoosier fans, Penix is recovering well.
“This is the first time Mike’s ever really been hurt, so it was tough emotionally for him,” Ballou told the media. “You wear a lot of hats in this position, so there’s a lot of conversations that have to take place when bad things like that happen. But he was able to be mentally tough and push through it. He got the procedure done. Mike’s in a really good place.”
Ballou went on to talk about Penix’s work in the weight room and his recovery. “Mike, if you watch him in the weight room right now, you would never know he did anything. He’s ahead of where I thought he’d be right now. You go in there and watch him work out right now, you’d never know anything’s wrong with him. Feel good about him. I think he’s grown a lot through this process, to be honest with you.”
In what should be very encouraging for Hoosier fans to hear, Ballou believes Michael Penix is going to be better after this injury.
“It’s the first time he’s really been thrown into big-time adversity from a physical standpoint, and he’s grown from it. It’s made him tougher, it’s made him mentally tougher. I think it’s made him a better leader as well.”
Based on what was seen on Wednesday in the weight room during the open workout, Penix is going to be ready to compete for the starting quarterback position as a participant in spring practice and, barring setbacks, he will be 100% ready for the opening of fall camp.