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IU still questioning quarterback position



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Sophomore quarterback Peyton Ramsey celebrates after rushing for a touchdown Nov. 10 at Memorial Stadium. IU plays Purdue this afternoon for the Old Oaken Bucket. Sam House Buy Photos

It’s déjà vu for the Hoosiers.

Last season IU found itself in a quarterback competition between junior Peyton Ramsey and freshman Michael Penix Jr. and now find themselves in the same situation. Except now the predicament includes freshman Jack Tuttle.

As the competition heads towards the home stretch, Ramsey seems to have the edge.

“Well, first of all, yeah, [Ramsey is] a returning starter, and I think there's a lot of merit in that, and he's earned it,” said IU Coach Tom Allen. 

In his first season as the full-time starter, Ramsey was productive, throwing for 2,875 yards and 19 touchdowns while adding five rushing touchdowns. There is a comfort level with Ramsey that can’t be overlooked. Last season he became the IU all-time leader for completion percentage with 65.8%.

The Hoosiers know what they are getting from him and what he can do when he takes the reins of the offense. He is the most experienced quarterback in the room but has yet to take IU to the level the program is searching for.

The other returning quarterback fighting for the starting spot, Penix Jr., came into last season as an athletic dual-threat talent but was beaten out by Ramsey for the starting position.

Penix Jr. looked poised to take over the starting position late last season but was derailed when he tore his ACL scrambling against Penn State. In limited action, he showed flashes of big play potential with a 61.9% completion rate with a touchdown and 45 rushing yards.

During fall workouts, Penix Jr. looked to be back to 100%, but there is always the disconnect between preseason practices and game day performance that is yet to be seen.

Finally, there is the newest addition to the Hoosiers' quarterback competition, Jack Tuttle, a transfer from the University of Utah. Tuttle was a four-star recruit who was the No. 8 overall pro-style quarterback in the 2018 class, according to 247sports.

Tuttle didn’t play in the spring scrimmage but possibly has the strongest arm talent out of all three of the quarterbacks competing for the starting job from what has been seen in practices. What he lacks in athleticism and running ability compared to Ramsey and Penix Jr., he makes up for with his ability to complete a wide range of difficult throws that fit into DeBoer’s “explosive offense."

The season opener is quickly closing in as IU takes on Ball State on Aug. 31 on a neutral site at Lucas Oil Stadium. Yet the quarterback picture is just as murky as it was when camp opened earlier in the summer.

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