Michael Penix Jr. never had much trouble commanding the offense while on the field for the Hoosiers. When he was healthy and playing, the Indiana quarterback led a prolific and efficient team that secured eight wins in 2019.

And while Penix is an incredibly skilled passer, head coach Tom Allen wanted a little bit more from his quarterback. He wanted more leadership, both on and off the field.

“A big focus for us this offseason was his leadership. Just being more aggressive verbally, being more confident in how you confront your teammates, even on the field,” Allen said in an interview with Big Ten Network. “If a guy doesn’t do something right, having the courage to confront in the right way and take ownership of this entire offense.

“He did a really good job managing the team on the field and leading the team on the field, I wanted to see him elevate his leadership off the field.”

Penix threw for 1,394 yards and 10 touchdowns with just 4 interceptions during the 2019 season, along with completing passes at a 68.8% clip. He also rushed for 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns, helping lead the Hoosiers to one of their best seasons in recent memory.

But injuries derailed Penix last season, appearing in seven contests before Peyton Ramsey took over under center for the remainder of the season. With Ramsey transferring to Northwestern, Indiana needs Penix to stay healthy this fall, especially with a brutal schedule.

Indiana is scheduled to open the season on Oct. 24 against Penn State.