Tommy Stevens waited 4 years for this chance at Penn State, and no one can say he is not a group participant.
Stevens sat behind Hint McSorley the final three seasons. He even performed the “lion” place simply to get on the sector. Stevens waited for his flip, and now that it is right here it is much more sophisticated.
Stevens entered the switch portal on Wednesday, simply 4 days after junior Sean Clifford accomplished 11 of 19 passes for 131 yards and rushed for 31 yards within the Nittany Lions’ spring sport. Stevens missed spring observe due to an damage suffered late final season.
“Tommy’s accomplished all the pieces proper,” Franklin stated by way of The Every day Collegian. “For 4 years there’s a enormous physique of labor for what we have seen from him. Final 12 months wasn’t truthful to him as a result of he was taking part in with an damage.”
It is truthful for Penn State to roll with a distinct quarterback if Clifford wins the job. It is also truthful for Stevens to check the switch portal, then come again and compete for the beginning job in fall camp.
Stevens’ plight backs up the necessity to preserve graduate switch guidelines intact for the longer term. He is the textbook case of ready your flip – what coaches like to evangelise in an period the place switch waivers are being handed out with nearly no restrictions – and having a backup plan if it doesn’t work out.
The NCAA is contemplating putting restrictions on graduate transfers, which have change into most amplified with quarterbacks shuffling throughout the FBS. Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts, who began in two Faculty Soccer Playoff championship video games, was the highest-profile switch this offseason.
Quarterbacks like Stevens are the most important cause why these limitations shouldn’t move. He has accomplished all the pieces a student-athlete and group participant is predicted to do, and there must be a reward for that, whether or not it is at Penn State or elsewhere.
Nittany Lions followers should not have an issue with that.
Stevens spoke with Sporting Information final summer season as a part of a profile about McSorley, and was requested why he selected to stay round at a program realizing he could be a backup for 3 of his 4 seasons of eligibility.
“Quarterbacks switch on a regular basis, and there is at all times a need to play,” Stevens instructed SN. “I do not need to make it seem to be I do not need to be the beginning quarterback right here; as a result of that may be improper. It is simply, there’s a whole lot of issues that led as much as this and led as much as me being right here, and I nonetheless really feel like that is the proper path for me.”
Stevens was real. He spoke at size about his team-first mentality, relationship with McSorley and readiness to reap the benefits of his flip when it got here. The very fact he won’t get that in Completely happy Valley may rub some the improper approach, however that may be a consequence of the dizzying results of the switch portal on the sport’s most-important place.
That is the right time to make these selections, too.
The very fact Stevens is within the switch portal this quickly after spring observe hints that Franklin probably will roll with Clifford in 2019. It’s related, in some methods, to the Dwayne Haskins-Joe Burrow dynamic in Columbus in spring observe final season.
Burrow waited his flip behind J.T. Barrett, however Haskins finally handed Burrow on the depth chart. It worked out for Haskins – he ended up ending third within the Heisman Trophy voting and set Huge Ten single-season information in passing yards and touchdowns. It worked out for Burrow, too, who will probably be a second-year starter at LSU this season.
It labored out for each. It could work out right here, too.
Stevens will get his alternative, too. He confirmed sufficient in a restricted pattern dimension behind McSorley that he will probably be a productive quarterback someplace.
That is Stevens’ final likelihood to play within the FBS, and he ought to be capable of do this wherever he needs. If there’s any quarterback that has earned that proper, then it is him.