First things first just as a disclaimer, this article was NOT written with the intent to cause rumors to flare or ideas to explode. Instead, the opposite is intended. This article is meant to educate the Penn State faithful on the facts surrounding Tommy Stevens so you may make your own informed decision on the situation. That being said let’s break this thing down.
At the beginning of last season Coach, Franklin and company had a legitimate problem on their hands with backup QB Tommy Stevens. The issue was that the redshirt sophomore was simply too good to have sat on the bench and do nothing. They had to find ways to incorporate Tommy into the offense in 2017 without replacing current starter Trace McSorley.
They accomplished this and they did so with success during the season but they did it in an interesting way. Rather than be used as a quarterback, Stevens was utilized as a playmaker in the receiving and rushing games tallying 190 yards and 4 TD’s on the ground in addition to 60 yards and 2 TD’s as a receiver. He was active as a passer in spots as well, completing 14 of his 27 pass attempts for a total of 158 yards. He threw for 3 TD’s and 0 interceptions.
You may be starting to see why Stevens has been given the nickname of “Tommy Tuddie” as he was responsible for 9 Penn State touchdowns last season. That total tied him with guys like Daesean Hamilton and Mike Gesicki for third best on the team. Stevens’ impact was so meaningful that Coach Franklin went as far as adding a new position to the depth chart so that Tommy could be listed as a starter at the “Lion” position. But all of this information funnels into one common question.
After Christian Hackenberg departed for the NFL draft, Tommy lost the starting QB battle to Trace McSorley during his redshirt freshman season in 2016. After that, McSorley emerged as one of the nation’s top QB’s and entrenched himself firmly as the Penn State starting QB. A role he will maintain through next season.
If Tommy chooses to stay at Penn State he would only be the starting QB for one year before he graduates. Whereas if he leaves for another school he could likely start for two seasons as a graduate transfer.
We know that any team with an up-tempo style offense would love to welcome in the talented signal caller. Washington State, Nebraska and Northwestern are all names that have been floated around.
Because today was the first day of Penn State spring practice and Tommy Stevens was not present. Although it is being said that Stevens is currently injured and reports even hint that he has been spotted walking around campus with a cast on his foot, it is still a noteworthy red flag that Tommy was absent from today’s opening day of spring practice.
Of course, this is all speculative, that being said… I think Tommy Stevens will be staying at Penn State. Tommy would without question have the opportunity to be the starter of most college football teams in the country. He is that good. But he loves Penn State, there is a reason he came here in the first place. Franklin and his staff have made it very public that they plan on further implementing Stevens into the offense this coming season and that will be enough to tie him over and convince him to wait until 2019 to become a starting QB. Plus Penn State offers something that most potential transfer destinations do not. The chance to compete for a national title.
Regardless of if he goes or stays, Tommy Stevens has said he will announce his decision this offseason and the days are ticking away. You’ve got 107k strong reasons to stay and you’ve got 107k plus awaiting your decision. Looking forward to hearing from you soon Tommy.
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