When was the last time the Penn State Nittany Lions has a high impact QB either recruited or won a competition? The two answers in recent memory would be Christian Hackenberg and Trace McSorley, talk about a dichotomy.
Christian Hackenberg was a 5 Star QB who paired with a 5 Star TE Adam Breneman, that is a haul for any team at any time, but these were slightly different circumstances. Penn State was at its lowest point in program history, the heaviest laden sanctions this side of the Pony Express was running roughshod through the program. These two helped saved the program, along with Bill O’Brien, and the leaders of the football team at the time.
Hack had an amazing first year and looked like a no doubter 1st rounder in the NFL and all was well. Unfortunately, the subsequent years, the lack of talent on the team, and the decline in Hack’s production was in full display, and his career as a Nittany Lion ended with an injury in the Tax Slayer Bowl in Jacksonville. He went onto be drafted by the New York Jets, fizzled out and is now a newly minted HC Football Coach. I was in attendance when the backup Trace McSorley was put in, and he made the game very interesting against UGA, but ultimately lost.
What an introduction to the next great PSU Football player, what did Trace do afterwards? He led the best Nittany Lion teams in memory to New Years Six Bowls, Countless Records, and was deemed “The Wizard”. He was magical, he was beloved by fans, and he will never have to pay for a drink again in Happy Valley for the rest of his life. He was a 3 Star Safety that was brought from Vanderbilt to Penn State after James Franklin left for greener pastures in Central Pennsylvania. He stayed loyal to coach, never played at Safety, and blazed his way to being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens and backing up Lamar Jackson.
These two examples were the dichotomy of impact players, between their recruiting rankings, on field success, outside factors, everything else, they made their mark for the Nittany Lions. The question that has lingered for the years after Trace was who was going to step up to be the next great QB? Will Levis, Sean Clifford, Taquan Roberson, Christian Veilleux, and others have thrown their hat in the ring, but I do not think they will make the same impact that Hack or Trace did. We must look towards the future, to the 2022 class, and mainly to the fast-rising QB Drew Allar out of Medina, OH.
Drew Allar will be the highest rated QB that James Franklin will have ever successfully recruited into a class. He is a 6’5’’ Pro Style Quarterback who has confidence, amazing ball placement, and I think will be the next truly great Nittany Lion. I believe he will compete and win the Starting Quarterback position for the Nittany Lions when he becomes eligible. Mike Yurcich the new Offensive Coordinator and active recruiter has hand picked the man he wants to help lead the organization.
With a burgeoning wide receiver core, an elite tight end group, a talented backfield and Drew Allar at the helm, I think for the mid-2020s us Nittany Lion fans will be chanting his name, I believe he is the Quarterback that can take the Nittany Lions to the promised land, to win the B1G Championship and ultimately raise the highly sought-after piece of hardware, the National Championship Trophy. We Are!