Tommy Stevens is entering transfer portal. What are the five best teams for him, and what’s next for Penn State?
It was supposed to be an easy transition.
Trace McSorley was finishing up his create career, and Tommy Stevens was going to step right in as the new starting quarterback without too much of a drop off.
The 6-5, 240-pound Stevens saw a little time last year, is a good runner, and has the skills, stature and upside to at least get the NFL scouts interested. However, something didn’t seem to work out.
Stevens had a hand injury that kept him from doing doo much this offseason, and the door was open. Sean Clifford looked good in his limited time last year, too, and he came up with a good spring to push for the starting job.
It didn’t help that Clifford was terrific in the spring game and looked the part of the No. 1 guy.
So Stevens is now exploring his options by entering the NCAA transfer portal. He could still come back to Penn State, but considering his skills, and also considering that head coach James Franklin isn’t committing to anyone as the starter quite yet, this would be the time to leave.
What five schools would be a right fit for a player of Stevens’ talents?
5. Mississippi State Bulldogs
The only reason this would even be a consideration is the tie to Joe Moorhead. The current Mississippi State head coach was previously the offensive coordinator at Penn State, and the skills fit the system.
Moorhead likes big, mobile quarterbacks with big arms – Nick Fitzgerald did just fine last year – and Stevens is just that. He’s not the runner Fitzgerald is/was, but he’s a better passer and could add a bit more to the overall attack.
However, Keytaon Thompson is a good-looking prospect who stepped in at times over the last few years and has been more than fine. Not great, not dominant, but fine, and that’s what he was throughout spring ball.
It’s Thompson’s gig at the moment with a chance to grow into the role, but he’s getting pushed by talented young options Garrett Shrader and Jaylen Mayden, but one of them would have to rise up and rock in fall camp to take over.
The problem for Stevens would be the logjam of talent. He’d step in and be 1A with Thompson on the depth chart, but the job wouldn’t be a lock to be his.