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Penn State Football: Clifford Getting More Snaps, But No Starter Named Yet

by on August 20, 2019 8:40 PM

The update on Penn State's starting quarterback job is that there is no update.

"We haven't even talked about it yet," coach James Franklin said on Tuesday following practice. 

In fact according to Franklin there is no timetable to name starters at any position, nor any real urgency to do so. While the likes of KJ Hamler, Yetur Gross-Matos, Micah Parsons and others can probably pencil themselves in as starters, as of Tuesday evening nothing is official yet.

Historically, Penn State has not rushed in recent years to name a starting quarterback. Trace McSorley was officially announced as the starter on Aug. 23 back in 2016 and news broke of Christian Hackenberg's starting role on Aug. 30 in 2013. Even Joe Paterno waited until Sept. 1 in 2010 to name Rob Bolden the guy.

The earliest in recent memory: Bill O'Brien named Matt McGloin his 2012 starter on June 1, perhaps simply to avoid the personal annoyance he had for dealing with the ongoing questions.

While the day Penn State names its 2019 starter remains unknown, it will almost certainly come before the Nittany Lions' season opener against Idaho just over a week away. Franklin noted that the staff hadn't talked about it yet, but he seemed disinterested in the prospect of dragging the competition into the season itself.

"I haven't really been that guy in my nine years that we're going to play two [quarterbacks,]" Franklin said. "I want to make sure that Sean or Will or whoever the guy is, has enough experience. You'd like to get two guys ready but you really need to get one guy enough reps that you start to build his confidence."

While who that might be remains undecided, Franklin did note that assumed favorite Sean Clifford has taken slightly more snaps with the first team offense than competitor Will Levis.

With just 10 days remaining before Penn State's season opener, it's unlikely the mystery will continue to be on for much longer.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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