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Penn State Football: Franklin Insists That QB Race Is Close As Practice Continues

by on August 11, 2016 2:00 PM

Tommy Stevens ripped a pass across the middle of the field to a receiver darting though coverage on a muggy afternoon inside Holuba Hall on Wednesday as the Nittany Lions avoided a torrential downpour outside.

While it has long been assumed that Trace McSorley, a two year backup and heir-apparent to Christian Hackenberg would take over the offense as soon as Hackenberg left campus, if that has happened, it isn't yet official.

"I don't think we're closer to making a decision than we were before," Penn State coach James Franklin said on Wednesday after practice. "It's been a heated battle between those two."

According to Franklin both McSorley and Stevens have made strides this spring and early in fall camp. The competition, left open allegedly so Stevens could make up ground on McSorley, has resulted in just that. Franklin insisting on Wednesday that Stevens has made strides in closing the gap and in turn both quarterbacks have been the stronger candidate on different occasions after one week of practice.

Equally strong is Franklin's insistence that McSorley leaving the door open for Stevens despite more experience and a leg up in the race at the outset isn't a cause for concern. In Franklin's eyes the actual competition hasn't lasted all that long, an in some respects has only just started.

"I don't think this quarterback race has gone on very long," Franklin said. "I mean, I think if you look across the country in college football, whenever you have multiple quarterbacks competing for a job, I think this is more than normal."

Regardless Franklin appears to still be comfortable with the timetable moving forward. At Penn State's media day he said the plan could call for making the decision in Week 2 of fall practice, which would be the next seven days, or as late as game week against Kent State.

So fans and the media will have to continue to wait and see if things are as close as Franklin says they are, or if the long assumed result is only a few days from finally coming true.

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