State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Penn State Football: Position Preview: Quarterbacks

by on April 04, 2016 2:00 PM

With the Blue White game quickly closing in, here is your chance to get up to speed with each position on both sides of the ball.


Who's Gone:

It's safe to say that for most of these position previews the list of departures and the ensuing fallout will take a bit more time to explain and hash over. But this is pretty straightforward, Penn State enters the 2016-17 season without the services of Christian Hackenberg. Statistically the best quarterback in program history Hackenberg leaves behind a void where his confidence, arm strength and leadership once stood. Whoever takes over the wheel next won't need to be Christian Hackenberg in order to succeed, but the bar has been set high.

Who's Still Here:

Nothing is set in stone, but returning or arriving quarterbacks on the roster listed in the order of most likely to start on September 3rd: Trace McSorley, Tommy Stevens, Jake Zembiec and Billy Fessler.

McSorley took a slight lead into the third week of camp, thanks in large part to his preparation all of last year as Hackenberg's backup and in turn his fairly effective and unexpected role in Penn State's bowl loss to Georgia. McSorley wasn't great, but got better and all told did what he could to keep Penn State within reach as the clock expired.

At a questionably listed 6-feet even, McSorley is the smallest of the bunch most likely to get the starting role, but as offensive linemen Andrew Nelson mentioned after practice last week, what McSorley lacks in height he makes up for with athleticism. Tommy Stevens is, probably the only quarterback at this juncture to give McSorley a run for his money and the starting job. He too is a mixture of athletic abilities and conventional quarterbacking skills.

What To Watch For:

Freshman Jake Zembiec probably has too much ground to cover to catchup to Stevens in the race but a good summer and training camp could help close that gap. It might just be a race for the No. 2 spot, but good development for Zembiec will help Penn State sooner or later, be it this season or seasons down the road.

The Short Version:

This job is McSorley's to lose, Stevens will make him earn it, but there is a reason that McSorley was backing up Hackenberg and that probably won't change over the span of 16 practices and the rest of the summer. Anything is possible, but the Joe Moorhead era will probably start with McSorley under center.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
Next Article
FBI Again Warns of Phone Scam Targeting Penn State Students
April 04, 2016 12:28 PM
by Geoff Rushton
FBI Again Warns of Phone Scam Targeting Penn State Students
Disclaimer: Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

order food online