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Penn State Football: Trace McSorley Named Starter

by on August 24, 2016 8:00 PM

James Franklin confirmed on Wednesday evening what many have suspected for weeks, Trace McSorley will be Penn State's starting quarterback this season. 

Citing two years of work behind Christian Hackenberg and significant playing experience in Penn State's narrow bowl loss to Georgia last season, Franklin said that the junior met Tuesday morning with both he and offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead --who ultimately made the final decision-- according to the head coach.

"It's not one thing," Franklin said. "It's a combination of factors. It was spring practice, it was meetings, it was the bowl game, it was being the backup quarterback for two years. It was everything."

Originally the decision could have been delayed to as late as this Saturday following a team scrimmage, but after a discussion both he and Moorhead felt the time was now. McSorley had been in a quarterback battle with redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens for the starting job although many outside the program felt that the decision was a simple one following McSorley's 23-of-27 for 281 yards and four touchdowns outing in the annual spring game. Albeit a performance largely against the second team defense and a stat line largely benefiting from short to intermediate throws.

“I know a lot of people thought that that decision (to start Trace) was made in spring ball. It wasn’t,” Franklin continued. “Tommy had a really, really good camp. He really improved, it played out the way we thought it’d play out.”

On the scales McSorley comes in at 6-feet even and 201 pounds and will be tasked with running Penn State's new uptempo offense. Franklin does not expect to play Stevens in a two-quarterback dual threat capacity.

McSorley addressed the media for the first time following the announcement on Wednesday just inches from a goal line on the practice field, a place fans will undoubtedly hope to see him more often than not just a few hundred yards down the road at Beaver Stadium.

"It definitely takes a weight off my shoulder." McSorley said quietly, surrounded by dozens of microphones. “It’s an honor to be named a starting quarterback at Penn State. Since the day I committed here, I’ve always kind of dreamed about it and thought about it."

Penn State opens the 2016 campaign on September 3 against Kent State. Kick is slated for 3:30.

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