Penn State senior quarterback Tommy Stevens has added his name to the NCAA Transfer Portal. The news was first reported by The Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson, and a source has confirmed it to StateCollege.com.
Stevens is now able to test the transfer market waters, but technically maintains the ability to return for his final season of eligibility at Penn State.
The Indiana native was limited during spring practice as he continued to recover from surgery he had late last season. Stevens missed Penn State's bowl trip to Orlando for the procedure to fix a lingering injury.
“I think he did a really nice job with the mental aspect of it and being able to sit back there and go through reads and things,” offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne said following the Blue White game on Saturday.
“I would turn around and ask him what he saw, knowing what I’d already seen, and he would give me the answer that I wanted. I thought he did a nice job with that. He was able to do some skelly this spring, and quite frankly he was excellent. I’m really pleased with how he handled it. Unfortunately he’s got some practice at it, but he’s done a nice job with those mental reps.”
Stevens' tenure at Penn State has been one not short on waiting after losing out his first quarterback battle to Trace McSorley a few seasons prior. During last season, Stevens saw the field at quarterback twice in place of a seemingly injured McSorley, only to be replaced not long thereafter. Stevens also famously explored transfer options last offseason before announcing his return to Penn State in anticipation of larger role in the offense and eventually the starting job in 2019.
"And really that first time around, we grade those things; completion percentage, touchdown to interception ratio, in terms of red zone efficiency and things like that [Stevens] was as good or better in some of those categories as Trace," coach James Franklin recalled earlier this spring. "So it was a tough decision, I think a lot of it came down to Trace's maturity and the little experience that he did have but that was really it."
In a recent interview, Stevens' father indicated that his son would explore options if not named Penn State's starting quarterback. Asked about the state of the starting job following the Blue White game and spring practice run almost exclusively by Sean Clifford, Franklin was less than committal.
“Obviously," Franklin said. "Tommy’s situation puts us in a tough spot because he had an injury that made it difficult. Obviously, we want to name the starter as soon as we possibly can. But, but, we’re not ready to do that right now. It’s going to be more of a true competition."
Franklin was slated to have individual meetings with each player following the conclusion of spring practice. There has been no indication made yet if Stevens has already had that meeting with Franklin, but if he has and Franklin was unable to guarantee him the starting job, this would be the last chance for Stevens to explore other options prior to next season.
This story will be updated.