Friday, May 24, 2024
Home » News » Penn State Football » No, Penn State Almost Certainly Isn’t Going to the Dual Quarterback Route

No, Penn State Almost Certainly Isn’t Going to the Dual Quarterback Route

Penn State coach James Franklin is far more interested in the overall development of the quarterback room than naming a starter as the Nittany Lions venture into the opening days of spring practice.

“From a rotation standpoint, obviously we would like to keep it as even as possible,” Franklin said Tuesday. “We kinda have it structured that way at practice. Specifically, with Beau [Pribula] and Drew [Allar] — we try to keep it as even, from a reps standpoint, as possible. Right now we really have it structured in a way, based on our depth right now, that all three of them will get the same number of reps. (True freshman quarterback Jaxon Smolik being the third.)

“I think it’s really important in spring ball — at all the positions — that everybody is getting an opportunity to compete and develop … At some point we gotta transition and get ready for the first game. So the plan is to split the reps evenly and then, obviously as we start to get a little bit of bumps and bruises and have to adjust to practice. Right now we’re starting out even, reps across the board for all three of them and then — obviously specific to Beau and Drew — really making sure that we protect those two guys’ reps as much as we possibly can.

“There could be some situations where Beau actually gets more reps [than Drew Allar] by the end of spring because I think there’s some things that we may want to do with Beau to take advantage of his skillset. Maybe create an opportunity for him to get more experience, not only during spring ball but in games next [season] as well, so we’ll see how that all plays out.”

As expected the prospect of Penn State playing both Allar and Pribula over the course of the game caused more than a few eyebrows to raise. Dual-quarterback systems have worked in the past, but there’s a reason why they are so incredibly rare and so often do not work. Take in the fact Allar came to campus among the highest rated quarterback prospects in the nation, it’s hard to imagine Penn State giving away too many snaps to Pribula.

Which is probably why it won’t happen.

If anything Pribula’s role in the offense seems like it would mirror that of former Penn State quarterback Tommy Stevens’ a capable passer who was able to run the ball. While Allar might bring many great traits to State College, he is not nearly as mobile as some of his predecessors. In turn, Pribula’s slightly smaller build and slightly quicker speed could prove to be a useful tool.

Perhaps more importantly it also could prove to be the sort of role that keeps a young and capable quarterback on campus for however long – and potentially longer – than Allar. Pribula may not turn out to be the quarterback of the present, but he could very well turn out to be the quarterback of the future. If nothing else Penn State has needed to play its backup quarterback at least once every year since 2018, the more capable that player is the better off the Nittany Lions are.

“This spring is just getting those guys as many reps as we possibly can to be able to evaluate them, to create a competition, and also create depth,” Franklin added. “I do think, if you look at last year, we had a very specific plan to get Drew [Allar] as many reps as we possibly could to build that depth and to build that experience, so if we needed him he was ready but also to help us this year [and] moving forward.

“This year is a little bit different. We’re back to having a true competition again … Beau has got some athletic traits that are desirable and maybe make sense for us to use if they give us the best chance to win. But before practice has even started it’s hard to say that, so we’ll see how it plays out … I do think there’s a little bit different of a dynamic based on — I would say Sean [Clifford] and Drew’s skillsets were probably more similar. They were different, but probably more similar [than Beau and Drew] where I think maybe the differences between Drew and Beau may be a little bit more dramatic in terms of their skillsets.”

So no, today was not the day to read the words “starting quarterback Drew Allar.” But don’t fret, that day almost certainly will come.