By: Thomas Frank Carr
Ove of the biggest storylines of the 2018 offseason for Penn State football has finally been resolved. Backup quarterback Tommy Stevens has decided not to transfer from Penn State and will play his final two seasons with the Nittany Lions. Stevens said that he did explore the opportunity, but ultimately decided to stay,
“I did search around and look and see if there was a better place somewhere. Ultimately I know what I have here. I love Penn State and I love the relationships I have here and I love playing football with my best friends. Ultimately after looking around I found that this is the best place for me.”
Stevens will graduate in the spring and would have been able to play his final two years of collegiate football at another school without sitting for a year if chose to transfer. Instead he will remain as the backup to Trace McSorley and be used in the “Lion” position. For Stevens, it’s not just about playing his final two years, but also his future in football after college,
“One hundred percent. What I wanted to do moving forward, and looking out for my future. I wanted put myself in the best situation possible moving forward. I looked around to see if there was a better opportunity for me I looked around and there wasn’t.”
Stevens will now likely only have one year to be the Nittany Lions starter and hope that he puts enough on film to interest NFL scouts.
As you may imagine, head coach James Franklin was elated to have the 6’4”, 230 pound junior back in the fold, but also respected how Stevens handled the conversation,
“He was very honest. Tommy came in and talked to us that it was something he was possibly considering. We said, “Well look, let’s talk about this, let’s explore this. We don’t’ ever want you leaving, unless it’s the right situation.” As a coach, I’m elated that he’s going stay with us, but more so than that, just how he handled it. I’m really proud of him. This is how you handle situations in life.”
For his part, Stevens is glad that the situation is resolved and he can move forward,
“It was like second recruiting process and it was worse than the first. It was a little bit harder just because of the time table. I’m glad it’s over and I’m glad I can stop being a distraction to my teammates. As much as I tried not to be, and tried to not have an impact on the news and stuff, it’s not really what I wanted. I’m glad we can focus on football now.”
Stevens has 11 combined touchdowns passing, receiving and rushing in two years of spot duty at Penn State.