Penn State Football Recruiting: What now at quarterback?

Apr 22, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin walks around Beaver Stadium prior to the Blue-White game. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 22, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin walks around Beaver Stadium prior to the Blue-White game. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

With the decommitment of Justin Fields, what should the Penn State football coaching staff do now on the recruiting trail at quarterback?

On Tuesday night, Penn State football was dealt a huge blow in terms of recruiting news. Five-star quarterback Justin Fields de-committed from Penn State. Fields had been committed to Penn State since December and is arguably the best player in the country.

It is now up to James Franklin and his staff to hit the recruiting trail looking for a replacement for Fields. Even though finding another quarterback as talented as Fields will not happen, I am confident that the staff will find a talented replacement.

So, who are some quarterbacks they could target moving forward?

Make no mistake about it, the decommitment of Justin Fields is one that hurts badly for Penn State. As was said above, he is arguably the best high school football player in the country. Replacing a player like that in a recruiting class is impossible to do, but Penn State can still find a talented quarterback for their 2018 recruiting class. And fans should trust that this coaching staff will do just that.

Here are three quarterbacks that the Nittany Lion coaching staff should consider pursuing moving forward.

Allan Walters: Hightstown, New Jersey

The six-foot-one, 200-pound Allan Walters attends The Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey. Walters camped for Penn State last summer but did not earn an offer. He then committed to Vanderbilt in December.

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Walters is a three-star prospect and committed to Vanderbilt over offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisville, Michigan, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M, among others. Walters has an accurate arm, and, while he is not a great athlete, still moves well.

It would not be a surprise to see the Penn State Football coaching staff reevaluate Walters moving forward. They may even attempt to get him on campus for a visit. If the Nittany Lions were to offer a scholarship to Walters, odds are, it would give him a lot to think about.

Devin Leary: Sicklerville, New Jersey

Four-star prospect Devin Leary would be my new top target if I were James Franklin, and it appears he just might be. This is due to his recent Twitter followers/followings consisting of Penn State Football coaches, players, and commits.

Devin Leary is another quarterback that Penn State evaluated last summer, but did not offer. He committed to NC State in April, but a Penn State offer could certainly shake things up.

Leary competed at the Elite 11 this past weekend and earned an invited to The Opening finals later this month. Leary possesses one of the strongest arms in the country and throws a very pretty deep ball. As Penn State fans saw last year the deep ball is a vital part of Joe Moorhead’s offense.

Devin Leary is sneaky athletic for his six-foot-two, 190-pound build. Hopefully, if the Nittany Lions pursue Leary they will be able to flip him from the Wolfpack. It should be noted that his older brother is a Penn State alum.

Quincy Patterson: Chicago, Illinois

Last summer, Quincy Patterson camped for the Nittany Lions. After his performance, he earned an offer and was a player the coaching staff was extremely high on. Had Justin Fields not committed before him, Patterson might already be in this class.

However, since December, the Windy City product has committed to Virginia Tech. Patterson is by far the best athlete of these three quarterbacks, but also has the most work to do in refining his passing game.

Like Devin Leary, Quincy Patterson participated at the Elite 11 this past weekend. He also earned an invite to The Opening Finals. Quincy Patterson is a player that the coaching staff is extremely high on, but his commitment to the Hokies may prove to be too solid to break.

Next: Recruiting Roundup: June 7, 2017

The search is back on for the quarterback in Penn State’s 2018 recruiting class. Everyone should have faith in the coaching staff in finding a solid quarterback. The last time this happened, the staff wound up landing Tommy Stevens. And Stevens just might be the second best quarterback in the Big Ten, behind only the guy he backs up.