Penn State Football: Tommy Stevens is the new Pat Devlin


Tommy Stevens’ situation is eerily similar to a former Penn State football. The program needs to keep him happy for the future.

It’s no secret that Penn State football’s Tommy Stevens is an impressive talent. But, he’s currently sitting behind one of the best quarterbacks in the nation in Trace McSorley. There’s been much talk of how to keep the young signal caller in Happy Valley until McSorley either graduates or moves on. The situation feels similar to a recent QB battle and that ended poorly for Penn State.

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In 2008 Daryll Clark earned the starting quarterback job and kept it for his final two seasons. The Nittany Lions went 22-4 and the program added more history to its great program. However, the quarterback that came out on the wrong side of the QB battle turned into a strong starter as well… at Delaware.

Pat Devlin showed glimpses of his ability in 2008 at Penn State throwing for 459 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions in mostly mop-up duty. After he lost the job, Devlin played backup but knew he could start earlier, so he transferred to Delaware.

Devlin followed in Joe Flacco’s footsteps and moved to the Blue Hens, and it turned out well. He threw for almost 5,700 yards, 38 touchdowns against 12 interceptions taking Delaware to an 18-8, two-year record and a national title appearance in 2010-2011.

Most Penn State fans probably weren’t happy with the move. Nevertheless, a talent as great as Devlin or, in this case Stevens, usually want to play earlier and fans can’t blame them. It’s hard to sit and burn eligibility as a backup.

In order to keep Stevens here he needs to see time. He could play quarterback, wide receiver or wildcat QB, it doesn’t matter. Either way, he needs to be used. There’s no need for a quarterback controversy or a locker room to pick sides.

However, it’s apparent that his talent warrants snaps. As I referenced in the above link, many teams thrived with a second quarterback in the mix. However, it has to happen in a set scheme where both players understand their roles.

Teams can’t prepare for two dual threat quarterbacks in McSorley and Stevens. A lot of teams used one strong runner and one strong passer. But, Penn State could use two quarterbacks that have the total package making it another difficult element to defend.

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If Tommy Stevens manages to stay with Penn State football, James Franklin and the Nittany Lions can guarantee at least four seasons of Big Title contending teams in Happy Valley.