Penn State Football: Will 2018 be the year of Trace McSorley?

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Quarterback Trace McSorley
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Quarterback Trace McSorley /

Penn State football enters the 2018 season with one of the top quarterbacks in the nation

Quarterback Trace McSorley has put together a fantastic three-year career for the Nittany Lions. Entering his senior year, there are high expectations for not only the team, but for McSorley himself. He’s been one of the top quarterbacks in the Big Ten over the past two years and is primed to be in the national spotlight in 2018.

With the loss of star running back Saquon Barkley this year, McSorley will be the main key to the Penn State offense. The Nittany Lions also lost top receiver DaeSean Hamilton and tight end Mike Gesicki, but that shouldn’t stop McSorley from having another big year. He’ll still have plenty of talented targets to throw to.

McSorley has put up over 7,000 receiving yards in his career with the Nittany Lions to go along with 57 passing touchdowns. He’s been very good at holding onto the ball, throwing just 16 interceptions over that time.

He has also added 18 touchdowns on the ground over his career.

Last season, McSorley threw for 3,328 yards with 26 touchdowns and rushed for 431 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s a very mobile quarterback that’s good at making defenses miss, but don’t be mistaken. McSorley is a pass-first, run-second type of quarterback.

He ended last season in a big way — putting up 342 yards and two touchdowns in Penn State’s win over Washington in the Fiesta Bowl.

McSorley has been a great leader for the Nittany Lions. He’s been able to lead them through tough situations and has shown the type of moxie that’s needed by a team leader.

With two full seasons as a starter, McSorley is about as veteran as they come anymore in college football. Not surprisingly, he’s already being touted as one of the best returning quarterbacks in the nation.

The Sporting News recently released its list of top 25 quarterbacks for the 2018 seasons, and McSorley topped the list. ESPN said he could be the “next Baker Mayfield” That’s high praise for McSorley considering that Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy last year and was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Next: Penn State Football: Undrafted free agent tracker

With Penn State considered one of the teams that will compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff in 2018, McSorley is in a great position to have another monster year. He’s already put his name in Penn sTate’s record books, but will look to further supplant his name in both Penn State and college football history.