Two former Penn State quarterbacks in the transfer portal, a third finds a new home

With Sean Clifford holding onto the starting job for four seasons, there weren't many opportunities for other Penn State quarterbacks to see the field. Ta'Quan Roberson, Michael Johnson Jr. Will Levis, and Christian Veilleux all transferred away. While Levis is in the NFL, the other three QBs are searching for their third college team.
 UConn Huskies quarterback Ta'Quan Roberson (1)
UConn Huskies quarterback Ta'Quan Roberson (1) / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State hasn’t been very busy in the spring transfer portal window, notably losing wide receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith to Auburn. James Franklin hasn’t made any additions to his roster after what he saw in the Blue-White Game, so it appears he and his staff are comfortable with the state of the roster. 

The offseason activity, or lack thereof also illustrates faith in the quarterback position with Drew Allar. There is optimism about his second season as a starter, this time with Andy Kotelnicki calling plays. The sense of ease regarded that position allowed Franklin to let Christian Veilleux leave Happy Valley last offseason and now the former PSU QB is making the third stop along his college football journey. 

Veilleux had a shot to win the starting job at Pitt this offseason but was presumably beaten out by Nate Yarnell, who began to steal snaps at the end of last season. Instead of watching the 2024 season from the sidelines, Veilleux, the 2022 four-star recruit found a new home at Georgia State, playing for Dell McGee, the former Georgia assistant, who is in his first season. 

Though the most notable, Veilleux isn’t the only former Penn State QB on the move this spring. Two quarterbacks from Penn State’s 2019 recruiting class, Ta’Quan Roberson and Michael Johnson Jr. are both back in the portal for the second time. Roberson and Johnson originally went to Happy Valley with players like Joey Porter Jr. Jaquan Brisker and Adisa Isaac, but ended up behind Sean Clifford and Will Levis on the depth chart. 

Roberson transferred to UConn in 2021 where he became the team’s starter. However, Jim Mora Jr. added Nick Evers, a QB who was a backup at Wisconsin last season in the spring portal window, so Roberson decided to search for a new opportunity. Last year, Roberson completed 58.3% of his passes, throwing for 2,075 yards and 12 touchdowns with six interceptions. 

Johnson hasn’t had nearly as much experience on the field. In the winter of 2020, he transferred to FAU but has only attempted one career pass.

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