Fresh Recruits Prepare to Shine!
By David Abruzzese on August 22, 2016
Blue-White weekend is just around the corner, which means football season is closer than we think. The new season brings a number of changes to Happy Valley, most of which come on the offensive side of the ball. Christian Hackenberg decided to forego his senior season of eligibility, meaning there will be a new quarterback taking snaps at the start of the season. Luckily, his job will be made easier by the presence of Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders -- a dynamic tandem that could prove to be dominant.
There will be a number of position battles, but none will be more scrutinized than the battle for Penn State's starting quarterback. Three men will compete, but only one will emerge the victor. The two main contenders will be redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens and redshirt sophomore Trace McSorely. Both can sling the ball, and both fit the plan of new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead perfectly as dual-threat weapons, but McSorely holds the edge over the younger Stevens with a 40 yard dash time of 4.56 and live experience in the TaxSlayer bowl. "
The third horse in the race is true freshman Jake Zembiec -- a freshman with all the tools to the succeed, but not nearly enough experience to warrant a starting position. Coming off a record-setting career at the Aquinas Institute in Rochester, NY, Zembiec has as much to gain this spring as he has to lose. The likely scenario will be an early nod to McSorely, but a three-way battle until the end of training camp.
The victor of this year's quarterback battle will have plenty of weapons to work with, including red zone mismatches Irvin Charles and Juwan Johnson -- two redshirt freshman with plenty of size and speed. In all, the Nittany Lions' offense figures to be young but loaded in 2016, headlined by a rushing attack that could end up as one of the best in the nation.
There's plenty to get excited about, and although the summer brings plenty of question marks, there will be just as many exclamation points to follow.