In the end, it was much ado about nothing.
Over the last couple of months, speculation had been making the rounds that Tommy Stevens was seriously contemplating a transfer from Penn State. With Trace McSorley firmly entrenched as the Nittany Lions’ starting quarterback for the upcoming season, the rumors of Stevens exploring the transfer option made sense.
While he acknowledged that he has spoken to other unnamed programs, Stevens also confirmed to reporters Wednesday that he has instead opted to remain at Penn State.
“I did search around and look and see if there would be a better place for me, and I talked to some schools, [but] ultimately I know what I have here,” Stevens said by way of pennlive.com. “I love Penn State, I love the relationships I have here, and I love playing football with my best friends, so ultimately I found out this is still the best place for me.”
According to head coach James Franklin, who labeled the development as “great news,” both the player and his family “handled this situation unbelievably well.”
The good news for Stevens — and Franklin, frankly — is that the redshirt sophomore has two seasons of eligibility remaining, while McSorley has just one. McSorley’s departure for the NFL following the 2018 season would leave Stevens sitting squarely in the driver’s seat for the starting job in 2019.
Last season, Stevens completed 14-of-27 passes for 158 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions as McSorley’s backup. For his career, he’s 16-30 for 194 yards and the three scoring tosses. Stevens is extremely versatile as well — an attribute the coaching staff fully intends to utilize in 2018, by the way — running for 388 yards and six touchdowns the past two seasons, while also catching 12 passes for 60 yards and another pair of touchdowns last season for good measure.