Stevens to Mississippi State

Stevens to Mississippi State

  • Article from Times Tribune...by Donnie Collins on the good of the transfer.
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    COLLINS: Departure of QB Tommy Stevens for Mississippi State will help Penn State, too
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    For everything he was for Penn State these last four years, Tommy Stevens will always be looked at in terms of what he could have been.
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    In terms of what he could have done.
    In terms of what he always wanted to be.
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    On Friday, Stevens did what everyone expected he’d do. He officially announced he’d play his graduate transfer season at Mississippi State. He gets a chance to start at quarterback in a major conference, for a contender, in a system he is familiar with, for a head coach he knows so very well.
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    This is the way of college football now, especially if you’re a quarterback with some ability and an eye toward the NFL. Every young prospect is looking for an opportunity. Every program is looking to improve. The transfer portal — not to mention some relaxed standards from the NCAA when it comes to granting waivers on immediate playing time — has essentially created a quasi-free-agent class every offseason.
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    Once Stevens’ situation at Penn State went from a sure starting job to a competition in which he’d merely been the favorite against sophomore Sean Clifford, he became a free agent. That’s his right, and he exercised it.
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    He did what was best for his career, in his own mind.
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    In all reality, he absolutely did what was best for Penn State, too.
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    Finally, Tommy Time
    Good kid: Something everyone should realize about Stevens: He’s a good kid; a patient kid who just couldn’t wait any longer for a guarantee.
    In the statement he released Friday announcing his transfer to Mississippi State, he said he was “forever thankful” for his time at Penn State, which he called “nothing short of an amazing experience.” To a man, he was beloved by his teammates, a guy who had a major leadership role with the Nittany Lions the last two seasons. That’s rare, considering the quarterback playing ahead of Stevens was one of the most productive players in program history, an unquestioned leader during a resurgent era.
    All too often, a leader and player the magnitude of Trace McSorley perhaps unintentionally would overwhelm any impact his backups could possibly have on their teammates. Stevens still managed to carve out a major leadership role.
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    Penn State lost a lot when Stevens decided to transfer, and it would be understandable if fans were frustrated that he left. After all, he effectively ended a quarterback competition that 1.) he likely would have won, and 2.) would have made Clifford a better player in the process of winning it. Now, Penn State goes into the summer with a redshirt sophomore at quarterback who is easily the most experienced signal-caller on the roster, at a position where they haven’t been this inexperienced in at least three seasons.
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    If Stevens succeeds, it's a win for PSU: Thing is, if Stevens has a successful campaign with the Bulldogs this fall, it should be taken as a victory in the grand scheme of things for Penn State.
    No matter how things go without him for the Nittany Lions.
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    All about the spin
    Everything in the college football world is judged pretty much by how it affects one thing. Recruiting.
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    Perception is everything, and for the sake of the argument, let’s say Stevens does some things he had not yet done at Penn State: He stays healthy. He becomes an accurate thrower, one who is as strong in the passing game as he is on the run. Let’s say his talent takes him where he wants to go, to the top of the wish lists for NFL teams looking for a 6-foot-5 quarterback with great wheels, a cannon for an arm and a season in which he put it all together.
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    How is that not good for Penn State?
    Joining Moorhead: Sure, there’s an obvious answer to that: He’d have put it together for a different program. But that program has some striking similarities to Penn State’s. Its head coach, Joe Moorhead, built Penn State’s offense from a few scribbles in a notebook to one of the most powerful in the Football Bowl Subdivision. It’s largely the same style of offense Penn State says it wants to use into the future, even without Moorhead calling the plays.
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    Don’t think Penn State won’t pitch Stevens as one of their own on the recruiting trail if he finds that kind of success, the same way coaches are pitching Moorhead’s offense as a vehicle to get young recruits the two things they want most out of college football: Numbers, and recognition. Add Stevens to McSorley, and perhaps to Clifford when it’s all said and done, and it’s going to be very difficult for young recruits to argue that Penn State doesn’t develop its quarterbacks. In fact, head coach James Franklin can say, he has developed every one he has ever used during his time in Happy Valley.
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    Only, one happened to show it in Starksville.
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    PSU players understand his decision: Bottom line is, there’s a reason why so few Penn State players are upset with Tommy Stevens’ decision.
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    It’s because they understand it.
    There’s very few reasons Penn State fans should feel any different about that.
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    If Stevens struggles there, then it would be clear Franklin made the right decision to insist on an open competition. If he doesn’t, Penn State will be able to pitch Stevens as another product of the system that has turned raw, young prospects into viable major college quarterbacks. Frankly, that’s something this program hasn’t had a chance to say all that consistently throughout its history.

  • I disagree with this article. If Tommy has a better season than cliff, we will see this board melt down. It will be a bad look for this staff and we'll hear about it with negative recruiting. I'm not rooting against Tommy, but I am rooting for cliff to have a better season because of what I mentioned above.

  • Bluelue said... (original post)

    I disagree with this article. If Tommy has a better season than cliff, we will see this board melt down. It will be a bad look for this staff and we'll hear about it with negative recruiting. I'm not rooting against Tommy, but I am rooting for cliff to have a better season because of what I mentioned above.

    I am rooting for Sean and Tommy to both have great seasons, just for Sean to have a better one. If Tommy has a great year and Sean ends up looking like CH v2.0 (circa 2015), this board will make TMI look like slightly warmed cheese on a fast food burger.

  • Has Franklin commented on Stevens' departure? Who is putting it out there that Stevens would have likely won the competition?

  • franfisher said... (original post)

    Has Franklin commented on Stevens' departure? Who is putting it out there that Stevens would have likely won the competition?

    No one at Penn State has said anything that Stevens would have likely won the competition. It was clear that Clifford was in the lead.

  • Bluelue said... (original post)

    I disagree with this article. If Tommy has a better season than cliff, we will see this board melt down. It will be a bad look for this staff and we'll hear about it with negative recruiting. I'm not rooting against Tommy, but I am rooting for cliff to have a better season because of what I mentioned above.

    Tommy will have a better year because Moorhead is the guru of Moorhead's offense and RR is a learner. Clifford won the job here and that's why TS left. All is as it should be right now for both programs.

  • scottyberkberk said... (original post)

    I am rooting for Sean and Tommy to both have great seasons, just for Sean to have a better one. If Tommy has a great year and Sean ends up looking like CH v2.0 (circa 2015), this board will make TMI look like slightly warmed cheese on a fast food burger.

    That's a big if because there's a good chance that Stevens will not even be the primary starter at Mississippi State, and there is little chance that Clifford looks like Hack in 2015. I am extremely excited about Clifford. He's the real deal.

  • franfisher said... (original post)

    Has Franklin commented on Stevens' departure? Who is putting it out there that Stevens would have likely won the competition?

    I think that TS would have started the season, but I think that he would have split time. But, as the season rolled along, there might have been a problem.

  • DuncPSU said... (original post)

    ...It was clear that Clifford was in the lead.

    I don't think you can say that. It's not like TS was full go this spring and Clifford simply played better. It's apples and oranges.

    Stevens didn't want to risk losing a competition because he didn't want to end his career on the bench. And if he didn't have legitimate aspirations of playing at the next level, I think he would have stayed and competed. He would have been great to watch in B & W this fall. The thing is, Clifford might be just be as good, if not better. Tommy couldn't take the chance. I hope he lights it up in Starksville!

    I hated to see him leave. This was a really young team to begin with because of all the guys who left early for the NFL. In that regard, losing Stevens certainly doesn't help.

    What you can say, IMO, is that the extra first team reps gave Clifford the opening he needed to close any gaps there might have been. Clifford is now, in the eyes of Franklin, capable of starting and winning. I don't want to jinx him, but there are signs that Penn State hasn't seen a QB with an arm this good in a long time....if ever.

    I hope they both have fantastic seasons! And even if Stevens breaks out and Clifford struggles some, we need to judge Sean on his full body of work. No matter how good PSU is this fall, it should be markedly better in 2020.

  • "Stevens didn't want to risk losing a competition because he didn't want to end his career on the bench."

    Then why would he go to Mississippi State and risk losing a competition?

  • DuncPSU said... (original post)

    "Stevens didn't want to risk losing a competition because he didn't want to end his career on the bench."

    Then why would he go to Mississippi State and risk losing a competition?

    Perhaps he knew how good Cliff can actually be. And the known might be worse than the unknown.

  • DuncPSU said... (original post)

    That's a big if because there's a good chance that Stevens will not even be the primary starter at Mississippi State, and there is little chance that Clifford looks like Hack in 2015. I am extremely excited about Clifford. He's the real deal.

    To be clear, I don't expect that either. I tend to believe TS left not because he might not be the starter, I believe he left because it looked very likely he would not be the starter. He was there for all the practices and saw what SC was doing and could do.

    However, apart from the 100% JF supporters there is going to be plenty of slings and arrows flying from all kinds of directions if TS has a better year than SC. I don't expect it, but that is what is going to happen.

  • Rumpke said... (original post)

    His going somewhere else to compete, and possibly end up 2nd or 3rd string means that he made up his whole cockamamie story. I hope that his car gets stuck in the Sparta Mississippi mud way out in the boonies in some dry county that has a Blue laws prohibiting the sale of diapers on Sundays.

    I understand you're trying to be witty and funny. But, damn, you're awful at this.

  • scottyberkberk said... (original post)

    To be clear, I don't expect that either. I tend to believe TS left not because he might not be the starter, I believe he left because it looked very likely he would not be the starter. He was there for all the practices and saw what SC was doing and could do.

    However, apart from the 100% JF supporters there is going to be plenty of slings and arrows flying from all kinds of directions if TS has a better year than SC. I don't expect it, but that is what is going to happen.

    I agree with you on both. I am excited to see what Sean can do.

  • wehavenorival said... (original post)

    I understand you're trying to be witty and funny. But, damn, you're awful at this.

    However unbelievable, that actually happened to me. ;-)

  • In an interview...
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    We had a lot of conversations with Tommy and his dad, And I don't feel like either side got exactly what they wanted out of those conversations, but I felt like we had kind of got to a compromise and then moved forward. But at the end of the day, I wish Tommy nothing but success. I would have loved for it to be here, but I wish him nothing but success...What I don't want to do is, I don't want to ever make promises or make statements and then don't live up to them...We don't do that in recruiting. A lot of schools do that in recruiting. They promise a guy a number, they promise playing time. We just don't do that...To me, we’re supposed to be using the game of football to teach kids life, and you earn things in life and you earn things in college football.” - JMFF

  • intarz5 said... (original post)

    Best of Luck and I hope you make out as well as a PSU QB transfer 30 years ago named Hostetler. He owns a Super Bowl Ring.

    Yeah, and the guy who stayed owns a National Championship ring.

  • wcg207 said... (original post)

    Yeah, and the guy who stayed owns a National Championship ring.

    And, he often calls our Saturday night prime-time White Out games on national TV.