Potential Tommy Stevens Landing Spots
With the recent announcement of Penn State quarterback Tommy Stevens entering the transfer portal, there are several destination possibilities for the former four-star recruit from Indianapolis, Indiana. While Jalen Hurts and Kelly Bryant have landed at Oklahoma and Missouri, respectively, there are other power five schools in need of a veteran quarterback.
This may come as a huge disappointment to Penn State fans, but it’s a logical choice for Stevens. Kenny Pickett didn’t get the job done for a team that miraculously found its way to the ACC championship game. Under head coach Pat Narduzzi, other graduate transfer quarterbacks such as Nathan Peterman and Max Browne have seen significant playing time and varied success. Though Stevens would likely prefer to go to an out-of-state university, the opportunity to start with very weak competition and a strong running game may be difficult to pass up.
It seems like a perfect marriage on the outside. Head coach Joe Moorhead was a huge supporter of Stevens during his time as offensive coordinator at Penn State, and three-year starter Nick Fitzgerald is gone from Starkville. Moorhead is a huge believer in the run game, which blend well with Stevens’ skill set.
Jumping from the Big Ten to the SEC is an upward move for Stevens, and the competition of the SEC West would pose a big threat for Stevens in his first year of starting. Nonetheless, it’s very realistic that Stevens could boost his highlight tape for the NFL with a great year in the SEC.
With quarterback Will Grier heading to the NFL, the Mountaineers are in the market for a new signal caller. The three other quarterbacks on roster are two sophomores and a junior, none of which have received substantial playing time during their respective careers.
Stevens could certainly put up some huge numbers in the offense-friendly Big 12, not to mention that newly named head coach Neal Brown has adamant about keeping the high-octane offense of Dana Holgersen in place. Stevens might not go the Big 12 route, but if he does, Morgantown may be the perfect destination.
It’s been awhile since head coach Mack Brown has roamed the sidelines in Austin, but he’s back and in need of a quarterback. The Tar Heels went 2-9 last year, one of their worst seasons in program history.
None of the returning quarterbacks proved their worth last year, though junior quarterback Nathan Elliott did complete nearly 62 percent of his passes. However, it seems highly unlikely that Brown would choose Elliott, a player he didn’t recruit, over the highly coveted Stevens.
The Cougars found success last year via the transfer portal, with the mustache of college football Gardner Minshew leading them to an 11-win season in 2018. Head coach Mike Leach might turn to another transfer, and Stevens could be a potential answer in Pullman.
Though Leach’s air-raid offense typically calls for a more proficient passer, Stevens does have the arm strength to throw the ball 50-plus times every game. Though not nearly as seamless a fit as Minshew turned out to be last year, Stevens could easily pair up with Leach to put up some truly gaudy numbers.
Andrew Destin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.