Happy Valley, PA (August 25, 2016) – At the conclusion of Wednesday’s practice, Penn State head coach James Franklin named Trace McSorley as the starting quarterback for the 2016 season.
The redshirt sophomore has been the subject of much interest since former quarterback Christian Hackenberg departed for the NFL. As Hackenburg’s backup during the 2015 season, McSorley saw some crutical game action during the TaxSlayer Bowl after Hackenberg left the game with an injury early in the second quarter.
The Nittany Lions were down 24-3 to the Georgia Bulldogs when McSorley stepped under center. Though he received little opportunity to play throughout the season, he looked like he belonged there from the first snap. Towards the end of the third quarter, McSorley capped a 75-yard touchdown drive with an impressive touchdown pass to receiver Geno Lewis on fourth-and-twelve from the 17-yard line after evading the pass rush to buy some time to throw. On the subsequent series, McSorley led a 58-yard touchdown drive which ended with a rocket of a pass across the middle to find receiver DeaSean Hamilton in the end zone.
Prior to his first play of the game, it was a foregone conclusion to many of the Nittany Lion faithful that the game would amount to a loss. A completed Hail Mary pass at game’s end from the back-up, now starter McSorley would have sealed the comeback victory for the Penn State football team. Despite the loss, fan’s got their first true glimpse of the caliber of a player they can rest their hopes on for the next three years.
“It’s an honor to have been named starting quarterback at Penn State,” McSorley said. “It’s something that I always kind of dreamed and thought about since the day I committed here.
The last time the 6-foot, 201-pound McSorley was named the starter at quarterback, he led the Briar Woods High School football team to 3 state championship titles on 4 trips to the big dance. As a rare four-year high school starter, he amassed a 55-5 record, and more than 12,000 yards of total offense and 150 career touchdowns.