Penn State QB Tommy Stevens might be the backup to Trace McSorley, but he takes on different roles for the Nittany Lions. That should continue Saturday when No. 4 Penn State plays Iowa.
Here’s what you need to know about the Nittany Lions’ backup quarterback:
1. Tommy Stevens played in 7 games in 2016
As Trace McSorley’s backup, Stevens saw limited action during his redshirt freshman season. He was 2-for-3 passing for 36 yards with no passing touchdown or interceptions. But he did score on the ground, rushing for 198 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 21 attempts.
Stevens scored his touchdowns against Iowa and Rutgers last season. He had 70 rush yards vs. Iowa and 61 at Rutgers, two Nittany Lions routs.
This season, Stevens is 5-for-10 passing for 85 yards and 1 touchdown. On the ground, Stevens has 6 attempts for 18 yards and a score. He also has a receiving touchdown, scoring against Georgia State in Week 2
Penn State’s Tommy Stevens scores TD vs. Georgia State
He likes tossing touchdowns.
— Penn State On BTN (@PennStateOnBTN) September 16, 2017
2. Tommy Stevens is a former 3-star recruit
The class of 2015 recruit was rated by 247 Sports as a 3-star recruit. The 6-foot-5, 228-pound quarterback was rated No. 9 out of Indiana and No. 22 nationally as a dual-threat quarterback. He was also a top-700 recruit in the country ranking No. 647.
3. Tommy Stevens starred in Penn State’s Blue-White Game
On April 22, Stevens shined in the annual spring game. The Nittany Lions QB was busy, going for 17-for-24 for 216 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Stevens threw touchdown passes to Juwan Johnson, Brandon Polk and Andre Robinson.
4. QB Tommy Stevens played also played defensive back in high school
Like McSorley, Stevens can run and throw. While at Decatur Central High School, Stevens rushed for a combined 1,627 yards in his final two seasons. He also passed for at least 1,500 yards in both 2013 and 2014.
High school stats:
- 2013: 97-for-197, 1,526 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, 5 interceptions; 109 carries, 785 yards, 7 TDs
- 2014: 126-for-212, 1,891 passing yards, 16 TDs, 6 INTs; 172 carries, 842 yards, 10 TDs
But Stevens also played defensive back in high school. He made 8 total tackles in 2013 and then had 25 tackles in 2014. He intercepted 3 passes those two seasons. He was named All-State as a defensive back.
5. Tommy Stevens was an Indiana de-commit before going to Penn State
As an Indianapolis recruit, Stevens was originally committed to Indiana before switching to the Nittany Lions on Nov. 10, 2014. He had committed to the Hoosiers in July of that year. But an October visit to Happy Valley helped Stevens change his mind.
Stevens shared his flipped commitment decision on Twitter.
“After carefully weighing out my options, my family and I have decided that it is in my best interest to commit to Penn State,” Stevens wrote in a note shared on Twitter. “I want to thank all of the coaches that recruits me throughout this whole process. I especially want to than the Indiana staff. I fully believe they are moving in the right direction and I wish them nothing but the best in the future. It was a tough decision to leave home but I have to do what I feel like is best for me.”
Tommy Stevens flips to Penn State from Indiana
— Tommy Stevens (@TMS_II) November 11, 2014