What is Penn State getting in QB Will Levis?

By Len Damico on July 17, 2017 at 9:00 am
Will Levis
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Let’s start off with the bad news: Will Levis is not Justin Fields.

Now that incredibly unfair comparison is out of the way, let’s look deeper into Levis’s game.

The first thing you notice about Levis is prototypical quarterback size. The 6’4, 222-pound signal caller certainly passes the eye test. The next thing you notice is a live arm, potentially capable of stretching the field and making the aggressive medium- to long-range balls that Penn State’s offense thrived on last year.

Gym shorts, but that’s a pretty nice ball.

“They’re going to get a kid who’s going to be an extremely hard worker who’s going to eat up football" – Levis's head coach Andy Guyton to 247's Steve Wiltfong.

As you watch more and more of Levis’s tape, you start to notice that he’s quite athletic for a big guy; in fact, he ran a 4.65 40-yard dash at the Lasch Bash. He’s probably not going to shake many Big Ten linebackers one-on-one, but you can see his ability to buy time in the pocket. Levis also seems to feel the rush well, getting rid of the ball in time to avoid blind-side pressure. The escapability at 1:35 in the video below is pretty impressive, as is Levis’ ability to keep his eyes downfield as the pocket collapses.

His high-school offense does not ask him to run much, but when a play breaks down, Levis is a decisive runner, not afraid to take a hit on his big frame (see 1:39 on the video embedded below).

The first two plays on the clip above also illustrate fine mechanics and decision-making; the ball leaves Levis’s hand in a hurry, enabling simple slip screens to go for sizable gains.

There’s a lot to like in Levis’ tape. He stormed onto the national scene relatively late in the process, but that probably has more to do with his location (Connecticut) than his ability. He’s not an elite recruit (composite 3-star at the time of his commitment), but the current Penn State depth chart at QB means Levis will not be asked to play anytime soon, giving him ample time to grow accustomed to Big Ten competition and absorb the playbook. Ultimately, with coaching and training, Levis seems to have the necessary toolkit to help make him into a high-level starting quarterback in the Big Ten.

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