Redshirt senior quarterback Tommy Stevens will open spring practice at the top of Penn State's depth chart. Head coach James Franklin made the announcement at his signing day press conference on Wednesday, though wouldn't go so far as to name Stevens the starter for the 2019 season.
Redshirt sophomore Sean Clifford will be Stevens' main competition for the starting job with redshirt freshman Will Levis penciled in as third string. True freshmen Michael Johnson Jr. and Taquan Roberson, both of whom are already on campus, will round out the depth chart.
Stevens considered transferring ahead of the 2018 season, but was convinced to stay and will get his opportunity to be THE GUY for the Nittany Lions in 2019 following the graduation of Trace McSorley.
During his press conference, Franklin reiterated how close the 2016 QB competition was between Stevens and McSorley. He also addressed the conversations he had with Stevens last year, before the NCAA transfer portal was a reality.
Penn State coach James Franklin calls QB Tommy Stevens "the original transfer portal." Stevens' exploration of a transfer was kept in-house. Now, players who declare enter the NCAA transfer database. "We've overcorrected. We go from one extreme to another."
— Mark Wogenrich (@MarkWogenrich) February 6, 2019