Penn State Quarterback Will Levis Enters Transfer Portal

By Nick Polak on January 28, 2021 at 6:47 pm
Dec 19, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Will Levis (7) looks to the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Illinois 56-21.
Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

The same day that linebacker Lance Dixon chose to enter the transfer portal, Penn State backup quarterback Will Levis announced his intentions to do the same.

While it wasn't necessarily expected that Levis would move on this offseason, it's not all that surprising. Levis was given a chance to take over the starting role in 2020 when Sean Clifford was benched, and though he nearly led a comeback against Nebraska, the team struggled to do much with him at the helm. Still, given that he still has three remaining seasons of eligibility thanks to the extra year due to COVID, it makes sense that he'll want to look for a chance to start full-time elsewhere.

Additionally, with the departure of offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca who leaned on Levis in short-yardage situations, playing time as the backup quarterback would likely have been tougher to find in 2021 under new coordinator Mike Yurcich.

In two years in Happy Valley, Levis passed for 644 yards (6.3 yards per attempt) with a 59.8 completion percentage. He threw for 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He was an effective short-yardage runner, rushing for 473 yards on 133 carries (3.6 yards per carry), and found the end zone 6 times on the ground.

Levis will bring with him an imposing frame and a cannon for an arm to wherever he ends up but has yet to translate his physical gifts into effective quarterback play. If he can improve his accuracy and decision-making as well as learn how to put more touch on his throws, the best could still be ahead for the Connecticut native.

On Penn State's side, not all that much changes as far as 2021 is concerned. Clifford is still expected to be the starter for Penn State, while Ta'Quan Roberson now appears set to be the backup. Still, with just those two and recently enrolled freshman Christian Veilleux on the depth chart at the moment, expect the Lions to remain active in the transfer portal to, at the very least, add another body to the room.

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