James Franklin explains why Penn State will have just 3 scholarship quarterbacks in 2021
Beginning the 2020 season ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Poll, the Penn State Nittany Lions stumbled out of the gate, dropping their first five games.
The team did end the disappointing year on a hot streak, however, winning their final four contests, including consecutive road victories over Michigan and Rutgers.
Looking to keep this momentum rolling in 2021, coach James Franklin addressed the quarterback position during his Thursday appearance at Big Ten Media Days in Indianapolis.
Unable to find a passer that checked all their boxes in the NCAA transfer portal, the program is set to move forward with just three scholarship signal-callers this fall, two fewer than their preferred number.
Penn State coach James Franklin says that Lions simply haven't found a fit in the transfer portal at quarterback, which is why it'll enter camp with three scholarship QBs instead of the preferred five.
— Greg Pickel (@GregPickel) July 22, 2021
Redshirt senior Sean Clifford, a product of Saint Xavier in Cincinnati, Ohio, enters the season as the presumptive No. 1 after starting 20 games over the previous two campaigns.
Completing 60.6 percent of his attempts in 2020 (152-of-251) for 1,883 yards, he is one of just 12 quarterbacks in school history to pass for at least 4,000 career yards.
The only other quarterback with game experience, redshirt sophomore Ta’Quan Roberson, who hails from Orange, New Jersey, is Clifford’s projected backup.
Roberson’s experience is limited, however, as he has attempted just one career pass, which came in a 2019 victory over Rutgers. He did not see game action in 2020.
Lastly, Potomac, Maryland freshman Christian Veilleux is in the room. A three-star prospect in the 2021 class and the No. 34 quarterback, according to the 247Sports Composite, most who follow the program believe he is unlikely to see playing time this fall, barring an emergency.
Penn State will be tested right out of the gate in 2021, as the program will open their year in Madison against the Wisconsin Badgers at 12 p.m. ET on September 4.