Tommy Stevens is penciled into the No. 1 slot at quarterback for Penn State heading into the spring, but he may not get the opportunity to create separation over the next month.
On Wednesday, James Franklin met with the media ahead of the Nittany Lions’ first practice of the spring season. While addressing several topics, the head coach talked about Stevens’ availability this spring following surgery due to a foot injury.
Right now, it sounds like Penn State will start cautiously to see if Stevens can be a full participant this spring.
“It’ll be limited from the beginning of spring,” Franklin told reporters, according to Audrey Snyder of The Athletic. Franklin also said that Stevens could be full-go by the end of the spring season but they don’t want to push the quarterback too quickly.
Stevens has been used as a multi-purpose player at Penn State in his three years with the program. He’s been used as a dual-threat quarterback and wide receiver, and has been thrown into the mix in big-time games throughout his career.
In three years, Stevens has accounted for 14 total touchdowns — eight rushing, four passing and two receiving.
Now, Penn State is hoping to use Stevens as the full-time quarterback. And after the 2018 season, Franklin said that he’d be at the top of the depth chart, but will of course have to battle Sean Clifford and others to keep his spot.
Stevens probably would like to keep his position as the starter and prove that he’s the guy headed into fall, no questions asked. But with health and injury issues in the past, it’s smart for Franklin to keep a watchful eye on the quarterback and ensure he’s healthy when the season rolls around.