Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mcsorley Wins Battle with Stevens to Be Starting Quarterback

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mcsorley Wins Battle with Stevens to Be Starting Quarterback

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Listening to the way Trace McSorley tells it, relaying what was possibly the biggest news of his life to the most important people in his life elicited the same reaction as an aced elementary spelling test going up on the fridge.

Or the McSorleys are the chillest family, even when the son becomes Penn State's newest starting quarterback, as coach James Franklin announced after practice Wednesday.

"My dad smiled. My mom gave me a hug," Trace McSorley said of informing his parents of the decision at breakfast Tuesday. "They were happy."

The redshirt sophomore has been the subject of much debate since January when former quarterback Christian Hackenberg departed for the NFL. While McSorley was Hackenberg's backup last season and guided the team through the majority of the TaxSlayer Bowl after Hackenberg left the game with an injury early in the second quarter, McSorley had been competing for the job with redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens throughout the offseason.

All along, Franklin had reiterated how similar the two were, both being able to run and throw, but that McSorley had the experience while Stevens had the size - with four inches and 14 pounds on the 6-foot, 201-pound McSorley.

Apparently, size doesn't matter.

Franklin said he and offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead talked about the decision in-depth before calling in the quarterbacks early Tuesday morning. Franklin said while many might have thought McSorley was the obvious choice after spring practice, Stevens definitely closed the gap.

In the end, the statistics were pretty even, and it wasn't just one thing that made the difference.

"It legitimately was a difficult decision because Tommy did such a good job with it," Franklin said. "Obviously, when we delivered the news, Trace was excited and Tommy was disappointed. …

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