If you love Penn State and you love quarterbacks, then I have some great news for you this week.
1. Clifford is back, save these tickets to Indy, baby
In case you missed the news last night, Sean Clifford was back in training yesterday for all media to see.
Could this be a touch of James Franklin’s game for Illinois? May be. Despite the fact that Franklin said on Wednesday wasn’t Clifford’s first practice this week, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Clifford is still leading against the Illini. But – and this is an important but – there’s no way Clifford won’t take the field for Ohio State on October 30.
Plus, when it comes to the angle of play, it’s not like Ohio State is preparing so differently whether Clifford is there or not. If Will Levis was still around, I could buy this notion a little more. LÃ©vis would bring with it an entirely different power-racing game dynamic. But Ta’Quan Roberson or Christian Veilleux? It’s not like the Buckeyes need specific practices to make it a long night for No.2 or No.9.
But man, isn’t it great to see Clifford there? Seeing Penn State squander a fine win over Iowa was one thing, but having this cloud of mystery around Clifford was disheartening. It’s one thing for Penn State to fail in their college football playoff pursuit, but quite another when it looked like the Nittany Lions weren’t going to swing – instead, fall with a moan with # 14 on the bench.
We’ll see what Clifford looks like when he takes the field – whether against Illinois or Ohio State – because it’s probably safe to say he won’t be 100%. But at least for me there’s new juice knowing Clifford will be back.
2. Drew Allar gets his 5th star, I’m getting ready for my “I
247Sports updated their recruiting rankings yesterday, and guess which tik-tok-lookin assassin is the nation’s new No.1 quarterback?
Maybe it’s because I’m not recruiting as closely as my younger years, but the people: this is what we expected. We made the comparisons from Penn State to Clemson – the slowness of construction over a number of years. But the thing Penn State was missing was their Deshaun Watson (note: the player, not the (alleged) person). The quarterback who could take them to the next level. The quarterback that would take them over the hump. For a second, it looked like Penn State had this guy – but then he disengaged and ended up in Ohio State.
Allar is everything you want a quarterback to be. Huge height at 6 feet 5 inches, 230 pounds. Elite arm strength to perform every throw on the field. The arm angles. Touch. And while he’s not an elite athlete, he has decent wheels which, combined with his size, should make him a real asset when a game breaks down.
Now, let’s be clear: I’m not saying Drew Allar will be Deshaun Watson. It would be ridiculous. I mean, Watson has never even won a Heisman Trophy, while Allar will likely win at least two, with the third going to his fellow recruiting class 2022, Nicholas Singleton, five stars. Leinart – & – Bush 2.0? A lot of people categorically say “yes” and who am I to disagree with people?