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With Levis transferring, where does QB position stand?

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Will Levis

Penn State backup quarterback Will Levis announced this evening that he is entering the transfer portal. That leaves Penn State thin when it comes to experience at the backup QB spot, so it will be worth watching if the program now goes out and finds another signal caller to bring in from the transfer portal.

With Penn State bringing in new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich, who’s known for his pass-heavy attack, it makes sense that Levis would want to head elsewhere for an opportunity to play. His style does not seem to fit what Yurcich does offensively.

Levis is the second PSU quarterback to enter the transfer portal this offseason, joining Micah Bowens.

ROSTER RUMBLINGS: Keep track of ALL the offseason roster movement, including those coming and going from transfer portal

Two-year starter Sean Clifford is the No. 1 QB on the depth chart. If Levis does transfer, it would leave redshirt freshman Ta’Quan Roberson and incoming freshman Christian Veilleux as the other quarterbacks.

Roberson appeared briefly in the season finale against Illinois. He was a 4-star recruit and has a lot of upside, but he just hasn’t played.

Given the lack of experience behind Clifford, coach James Franklin would have to strongly be considering going out and finding another quarterback from the transfer portal. Not necessarily one to come in and compete with Clifford for the starting job, but someone who at least has taken a lot of snaps elsewhere.

THE QB PORTAL: A look at the QBs in the transfer portal, from 247Sports

Levis served as the backup QB last season to Clifford, who struggled early on and lost the starting job. Levis got the start against Iowa, a game the Lions lost, 41-21.

Levis completed 13-of-16 passes in that game but for only 106 yards, with his throws all short as the coaches didn’t really seem to open up the full playbook for him. He also carried 15 times for 34 yards and was replaced in the game by Clifford.

That turned out to be Levis’ only shot as a starter, with Clifford taking back the job the following week and leading PSU to wins it in its final four games.

A strong runner, Levis was used almost exclusively to run the ball when he came into games late in the season. Against Rutgers, he carried the ball 17 times for 65 yards and did not attempt a single pass, being used essentially as another running back since the Lions lacked depth at the position.

Levis completed 33-of-55 passes for 421 yards with one TD and no interceptions this season. He rushed for 260 yards on 82 carries with three TDs.

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Written By

Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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