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PSU Football Recruiting

PSU recruiting notebook: Breaking down the QB outlook

Photo from MJ Morris Twitter

Last week’s article focused on the Nittany Lions’ outlook at tight end after a pair of decommitments and a coaching change. Penn State is facing a similar scenario in recruiting at quarterback, as Mike Yurcich recently was hired as the offensive coordinator and QB coach, while a pair of signalcallers transferred out of the program.

Penn State currently holds a commitment from Central York standout Beau Pribula, a four-star prospect for the Class of 2022 per the 247 Sports Composite, but the Nittany Lions appear poised to add another player to supplement the three scholarship QBs on the roster.

Of the 15 other QBs the staff has offered in the class, five are already committed. Quinn Ewers, the top-rated player in the entire class, pledged to Ohio State in November after flipping his commitment from Texas. The Longhorns found a strong replacement, however, as they secured a commitment from fellow five-star talent Maalik Murphy last week. Additionally, five-star QB Gunner Stockton has verballed to Georgia, Walker Howard, a four-star talent, is committed to LSU, and four-star Nicco Marchiol pledged to Florida State.

Here’s a closer look at the 10 quarterbacks who are still uncommitted.

Ty Simpson – The highest-rated of the uncommitted quarterbacks that Penn State has offered, Simpson is a four-star prospect who is evaluated as the 42nd-best player for 2022, and is ranked second among dual-threat QBs. From Martin, Tennessee, Simpson is expected to announce his commitment on Feb. 26. He was originally slated to make his decision this Friday, but pushed the event back a week due to inclement weather. Although Penn State offered him in April, 2019, his finalists are expected to be Alabama, Clemson, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas, and Texas A&M. If that holds true, Simpson will likely be off the Nittany Lions’ board soon.

MJ Morris – From Atlanta, Morris is a four-star player who ranks 73rd in the Class of 2022, and is the No. 4 dual-threat QB. The Nittany Lions joined the mix in June, 2019, and Morris’ other notable offers include Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, and Oregon. The Crimson Tide, Bulldogs, and Tennessee Volunteers are among the teams he visited prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

AJ Duffy – A familiar name in Penn State recruiting in recent months, Duffy included Penn State among his finalists over the weekend. The Nittany Lions are joined by Florida State, Michigan State, and Oregon in Duffy’s top four, although some recruiting experts still believe Arizona State is a top contender to land Duffy. Originally from Moreno Valley, California, Duffy transferred to national powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He’s a four-star talent, rated as the 103rd player nationally, and fifth-best pro-style quarterback. Penn State offered Duffy in January, 2020.

Braden Davis – Evaluated as a four-star prospect, Davis is 152nd overall in the Class of 2022, and the seventh-best dual-threat QB. From Middletown, Delaware, Davis went to Florida last fall to play at Lake Minneola, but has since returned home. His father, Antone Davis, played in the NFL as an offensive lineman with the Eagles, Falcons, and Packers. The Nittany Lions offered Davis in July, 2019, and he visited campus during the 2019 campaign. His other prominent offers consist of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, and Oregon.

Cade Klubnik – Penn State recently added Klubnik to their QB targets, as they offered the Austin, Texas native on Jan. 31. Rated as a four-star talent, Klubnik is 155th overall and the sixth-best pro-style quarterback. His other offers include Auburn, Florida, UNC, Texas, Georgia, LSU, and Michigan, which offered the day after Penn State. He guided Westlake, the same school that produced Drew Brees, to a state championship last month.

Steve Angeli – A three-star prospect who is right on the cusp of a fourth star, Angeli plays for Bergen Catholic in New Jersey. His offer list includes Notre Dame, Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, and Oregon, while Penn State joined the fray in August, 2019, during Angeli’s visit to campus.

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Preston Howard – Howard plays for McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland, which has produced three current Nittany Lions. A three-star prospect, Howard is ranked as the 10th-best among dual-threat quarterbacks in the class. Penn State offered last April, and his other notable offers include Maryland, Arizona State, Auburn, Michigan, and West Virginia. A few of his high school teammates, Dani Dennis-Sutton and Kwan Williams, are priority targets for Penn State.

Destin Wade – From Spring Hill, Tennessee, Wade is a three-star prospect, and rated 11th among dual-threat signalcallers. Penn State offered Wade last March, joining a group that includes Arizona State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.

Drew Allar – Penn State offered Allar on Jan. 30, making him one of the first new QB targets identified by Yurcich. Since that time, Michigan, Texas A&M, Washington, and Indiana are among the squads that have offered the Medina, Ohio native. He’s rated as a three-star prospect, and the 24th-best pro-style quarterback.

Nick Evers – Less than a week after Allar was offered, Evers was targeted by the Nittany Lions. From Flower Mound, Texas, Evers also has notable offers from Florida, Minnesota, and Virginia Tech. He is currently unrated.

In order to beef up the collection of talent in the quarterbacks room, Penn State will need to bring in players via transfer, add another signalcaller to its recruiting class, or possibly both. The highest-rated QB recruit during James Franklin’s tenure at Penn State has been Sean Clifford, who was 196th nationally in 2017. However, as the aforementioned list shows, the Nittany Lions have several targets who could become a crown jewel for Penn State’s impressive class.

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Commentator, host and writer for high-school and college sports, including @WestmorelandSN, @CarlowCeltics, @PACSports, @PSNKsports and Latrobe Bulletin.

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