Everybody’s talking about Drew Allar.
They’ve talked about him since before he came to Penn State, and the talk has only intensified since he made his unexpected college football debut in Penn State’s opening game at Purdue.
Allar went 2-4 for 26 yards in his lone possession against the Boilermakers, briefly reliving starter Sean Clifford.
In Week 2, Allar got people talking again.
Coming on in place of Clifford– this time by design– Allar went 6-8 passing for 88 yards and two touchdowns, helping Penn State to three touchdowns in his four possessions, all in the second half.
For coach James Franklin, a key to Allar’s early success has been him enrolling early at Penn State and being on campus in time for spring practice.
“Spring ball is invaluable for these guys that are able to come early,” Franklin told reporters during his weekly press conference Tuesday, “if it makes sense for them both from an academic perspective, as well as just from a maturity standpoint. So having him here early, as well as our other quarterbacks, to learn the system, to study the system, get comfortable, get familiar so they have a chance to truly compete (was necessary).”
Franklin mentioned that everybody knew Allar had the body and talent to be a good quarterback.
Franklin also noticed that Allar does what he has to do behind the scenes to be successful.
“I think he’s done a really good job of learning how to prepare, how to study the game,” Franklin said. “I think Sean [Clifford] has had a big impact on that as well. Obviously, Coach [Mike] Yurcich (has had an impact).
Franklin said in Saturday’s postgame press conference that football “seems slow to him already,” a point he reiterated Tuesday.
“I think he’s already at a point where the game has slowed down to him a little bit, and he’s able to anticipate what’s going to happen from a coverage perspective or from a pressure perspective,” Franklin said. “He’s doing some nice things that we have been able to build on, and we’re going to need to continue to build on.”
Franklin surprised Penn State fans and media members when, the Monday before Penn State’s season opener at Purdue, he announced Allar as the team’s backup quarterback.
From there, Allar’s snaps in practice increased, and that, along with playing in the first two games, has been big.
Overall, like everybody else, Franklin likes what he sees from Allar.
“Still got a lot of areas, a lot of room for growth, which is exciting,” he said, “but he’s doing some really good things.”