Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

PSU Football

Penn State’s Drew Allar Credits Basketball, Baseball for Shaping Him as a QB

Drew Allar
Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Drew Allar (15) November 12, 2022 David Hague/NSN

To many, Penn State’s Drew Allar is a prototypical quarterback.

He has the build— 6-foot-5, 238 pounds— fans want their favorite team’s QB to have.

His arm is like a rocket, which also helps.

These traits played a big part in Allar tearing up the high school level.

He finished his senior season at Medina High School with 4,433 yards and 48 touchdowns and completed 60 percent of his passes.

Those numbers helped Allar become a five-star recruit and Penn State signee.

Allar’s high school receivers were better for playing with him, but handling his arm strength was sometimes tricky.

“There was a couple broken fingers in high school,” Allar recalled during Penn State’s second-year player media availability this past Tuesday.

Whether Allar is still breaking fingers is unconfirmed. So, for that matter, is whether he’ll succeed in the Big Ten.

But his potential is undeniable.

Practically everybody from State College to Pluto has gushed over Allar, and with good reason.

Whether watching one of Allar’s highlight tapes or watching him warm up, he looks like somebody invented in a lab specifically to play QB.

Which makes it surprising that he never played the position until his first year of high school.

Once upon a time, Allar was a three-sport athlete.

In football, he played fullback and linebacker through middle school.

He was good as a fullback, which was part of the reason he didn’t play QB at the youth level. Allar also told the Medina Gazette that because his father, Kevin, was his youth coach, the family didn’t want people to think young Drew was playing QB due to nepotism.

In basketball, the Gazette described him as a “sweet-shooting, 6-foot-5, 230-pound power forward.

But Allar’s basketball career ended after two seasons on the JV team.

In baseball, Allar threw as hard as 86 miles per hour.

Pretty good.

But consistency wasn’t his strong suit.

” I either struck people out or walked them,” Allar told the Gazette. “I’d strike out the first two kids on six pitches, then I’d walk two people, then I’d go to a full count on the next kid. I’d get so frustrated because I’d be doing so well, and then it would just go away.”

Allar quit baseball after his freshman year and before he found consistent control on the mound.

Oh, what might have been?

If Allar stuck with baseball, could he be pitching for a powerhouse like Vanderbilt instead of playing quarterback at Penn State? The world will never know.

Does Allar lose any sleep over it?

No. No, he doesn’t.

Allar’s basketball and baseball days are long gone.

But he credits what he developed from his time on the hardwood and the Diamond for his success on the gridiron.

“Basketball really helped,” he said. “Functional movement, just quick cuts, because there’s so much cutting in basketball, and you have to be quick on your feet. And then baseball, just from a hand-eye coordination and arm-slot ability. I think that’s where all the arm slots really came from for me.”

Along with pitching, Allar got to show off his arm on the left side of the infield in high school, spending time at third base and shortstop. Those positions taught him different motions.

Allar told reporters Tuesday that he threw two pitches; a fastball and a change-up. His youth coaches took care of his arm by putting him and all pitchers on a pitch count. For this, Allar is grateful.

“At such a young age, you can’t put too much stress on your elbow and arm,” Allar said. “So, I think that’s really helped me as well just because they never burned me out.”

Instead of “burning out,” Allar’s flame became brighter as his high school athletic career continued.

He came to Penn State as the top-rated quarterback from the Class of 2022.

Allar came in with more hype than most freshmen. But like most freshmen, he spent most of his first season on the bench. Allar got some playing time, playing in 10 of Penn State’s 13 games, but was a clear No. 2 to Sean Clifford’s No. 1 at quarterback.

This season, barring something unforeseen, Allar will be Penn State’s starting quarterback.

That means a lot of things.

It means Allar is more experienced.

It means Allar will have a real chance to uncork his seemingly unlimited potential.

It means he’ll have to be a leader.

Allar will have a lot on his plate this season.

To balance it all, Allar said he plans on keeping a list of “three-to-five things” at a time.

“You can’t have too many things you’re trying to work on,” he said, “one because you’ll never excel in any of them. So I think just trying to make the list as short as possible and as detailed as possible can really help people.”

Overall, Allar feels he progressed last season.

But he and Penn State fans expect him, with his rocket arm and prototypical build, to keep improving.

“I think the work I’ve done with my quarterback coaches really helped me just really control everything,” Allar said. “Just becoming the quarterback I am right now. There’s still things I need to work on because you can never be good enough, really. You have to always be striving to be better.”

If Allar even comes close to meeting his hype as Penn State’s next great QB, Penn State fans should be grateful for what he learned by playing baseball and basketball.

Get NSN in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get notifications of new posts by email.

More from Nittany Sports Now

PSU Football

0 On Friday, former Penn State running back Devyn Ford exited the transfer portal and landed at Notre Dame. 🍀⚜️ — D. Ford...

PSU Football

0 There are only 99 days until Penn State football kicks off the 2023 season under the lights against West Virginia. Here are early...

PSU Football

0 As expected, one of the most hyped games on  Penn State football’s 2023 schedule will be a noon kick. College Football Insider Brett...

Lasching Out

0 Welcome to a brand-new Lasching Out Podcast on the Nittany Sports Now Network. This Penn State podcast is hosted by Nittany Sports Now’s...