Drew Allar doesn’t need to win the Heisman Trophy for this year’s Penn State team to be one of America’s best.
But at least one college football columnist sees the celebrated sophomore and likely starting QB taking home college football’s most prestigious individual award.
— New York Post (@nypost) August 8, 2023
In an article that appeared in the New York Post, Tanner McGrath of the Action Network wrote that he’s bet on PSU to win the national championship and Allar to win the Heisman.
“The highest-rated quarterback recruit in Penn State history is a question mark, but he has the arm talent, physical tools and characteristics to succeed as a college quarterback.
He didn’t post a single interception or turnover-worthy play in 71 dropbacks last season and he made some throws that shocked me.
With the supporting cast he has, Allar’s ceiling is uncapped.”
Penn State went 11-2, won the Rose Bowl and finished No. 7 in the country with the solid-but- unspectacular Sean Clifford starting, and has most of its key pieces from that team ready to roll for 2023.
So Allar likely doesn’t need to be great for Penn State to win the Big Ten, an accomplishment that, based in history, would give PSU a great chance to make it to the College Football Playoff for the first time. The conference’s reigning, defending two-time champion, Michigan, won its conference titles mainly through the running game, and with Nick Singleton (1,061 yards, 12 touchdowns, 156 carries in 2022) and Kaytron Allen (867 yards, 10 touchdowns, 167 carries) coming back, many feel that those four legs are the key to Penn State’s offense being effective.
But Allar being a Heisman caliber quarterback would make Penn State the favorite not only to win the Big Ten, but also the national title as well.
No Penn State quarterback has ever won the Heisman, and only one player– RB John Cappelletti in 1973– has accomplished that feat. A few Penn State QBs have been in the conversation. Todd Blackledge finished sixth in 1982 on his way to leading Penn State to its first national title. Kerry Collins finished fourth in 1994, Penn State’s last undefeated season that many still believe should have ended in a national title (Nebraska ended up being crowned). Chuck Fusina (1978) and Richie Lucas (1959) each finished second.
“He’ll have one of the best pass-blocking offensive lines in the nation, an elite run game to fall back on, solid pass-catchers and good play-calling and coaching.
If Allar fulfills his five-star potential he’ll be one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, leading one of the nation’s best teams. That’s the perfect narrative for a Heisman Trophy winner.
If Allar plays excellently and the Nittany Lions win the Big Ten or make the College Football Playoff, he’ll be in the conversation for best player in college football.”
Allar is currently 25/1 to win the Heisman, but McGrath doesn’t feel those odds paint an accurate picture of Allar’s chances. He also pointed out that he doesn’t see Allar as “just some guy leading a stacked roster like Cade McNamara was at Michigan.” McNamara was Michigan’s starting quarterback in 2021 when it first won the Big Ten and made it to the College Football Playoff. He’s now at Iowa and will play at Penn State in the White Out Sept. 30.
McGrath wrote that Allar has a “superstar level ceiling and he won’t be hung out to dry by the Penn State offense.”
Allar will be well-protected and have weapons to throw to, and (offensive coordinator Mike) Yurcich will know how to maximize his potential and production,” McGrath wrote.
McGrath went on write that Clifford “peaked once Yurcich was hired.”
Yurcich came to Penn State before the 2021 season, and over the two-year period the OC and QB worked together, Clifford threw 45 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
“Allar is much more talented than Clifford and had a year to learn the system under Clifford,” he wrote.
Overall, McGrath feels that “if everything goes right– and I believe everything will go right,” Penn State will be one of the country’s best teams and Allar one of its best players.