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Penn State HC James Franklin Doesn’t Name QB in Season’s 1st Tuesday Presser

Penn State coach James Franklin
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin November 12, 2022 David Hague/NSN

STATE COLLEGE— Everybody’s expecting Drew Allar to be Penn State football’s starting QB.

It’s felt inevitable all offseason and, really, since Allar signed his letter of intent in December 2021.

But coach James Franklin, after months of telling reporters that the position was up for grabs, still hasn’t publicly announced it, and its not looking like that will happen before Saturday’s season opener against West Virginia under the Beaver Stadium lights.

If any QB has began his time as the Penn State starter accompanied with higher expectations than Allar, it isn’t a long list. Allar was the top-rated QB in the 2022 Class. He spent his first season backing up sixth-year Sean Clifford, but ended up playing in 10 of Penn State’s 13 games. He ended the season completing 35 of 60 passes for 344 yards and four scores, playing almost exclusively in “mop-up duty” when the game’s outcome was already decided.

Allar did appear in one close game, and it was his college debut. Early in the second half of Penn State’s season opener at Purdue under the Thursday night lights, Allar briefly took over for Clifford, completing two of four passes before the regular starter re-entered the game.

If Allar somehow isn’t the starter, his classmate, Beau Pribula, likely will be. Pribula was a three-star, in-state product from York High School. The team’s QB room also features true freshman Jaxon Smolik, a three-star from Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Regardless of who’s the starting QB, Penn State will play West Virginia Saturday, Sept. 2, at 7:30. It will be the first Big Ten game broadcast on NBC as part of a new massive, multi-network TV deal.

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