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Penn State Football

Penn State QB Injury Addressed by James Franklin

Word got out more than a week ago that one out Penn State football’s QBs was out with an injury.

Coach James Franklin spoke on the topic with media after Tuesday’s practice, and confirmed that Jaxson Smolik had a “significant injury” and will be out for a “period of time.”

On3 reported in late March that Smolik had suffered a serious injury, and this was the first time Franklin had been asked about it since.

Franklin only goes into specific detail about injuries if they are season-ending and didn’t say whether that’s the case with Smolik. A 6-foot-1, 205-pounder who’s entering his second season, Smolik appeared in last year’s win over Delaware.

Initially committed to Tulane, Smolik caught Penn State’s attention after his performance at the 2022 Elite 11 showcase. When Marcus Stokes, a QB from Florida, flipped to the University of Florida, there was an opening. Smolik’s relationship with coaches such as then-OC and QB coach Mike Yurcich helped sway him to commit to Penn State.

Now, true freshman Ethan Grunkemeyer is Penn State’s third-string QB. Franklin talked highly of Grunkemeyer with reporters after practice the Tuesday before Smolik’s injury was reported.

“Grunkemeyer is really flashing and doing some some nice things right now for a true freshman quarterback,” Franklin said.

Franklin also said he feels there’s a battle for the top spot of the QB depth chart.

“I think there is clearly a real healthy competition and back-and-forth between Drew (Allar) and Beau (Pribula),” Franklin said. “That’s been really good. Both have kind of stepped their game up.”

Penn State’s QB’s, particularly Allar, will need to be on-point for this 2024 team to reach its goals.

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