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Penn State Football All 105

Penn State All 105: Jaxon Smolik Fighting Through Injury

Jaxon Smolik and Beau Pribula.

Penn State QB Jaxon Smolik is all about beating the odds.

In one of the best PSU recruiting stories in recent years, Smolik initially committed to Tulane. Then a last-minute invite to the prestigious Elite 11 showcase led to Smolik taking advantage of a great opportunity. One thing led to another, and he ended up at Penn State.

Now, Smolik is facing more adversity.

In late March, it was reported that Smolik had suffered “a significant injury.” Coach James Franklin confirmed that report less than a week later. With Smolik on the mend, touted freshman QB Ethan Grunkemeyer is now the teams QB3. It remains to be seen how long Smolik’s recovery will take. For now, he’s the latest subject of All 105, a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player.

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 205 pounds

Hometown: Van Meter, Iowa

Before Penn State: Jaxon Smolik was perhaps the best story in Penn State’s 2023 recruiting class. When Florida prospect Marcus Stokes committed to Penn State in April 2022, it looked like the school had its ‘23 QB. But then, things changed. Stokes flipped to Florida in July, and Smolik was one of the top performers at the previous month’s Elite 11 showcase. With Penn State and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich suddenly on the hunt for a QB, Smolik— who missed most of his junior season with an injury— became a person of interest. Smolik had been committed to Tulane, but de-committed in August and announced his commitment to Penn State the next day. After a successful senior season that ended with a trip to the state semifinals, the three-star from Iowa’s Dowling Catholic High School signed with Penn State in December.

Last year: Smolik redshirted his first season, appearing against Delaware Week 2.

Where he stands: Where Smolik stands at Penn State depends on his recovery. If he can get healthy and beat out Grunkemeyer for the third QB spot, he’ll be behind starter Drew Allar and backup Beau Pribula, assuming nothing unforeseen happens with either of those two.

A quote by Smolik: “I believed in myself, I knew I could get the offense down, and I knew that if somebody went down I could be the next guy to go in and help our team win the game.” Smolik to reporters at Penn State’s second-year player media availability this past February.

A quote about Smolik: ”He’s poised, especially when we do inter squad scrimmages. When I watch the tape back, he’ll have (second-year defensive end) Jameial Lyons running off the edge to take the kid’s head off, but he just steps up and rips it across to me. He always cashes out.” — Second-year tight end Andrew Rappleyea, via Zach Allen of the Daily Collegian.

More All 105s

S DaKarri Nelson

LB Tony Rojas

RB Kaytron Allen

CB Jon Mitchell

WR Anthony Ivey

DE Abdul Carter

RB Nicholas Singleton

QB Beau Pribula 

WR Tyler Johnson

CB Zion Tracy

WR Kaden Saunders

WR Trey Wallace 

S Zakee Wheatley

CB Cam Miller

WR Omari Evans

CB A.J. Harris

CB Jalen Kimber

WR Julian Fleming 

S KJ Winston

WR Liam Clifford

S Jaylen Reed 

LB Dom DeLuca

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