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Penn State Football All 105

Penn State All 105: Ethan ‘The Grunk’ Grunkemeyer

Penn State freshman quarterback Ethan Grunkemeyer looks to pass.

Ethan Grunkemeyer didn’t commit to Penn State as a highly-recruited QB.

When he committed in May 2023, Grunkemeyer was a three-star.

By signing day, he was a consensus four-star who ESPN rated as a top-five QB nationally.

So how did it happen?

Grunkemeyer is the subject in the latest edition of All 105, a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player.

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 200 pounds

Hometown: Olentangy, Ohio 

Before Penn State: Ethan Grunkemeyer ended up being the only QB to commit and sign to Penn State’s 2024 Class.

At the time of his commitment, Grunkemeyer was the No. 37 quarterback nationally, the No. 20 player in Ohio and the No. 575 overall player according to 247Sports Composite rankings.

By the final 247 rankings in late January, Grunkemeyer was the No. 103 overall player.

He had a fantastic senior season, ending with 3,517 yards, 39 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

247Sports National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu compared Grunkemeyer to Atlanta Falcons quarterback Taylor Heineke.

“Very productive high school player,” Treiu wrote, “who has posted good numbers, completed a good percentage of his passes, and taken care of the ball. Throws with some snap and ball comes out of his hand with good spin and velocity. Solid athlete who can escape pressure and shows a sense for making plays with initial reads aren’t there. Can run with if it me needs to. Shows some anticipation and ability to throw (to) guys open.”

Where he stands: Grunkemeyer’s immediate role at Penn State was slightly bigger than some expected. Over the spring, word got out that third-string QB Jaxon Smolik— a year older than Grunkemeyer— had suffered a significant injury. It’s unclear how long Smolik will be on the mend but even if healthy, Grunkemeyer should he able to compete for that third spot behind starter Drew Allar and backup Beau Pribula.

A quote by Grunkemeyer: “For me, it was always just ‘keep working,’” Grunkemeyer told Nittany Sports Now. “It’s (playing major college football) always been a dream of mine since I was a kid watching it on TV. I felt if I worked toward it, I could accomplish it. That’s just kind of my thing is just put my head down and keep working towards it.” — Grunkemeyer to Nittany Sports Now last June.

A quote about Grunkemeyer: “I think he’s an elite ball thrower. I think he can throw the crap out of it. He’s very accurate. He’s got an extremely strong arm. He makes every throw on the field look effortless. But he’s a cerebral kid. He’s a good athlete, but he doesn’t play as an athlete. He plays more as a pocket quarterback that sits back and just kind of lets his arm do the work.” — Grunkemeyer’s high school coach, Wade Bartholomew, to NSN

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