Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley now has the unenviable task of replacing Christian Hackenberg, as Nittany Lion’s head coach James Franklin has tabbed the sophomore to be his new signal caller.
Trace McSorley will be #PennState's starting QB. Inherits lots of firepower: Great RB in Saquon Barkley & PSU has a deep, athletic WR corps.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) August 24, 2016
While he doesn’t possess the arm strength of Hackenberg, McSorley can make plays with his feet and has weapons to work with. He beat out redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens for the right to be starter. Franklin made the decision after Wednesday’s practice.
“It legitimately was a difficult decision,” Franklin said, noting Stevens’ improvement through training camp this month.
McSorley (6-0, 201) went 55-5 as a four-year starting quarterback at Briar Woods (Va.) High. He led the team to three Virginia state titles and four championship-game appearances.
McSorley, a 6’1”, 201-pound sophomore quarterback from Ashburn, Virginia is coming off a freshman season in which he threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns (zero interceptions), while completing 50 percent of his passes.
He played mostly in a mop-up time, but did do well in Penn State’s bowl against Georgia, while filling in a for an injured Hackenberg. In that game, McSorley came in of relief of Hackenberg and completed 14 of 27 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. He also had seven carries for 31 yards on the ground.
Penn State is coming off an up-and-down 2015 season that saw finish 7-6 overall and 4-4 in Big Ten action, where it fished in fourth place in the Big Ten East Division. The Nittany Lions’ season ended with a loss to Georgia in the aforementioned TaxSlayer Bowl.
The Nittany Lions will open their 2016 season when they host Kent State on Saturday, September 3.