]It is already widely known that Penn State is looking at an extremely crowded quarterback room heading into the 2019 season, headlined by redshirt senior Tommy Stevens and redshirt sophomore Sean Clifford. But the quarterback depth goes even farther.
The Nittany Lions welcomed freshman Michael Johnson Jr. and Taquan Roberson onto campus this week. They will also compete to move up the depth chart and try to earn playing time down the road. Will Levis, a true freshman in 2018, will be in the mix as well.
Is it just those five, or could there be more quarterbacks to join the roster prior to spring camp kicking off in a couple of months? College football is seeing a record number of transfers heading into 2019, and Penn State could be the preferred destination of some of those transfers.
We have already seen Kelly Bryant leave Clemson for Missouri and Justin Fields depart Georgia and head to Penn State rival Ohio State. That is just the start of what now seems to be a free-agent market for transfer quarterbacks.
In the wake of Fields transferring to Ohio State, Tate Martell plans to leave the Buckeyes and seek a starting job elsewhere. Two other names worth paying attention to over the next few weeks are Jalen Hurts from Alabama and Brandon Wimbush from Notre Dame.
Both Hurts and Wimbush had been the starters at their respective schools, but both lost their jobs over the past year. Penn State could be a viable option for Hurts or Wimbush.
For Hurts, ending up at Penn State has been loosely floated around. It seems extremely unlikely that the former Alabama starter ends up in Happy Valley. The name Penn State fans should be paying attention to is Wimbush.
Odds have been released to where Wimbush could end up, and Penn State is listed as the odds-on favorite to land him. Wimbush would be a graduate transfer, so he would be able to play right away wherever he transfers.
It would match up two quarterbacks who are both on their final years of eligibility in Stevens and Wimbush. Stevens has ridden the course the past four years and stayed to back up Trace McSorley, so it would be tough for James Franklin to start a transfer over Stevens.
Wimbush started one full season, 2017, in South Bend and turned in less than impressive numbers. He completed less than 50 percent of his passes, totalled 1,870 yards, and passed for 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. This past season, he lost out on the quarterback job to Ian Book.
It is hard to envision Wimbush coming into Penn State and beating out Stevens for the starting job. Penn State would have more options, which is never a bad thing, but Wimbush would be better off going somewhere where he is more likely to start.
Penn State does have holes to fill heading into the 2019 season, but quarterback is not one of them. If Wimbush wishes to come to Penn State, he would be more than welcome, but there would be no guarantee of him winning any quarterback battle, or even seeing the field at all.