Too small, weak arm, not a true quarterback.

Trace McSorley has heard it all, both before his time at Penn State and during his tenure there. But one man had faith in McSorley, that was James Franklin and it’s a good thing he did.

Coming out of Briar Woods High School, McSorley was not looked at as a quarterback at the college level as many teams wanted him to play safety. Franklin, then at Vanderbilt, saw McSorley as a quarterback and got his commitment to play.

When Franklin departed Vanderbilt for Penn State, McSorley soon followed. One of the big reasons why McSorley honored his commitment to Franklin was because of the faith the then-new Penn State coach had put in him.

Five years later, and it appears Franklin’s faith had paid off. McSorley started for three years and walks away the winningest quarterback in program history. He also added a Big Ten Championship along the way.

As he has done his entire life, McSorley proved all the nay-sayers wrong. Looking back, it seems foolish that so many teams were wary of McSorley at quarterback. Was he perfect? No, but he masked his inefficiencies with his leadership, resiliency and a will to win.

A successful college career has not silenced all his critics, though. Those doubts will now follow McSorley as he works his way to the NFL Draft, starting with this week’s Senior Bowl.

There is no doubt that McSorley has a lot to prove, and a lot of eyes will be on him over the next handful of months. Many people will expect him to fail, but McSorley doesn’t know how to. He will attempt to prove people wrong through the Senior Bowl, Pro Day, NFL Combine and so on and so forth.

McSorley is barely 6-foot, and of all the players at the Senior Bowl, he has the smallest hand size, something that is rather important in the eyes of NFL scouts. What intangibles does he have that could convince a team to take a chance on him?

The now-former Penn State quarterback knows his limitations and knows that he is being counted out. This week, he was quick to point out Drew Brees as a player who barely touches six feet, and the former Purdue quarterback has made himself a pretty nice NFL career.

There are plenty of other NFL quarterbacks who lacked size but still found themselves as serviceable pro quarterbacks. McSorley will look to add his name to that list. It won’t be easy, but starting this summer, McSorley will be hard at work.

Kyler Murray is another quarterback who lacks size, standing at right around 5-foot-9. Murray is being looked at as a first-round quarterback. If he can be such a highly touted prospect, then why can’t McSorley?

No one knows whether or not McSorley will pan out in the NFL. He may fizzle out, may be a serviceable backup, or could one day work his way into a starting role. It will be exciting for Penn State fans to follow McSorley’s NFL journey.

Odds are he will be a day three pick, but plenty of late-round picks have turned in nice NFL careers. Tom Brady, anyone?

McSorley certainly has his work cut out for him once he is on an NFL roster, with there being no guarantee of him making it out of training camp.

McSorley doesn’t have the strongest arm, never played in a pro-style offense, and won’t always be able to rely on his legs. There is every reason for him not to be able to make it professionally. But, as we have seen, no limitation will ever be too much for McSorley.

At the end of the day, you can never count out McSorley. There may be a million things against him, but all he needs is a chance. From there, who knows what happens.

He certainly has all of Happy Valley backing him up.

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Content Creator at Armchair Penn State , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
Hi, my name is Jake Starr and I am currently a Freshman at Penn State University. I am from just outside of Philadelphia and I grew up a diehard Philadelphia sports fan. I have written about Philadelphia sports in the past, and now being up at Penn State, I look forward to covering all of what Penn State has to offer athletically. My favorite sports memories growing up were the Phillies winning the World Series in 2008 and the Eagles winning the Super Bowl this past year. When it comes to Penn State, my favorite sports memory is the blocked kick to beat Ohio State in 2016, and eventually winning the Big Ten Championship that December over Wisconsin. I look forward to witnessing more memories being made at Penn State and best of all, getting the opportunity to cover them for Armchair All American!
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Content Creator at Armchair Penn State , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
Hi, my name is Jake Starr and I am currently a Freshman at Penn State University. I am from just outside of Philadelphia and I grew up a diehard Philadelphia sports fan. I have written about Philadelphia sports in the past, and now being up at Penn State, I look forward to covering all of what Penn State has to offer athletically. My favorite sports memories growing up were the Phillies winning the World Series in 2008 and the Eagles winning the Super Bowl this past year. When it comes to Penn State, my favorite sports memory is the blocked kick to beat Ohio State in 2016, and eventually winning the Big Ten Championship that December over Wisconsin. I look forward to witnessing more memories being made at Penn State and best of all, getting the opportunity to cover them for Armchair All American!

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