With less than 100 days until the College Football Kickoff, Mississippi State lands a huge graduate transfer that brings a lot of competition to the quarterback position. With Nick Fitzgerald gone to the NFL, Joe Moorhead’s biggest task this offseason is to find out who will be running the offense.
Before today, the leading candidate was rising junior Keytaon Thompson and he seemed to be ahead of rising sophomore Jalen Mayden. Rumors started spreading about a month ago that the Penn State senior QB was looking to transfer, and that Mississippi State was high on his list of potential schools. After some visits, Tommy Stevens made his decision this morning that he was going to take his talents to Starkville, MS and play for his former Offensive Coordinator, Joe Moorhead.
Stevens was rated a 3-star dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school. He spent the majority of his career at Penn State under Trace McSorley. It was looking like he would be under center for the Nittany Lions in the fall, but an injury held him back.
Personally, I think this is a great acquisition for Mississippi State. Moorhead is getting a Quarterback that has spent multiple years learning his offense so he should be coming in ready to compete for the starting job.
Here’s a highlight video of Tommy Stevens during the 2017-2018 season:
There’s a lot to dissect in this video. I don’t think we will see him catch any passes, but Stevens seems to show the ability to throw on the run when the pocket collapses, and effectively execute the read-option. There isn’t a lot of film showing his ability to throw downfield, but what we do see is him have touch on his throws in the short to medium range. Penn State coach James Franklin said that Stevens has a ‘huge body of work’ that comes with him on the field. Stevens can run with the ball in his hands and outrun defenders. Much like Fitzgerald, Stevens can lower the shoulder and power through defenders to get a few extra yards that can lead to a first down or even a touchdown.
The biggest complaint about the Bulldogs last football season was the struggles the offense saw at different points in the season. With someone who is extremely familiar with Moorhead’s offense, the Bulldogs have a chance to put up a lot of points. The battle for the starting job leading up to the kickoff of the season will be very interesting. Joe Moorhead will pick the best man for the job to help the Bulldogs have a successful season this fall. Go Dawgs and Hail State!