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James Franklin Updates Penn State QB Battle

Shot of Penn State coach James Franklin.

PISCATAWAY, NJ - NOVEMBER 17: Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions runs onto the field with his team before taking on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)

With Trace McSorely's time at Penn State officially over, the battle to become his successor is underway in Happy Valley. The uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position will most likely be the biggest storyline to follow for the Nittany Lions.

Once last year's season came to an end, the expectation was that Tommy Stevens would become the starter. However, an injury in the spring opened the door for Sean Clifford to shine.

Clifford wasted little time showing the coaching staff what he can do under center.

The sudden emergence of Clifford motivated Stevens to submit his name in the NCAA transfer portal. He decided to transfer to Mississippi State for his final year of college football.

Although Stevens' exit from Penn State should cement Clifford's status as the starting quarterback for 2019, head coach James Franklin revealed that the position battle isn't over.

Franklin admit that Clifford will have to earn the starting job.


"Guys who are returning starters have an advantage, but we're going to have open competition every single year," Franklin said. "You have to go out and earn it. Obviously, we got two freshmen that came in at mid-semester, and they're going to get more opportunities and reps because our situation has changed."

"We've done a pretty good job of recruiting and then developing guys," Franklin said. "We have a lot of confidence in Sean and what he's been able to do. Levis now is thrust into a more significant situation, and instead of it being a three-way battle with Levis, Sean, and Tommy, now it's a three-way quarterback battle with one of the two freshmen."

If the Nittany Lions are going to have success this upcoming season, then they'll need solid production at quarterback.

Penn State opens its season at Beaver Stadium against Idaho.