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Penn State HC James Franklin Waiting to Name QB While Assuming WVU’s Starter



Penn State HC James Franklin
Image credit to David Hague

STATE COLLEGE — Everybody’s expecting Drew Allar to be Penn State football’s starting quarterback.

It’s felt inevitable all offseason and, really, since Allar signed his letter of intent in December 2021.

But coach James Franklin, after months of telling reporters that the position was up for grabs, still hasn’t publicly announced it, and its not looking like that will happen before Saturday’s season opener against West Virginia under the Beaver Stadium lights.

Ironically, Franklin did voice that he is operating under the assumption that WVU will be starting Garrett Greene under center. This is a day after Neal Brown also refused to publicly name his starting quarterback, even going as far as to say he will only start releasing depth charts during game weeks if other coaches agree to do it too.

Neal Brown Explains Why He Waits to Name Starters, in Favor of Mandatory Depth Charts

If any QB has began his time as the Penn State starter accompanied with higher expectations than Allar, it isn’t a long list. Allar was the top-rated QB in the 2022 Class. He spent his first season backing up sixth-year Sean Clifford, but ended up playing in 10 of Penn State’s 13 games. He ended the season completing 35 of 60 passes for 344 yards and four scores, playing almost exclusively in “mop-up duty” when the game’s outcome was already decided.

Allar did appear in one close game, and it was his college debut. Early in the second half of Penn State’s season opener at Purdue under the Thursday night lights, Allar briefly took over for Clifford, completing two of four passes before the regular starter re-entered the game.

If Allar somehow isn’t the starter, his classmate, Beau Pribula, likely will be. Pribula was a three-star, in-state product from York High School. The team’s QB room also features true freshman Jaxon Smolik, a three-star from Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Regardless of who’s the starting QB, Penn State will play West Virginia Saturday, Sept. 2, at 7:30. It will be the first Big Ten game broadcast on NBC as part of a new massive, multi-network TV deal.

Most of this story initially appeared on our partner site Nittany Sports Now.

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