After Brandon Wimbush chose to flip his commitment from Penn State to Notre Dame, the staff was reportedly very busy reaching out to various other recruits of interest to try and help fill the void that Wimbush left behind in the 2015 class. We've already spoken to two of the 2016 targets, Jake Zembiec and Brandon McIlwain, but now we get a chance to hear from one of the currently committed 2015 QB recruits that Penn State reached out to. Tommy Stevens is a composite three star dual-threat quarterback recruit from Indianapolis, IN. He committed to the Hoosiers back on June 4th. While he does not hold a Penn State offer, the staff still reached out to him to get a sense for whether or not he would consider a flip to the Nittany Lions. Rumors of his willingness to reconsider his commitment were flying around the internet upon Stevens' visit to watch Notre Dame defeat Stanford. I asked Stevens all about his commitment to Indiana, his interest in Penn State, and that visit to South Bend.
Despite the fact that you are committed to Indiana, what other schools have been contacting you the most?
I've been getting a little bit of contact lately. Penn State reached out not too long ago, and I told them the same thing I told everybody, that I'm committed to Indiana and I appreciate all the things that other schools have done for me in the past. But like I said, I'm committed and that's where I'm going to go to school.
What is it about Indiana that draws you there?
Well Indiana's always treated me the best, and that was one big thing that made me choose them. Schooling-wise, I want to go into business, and IU has a really good business school so that made my decision a little bit easier. The quarterback situation is also a big thing, I'd probably see the field early at IU, and that was very intriguing to me, and that was another one of those things that helped make my decision a little bit easier.
Did the proximity to home play any part in your commitment?
Yeah, it definitely helps, with it being roughly 45 to an hour away from my house which is awesome because people from my school will be able to come watch me play. People around in the community will be able to watch me play, and even some people I've played against in high school will be able to come watch, so that's definitely something cool about IU.
Knowing that you are fully committed to Indiana, if your mind was to go wandering, with Brandon Wimbush flipping his commitment to Notre Dame, what is your opinion now of Penn State?
It's cool, I definitely think as a program they have a whole lot of history over at Penn State. The stadium holds 107 thousand people I think it is, and that's all great stuff. I wish that they may have possibly looked at me a little bit harder in the beginning when I was still looking out, because I enjoyed talking to Penn State's coaches early on in the process. That being said, I still think that Penn State is a great football program, it's just not where me and my family are situated on going. Penn State, like I said, I wish Penn State the best, but as of now I'm committed to IU and that's where I want to go.
Tell me about the Notre Dame visit. What prompted you to take that visit?
Well it was a lot different than what it may seem. I knew that Notre Dame versus Stanford was going to be a big game; it was the biggest game I'd ever been to. I knew it was going to be a big game, and my buddy Connor Ray (receiver) and I was going to bring another one of my receivers, Ryker Stout, but he got hurt the night before. Those guys are both big Notre Dame fans, my two coaches that I also brought with me are huge Notre Dame fans, so it was more for those guys than it was for me. I wanted to take them on a visit because I felt like I owed it to those guys. I've been playing with Ryker and Connor since I was four years old, and I felt like I owed it to those guys to take them on a visit and have a good time with my friends. I know those guys would do it for me if it was flipped around. The media blew it out of proportion saying that Tommy's going to de-commit. I told the Indiana coaching staff beforehand, told them that in case it gets to you guys another way that I'm just going to the game to hang out with my friends and see what it was like. It was my first Notre Dame football game, so it was a cool experience.
What do you feel like are your strengths on the field, and what's something you have to work on before you get to IU?
If I had to name my best strengths, being a dual-threat and all that stuff is great, but I think the thing that's not coachable that I have is competitiveness. I always remember when I was real little I would race to the car or I would throw a fit for getting beat in checkers. I've just always had a will to win, I've always hated losing and so I think that's something that's driven me in the right direction. Things I need to work on, and by any means I'm not perfect, nobody is, so I'm always going to have things to work on, but I think the biggest thing for me is developing into more of a passer which I've been working on this year. I've put up a little better numbers than I had last year and I still have some time to go. I definitely want to throw the ball a little bit more because I'm not going to be able to run all over the place like I do in high school because people are going to be a lot faster a lot bigger and a lot stronger. I have to do it for my health too, because if I take the shots I do now at the college level, Big Ten linebackers from Ohio State are going to rip my face off, so I have to make sure I utilize sliding and getting out of bounds and knowing when to throw the ball away.
So clearly Stevens is very firm in his commitment to Indiana. Anything can happen in the world of recruiting, but this is likely one that Penn State can move on from. That being said, Tommy is a fantastic kid who should be a role model for other recruits. It's always interesting to hear about college visits from the recruits themselves, and I think we can all agree that Tommy's choice to bring friends and coaches along with him to Notre Dame as a thank you was quite honorable of him. Should something unexpected change and Stevens is available, Penn State would do well to do everything they can to get him to Happy Valley. But no matter where he ends up playing his college ball, we at Black Shoe Diaries wish him the best of luck.