Tommy Stevens, ladies and gentlemen!
Home/HS: Indianapolis/Decatur Central
Recruited By: Ricky Rahne
Starz 'n Sheetz:
Stars: 3* all across the board
Offer Sheet: Indiana (committed 6/4/14), Boston College, Cincinnati, Iowa, Miami (OH), Michigan State, Minnesota, NC State, Nebraska, Purdue, Toledo, West Virginia, Western Michigan
You can check out the rest of Tommy's highlights right here.
Tommy Stevens originally committed to Indiana back on June 4th. As an Indiana native who didn't have a ton of national exposure, it was a pretty natural fit. For someone who is a finalist for Mr. Football in Indiana, it seemed to fit like a glove.
Then, Tommy started picking up steam. Thanks to his fantastic senior season, paired with the flip of Brandon Wimbush to Notre Dame, Penn State threw their hat in the ring. The staff had a few different quarterbacks that they were looking at to fill the 2015 spot, but only felt that Stevens was worth the scholarship offer. I spoke with Tommy a while back about the offer, and he had some pretty interesting thoughts to share.
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.
So while there was clearly an interest in the Nittany Lions, Tommy seemed very firm in his commitment. Then, a surprise visit by Stevens and his family to State College for the whiteout against Ohio State became public knowledge. Stevens told me that the visit was originally his dad's ideas, as he thought Tommy should check out some of his new opportunities that didn't exist previously. Tommy stayed for the whole weekend for the official visit, and told me that the visit was, "awesome". He also said that, "It was everything I expected and more...great place."
As we talked more about the visit, he told me that he spent the weekend basically attached to commit Sterling Jenkins, and top target Matthew Burrell, who were both also on official visits. He said, "It was really cool getting to hang out with guys like Sterling and Matt for most of the night...it was good meeting the other commits also." He also told me that his parents enjoyed the visit a lot, which helped.
I've been talking to Jenkins quite a bit about Stevens, and he repeatedly mentioned his desire to play with him at Penn State, stating that he was a "must get" for the class. The other commits who were at the game also seemed to have built a great relationship with Stevens, and all seemed pretty confident that he would join the Lions in the future.
In talking with Tommy last night, he told me that with his season now over, he finally felt like he had time to sit down and really think about his college decision. Now, said decision has been made, and in a way that the other recruits really respect, Sterling Jenkins in particular.
When it comes to Tommy, I really respect him for not...like if he was going to flip, I'm happy he didn't do it this weekend. You don't want to disrespect coaches, and make yourself seem floozy. On his first visit he didn't flip, he's really putting a lot of thought into this, more than just a flip out of nowhere. So I really respect him for that, he's a really great guy. If he goes to Indiana or here, I think he'll be successful, too.
That was from Jenkins right after the Whiteout, which shows you how much recruits really do notice things like the timing of commitments. I haven't gotten into contact with Stevens yet about the news, but the recruits that I have heard from are very, very pleased. They seem pretty happy about it on twitter, too.
Andre Robinson (@A_robinson5) November 11, 2014
Got my boy Tommy— *Next Level* (@MoneyMakeinAdam) November 11, 2014
SUNSHINE— *Next Level* (@MoneyMakeinAdam) November 11, 2014
welcome to the newest member of the family!@TS3_ERA Glad to have you bro.It's gonna be great.You're gonna be great.#WeAre gonna be great! ⚪️— ayron monroe (@ay_ronnyron) November 11, 2014
As a quarterback, Stevens is going to be a ton of fun for Nittany Lion fans to watch. He is listed as the #18 dual threat quarterback, but is much more than a runner who occasionally throws the ball. Stevens will always look to pass first, but has fantastic athleticism to get out of trouble in the pocket. Also a starter in the secondary for his team, he is big enough to make you pay if you don't give it your all trying to take him down (as evidenced by the poor soul who tried to get around his block in his Hudl tape). He told me back in early October that his goal for his senior year was to improve as a passer, and he definitely did that. He shows the ability to make beautiful touch passes, air it out deep, get rid of it in a hurry, and everything else you want a quarterback to be able to do.
He self-assessed his own game for me in that same interview.
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 and a lot bigger and a lot stronger. I have to do it for me 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.
Once Tommy takes the field for Penn State, expect to see some designed quarterback runs, because he has the size and the speed to add a dangerous other dimension to the offense. However, you won't mistake the offense for one with Braxton Miller. Stevens is very much a pass-first quarterback, who will do everything he can to find a bigger play down the field before taking off.
With the way the quarterback situation is currently set up, Stevens will very likely redshirt his true freshman season, barring a rash of injuries. So while Penn State fans will likely have to wait a bit to see Stevens on the field, it will be well worth the wait.
You can follow Tommy on twitter at @TS3_ERA. He brings the 2015 recruiting class to 19.
Welcome to Penn State, Tommy!