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National Signing Day 2016: Welcome to Penn State, Jake Zembiec

Could Penn State have found its signal caller of the future?


Welcome to Black Shoe Diaries' coverage of National Signing Day 2016. Our goal is to make sure that you know everything you need to know about every member of Penn State's 2016 recruiting class, including what fans should expect from them, some highlight tape and more. We truly appreciate you taking the time to follow along with our coverage of all things Penn State recruiting-related over the past year, and we can't wait to continue to ramp up our coverage for 2017. So whether you've been reading the site for years, or a first-time reader who just stumbled upon Black Shoe Diaries, we hope you stick around.

With National Signing Day just a week away, we're kicking off our coverage by introducing the early enrollees. To start things off, let's learn about Jake Zembiec.

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Jake Zembiec could be the perfect combination of pro-style and dual-threat that James Franklin has been pining for for two seasons. After committing to Penn State all the way back in November of 2014, he has held firm on his commitment ever since. Despite playing his high school football in New York, where recruiting coverage hardly reaches, he still was able to make a splash and earn an invitation to the Elite 11 camp at The Opening. Though he wasn't named in the final Elite 11 group, he proved that he belonged in the same class as some of 2016's top quarterback prospects. Now, the state championship-winning signal caller is ready to start building his legacy in Happy Valley.


Position Pro-style quarterback
High School Aquinas Institute (Ny.)
Height/Weight 6'3.5"/211 lbs.
247Composite Rank 4-star recruit4-star recruit4-star recruit (0.8752)
Positional Rank #18 pro-style quarterback, #1 player in New York
Commitment Date November 29, 2014

Highlight Tape

Scouting Report

Zembiec truly does seem to be the ideal combination of pro-style and dual-threat. While he's not a running quarterback, a la DeShaun Watson or JT Barrett, he has more than enough mobility to escape a collapsing pocket, or even run an effective read option from time to time. He has a strong arm that is more than capable of making any throw on the field. He possesses great size with room to grow, is armed with strong pocket presence and has the ability to make throws with his feet set or on the run. The sky is the limit for Jake if he can continue to grow and refine his tools. He should be a perfect fit for what Joe Moorhead likes to do on offense.


Redshirt, Yes

While Zembiec will presumably get every chance to earn the starting role this Spring, with two (albeit slightly) more established quarterbacks sitting ahead of him, it would probably be best to let him spend a year getting acclimated to college life, learning the playbook and continuing to bulk up. He has the tools to succeed as a freshman if forced into that role, but with a redshirt would be the better path. When he does eventually make it onto the field, expect to see the type of quarterback that Penn State fans, and possibly James Franklin, have been waiting for.

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