I promise this will be the last article I write about Tommy Stevens (probably (maybe (probably not who am I kidding))).
Tommy’s father more or less made it publicly known that Tommy would not be returning to Penn State. While some had hoped that Stevens was just keeping his options open in case the quarterback competition with Sean Clifford went awry, Tommy’s dad made it plainly known that his son is going to go somewhere that he’ll be guaranteed the starting job.
I saw much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments after that came to light - that Stevens is afraid of competition, that if he were so afraid of losing then Penn State doesn’t want him anyway, etc.
That’s a load of bunk.
Look, I wanted Tommy here. As excited as I am for 2020 with Clifford at the helm, I wanted to see Stevens in 2019. He had waited. He was the ultimate teammate. He was loyal. 2019 was supposed to be his year.
Then the foot injury lingered. And lingered. And required surgery. And Stevens was sidelined. And Sean Clifford took the opportunity to showcase his talents, and gave James Franklin no choice but to declare that there would be a full competition for quarterback this summer.
Now, we have no idea what Franklin told Tommy this time last year, when he was mulling transferring. He very well could have said that the starting job was his in 2019 (I doubt it, but you never know).
Regardless, James - who I have said previously can be loyal to a fault - made the decision that was best for the team, and opened the quarterback competition up.
And just like that, Tommy Stevens’ life changed. After pouring his blood, sweat, and tears into the Penn State program for four years, when it was finally going to be his time, he saw the door start to swing shut.
And the arithmetic was simple: Sean Clifford could afford to lose the competition this summer, Tommy Stevens could not.
And so, while Tommy may have been the best quarterback, and may have won anyway, he can’t take that chance. This is his last year in college. If he has aspirations to play on Sundays, he needs to use 2019 to showcase his abilities for NFL scouts.
And so he made the tough, tough decision to transfer.
All this to say that you never know what life is going to throw at you. You may think you have an absolutely sure thing lined up, and then at the last minute have to make a whole slew of gigantic life changes. Sometimes it’s your fault, sometimes it isn’t. All you can do is roll with the punches, and make the best decisions possible.
This is why I can’t possibly be upset with Tommy for opting to transfer. He’s doing what’s best for himself, and I wish him the absolute best of luck wherever he may end up. I hope more than anything that we get to see him tear it up this coming fall, and then have his name called a year from now in the NFL Draft.
Good luck Tommy! We’re rooting for you!