Stevens returning to Lions

UNIVERSITY PARK — Tommy Stevens considered transferring from Penn State and went as far as checking out other schools, but the backup quarterback decided to stay put with the Nittany Lions.

“I did search and look and see if there was a better place for me somewhere, and I talked to some schools,” Stevens told reporters after practice Wednesday. “Ultimately, I know what I have here. I love Penn State.”

He went on to add, “So ultimately, after looking around, I decided this is still the best place for me, and this is what I want to do moving forward.”

Stevens has two years of eligibility remaining, but he will be the backup to senior Trace McSorley once again this fall. McSorley is coming off back-to-back stellar seasons and is expected to be a Heisman Trophy candidate this year.

Stevens is on scheduled to graduate in May, and he could have departed PSU and played immediately elsewhere as a graduate transfer. By choosing to stay with the Lions, he will be in line to be the starter for one season in 2019.

“Tommy and his family have handled this situation unbelievably well,” PSU coach James Franklin said before later adding, “Tommy obviously came in and talked to us. It was something that he was possibly considering. But he just handled it so well.”

The coaching staff found various ways to utilize Stevens as an offensive weapon last year, and that is expected to continue this fall.

“I told (the coaches) from the beginning what I wanted to do,” Stevens said. “They told me, ‘Hey, here is what we are going to do if you do decide to stay.’ I do expect an increased role next season.”