Despite a disappointing 2020 season, Penn State fans should be excited about the future of their football program. With the help of newly hired offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich, Penn State head coach James Franklin has secured 4-star quarterback recruit Drew Allar from Medina, Ohio for the class of 2022. Currently, Penn State’s 2022 recruiting class is ranked 7th in the nation and 3rd in the Big Ten according to 24/7 Sports.
Allar, who is still a junior in high school, stands at 6’4” and weighs 235lbs. A build worthy of comparisons to starting NFL quarterback Josh Allen. Allar was recruited as pro-style quarterback, and is currently ranked as the 8th pro-style quarterback in the nation according to the 24/7 Sports composite.
I had the opportunity to speak with Medina’s head football coach Larry Laird, Allar’s high school coach, who has been coaching football for 32 years. He had high praise about Allar’s character and playstyle. “The big thing is his arm strength, he’s got the strongest arm I’ve ever coached. Definitely. But also, as great a football player he is, he’s a great kid. The Penn State people are going to love him. He’s great not only on the football field, but in the locker room he’s a leader.”
Allar received more than 15 offers from Division I programs across the country. The most notable offers included Penn State, Notre Dame, University of Michigan, University of Iowa, University of Washington, University of South Carolina and Texas A&M.
Penn State’s stellar recruiting for 2022 doesn’t stop at Allar. Young talent is heading to Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions also add a slew of 4-star offensive targets for the quarterback room to work with, including 6’6” tight end Jerry Cross, 6’1” wide receiver Mehki Flowers, wide receiver Anthony Ivey and wide receiver Kaden Saunders, another Ohio native.
Current Penn State wide receivers Parker Washington and KeAndre Lambert-Smith, who showed promising glimpses on the field in 2020 while playing behind Jahan Dotson and Pat Freiermuth, will provide leadership for the new 2022 recruits as well as having previous experience at the Division I level.
It’s no secret that Penn State has struggled offensively during big game moments in recent seasons. The interception in the endzone with 1:01 left versus Minnesota in 2019, an incomplete pass on 4th and goal with 0:37 remaining against Nebraska in 2020 and the infamous 4th and 5 run call against Ohio State in front of the 2018 white out crowd. These plays haunt Penn State fans, but superb recruiting and recent coaching hires should have a lasting impact on Penn State during high pressure moments.
With new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich the Nittany Lions should expect fireworks on the offensive side of the ball for years to come. Yurchich’s offenses have averaged 6.49 yards per play since 2013, the most among all offensive coordinators since then, and 14.03 yards per completion, which ranks first among Power Five offenses since 2013 (Please no more quarterback draws on 3rd and 15).
Despite how highly recruited Allar was, expect to see some serious competition in the Penn State quarterback room. Ta’Quan Roberson, a redshirt freshman, 2021 freshman Christian Veilleux from Ottawa, Ontario as well as Beau Pribula, another 2022 4-star quarterback recruit, will all compete for the starting position.
The 0-5 start for the Nittany Lions in 2020 was a shock to college football fans across the country. But don’t count Penn State out, especially if fans are allowed back into Beaver Stadium in September (I think the absence of a home field advantage played a huge role in Penn State’s 2020 disappointing season). The additions of offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich, Drew Allar and the other phenomenal recruits in 2022 leaves Penn State football in excellent hands for the future.