Tommy Stevens is going home — even it’s just for this weekend. With the Nittany Lions clinching a birth in the Big Ten Championship game this week, the Indiana-born Stevens makes a trip back home for the third time in a little more than a month after trips to both Purdue and Indiana this season.
The 6-foot-4 Stevens will be back in Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time since his junior year of high school when he played in a regular season conference matchup. He may not be the Lions’ starting quarterback this weekend, but don’t be surprised if you see him out there on the field.
This backup quarterback seems to get more attention than any other second stringer in the country, and deservedly so. When Stevens showed up to Happy Valley he was just a tall, skinny kid south of 200 lbs. Since then, the Decatur Central alum has added 20 pounds and proved himself ready whenever his number gets called. The redshirt freshman hasn’t played much this season but he’s impressed when he gets his chances.
Stevens has received snaps in seven of Penn State’s 12 games this season and is just 2-3 for 36 yards through the air, but it’s his on the ground where his presence is felt most. He’s carried the ball 21 times for 198 yards — which averages out to 9.4 yards per carry — with two touchdowns to his resume. Sure, is’s a small sample size, but if Stevens keeps showing consistency, fans might just get to see him out there in his designated package with quarterback Trace McSorely again. If you recall, the last time that happened Stevens put All-American Iowa cornerback and 2015 Jim Thorpe award winner Desmond King flat on his back after hitting him with the truck stick.
With the creative genius that is offensive coordinator Joe Moorehead, don’t be shocked if you see McSorely and Stevens out there on the field together this Saturday pulling out all the stops to take down Wisconsin and lead Penn State to its first Big Ten title since 2008.