Quarterback Sean Clifford Hopes To Be A Leader For Recruiting Class
From high school to the NFL, quarterbacks are expected to be leaders of the team. The player others can look to for support when the going gets tough.
Penn State is no different, and through the years in Happy Valley, there have been a number of quarterbacks who defined themselves as consummate leaders. From John Shaffer in 1986 to Michael Robinson in 2005 to Christian Hackenberg in 2015, the Nittany Lions are no strangers to having a strong leader under center.
“You want to get into a school that you enjoy, and you want to make your decision early,” said Clifford, who chose the Nittany Lions over Pitt and conference rivals Michigan State and Northwestern. “That way you can really get to become a leader in the class. From my position, I know that it’s one of the biggest leadership roles on the team so getting in and getting early is definitely a plus for any quarterback who picks a school.”
Clifford committed to Penn State just a few weeks after earning an offer last July, citing the education, the history of the program, and the connection he had with the coaching staff as main reasons. Since the summer, Clifford has been hard at work on the recruiting trail for the Nittany Lions, talking up Penn State with four-star offensive lineman Robert Hainsey, safety Damani Neal, and offensive lineman C.J. Thorpe, among others.
“I’m trying to get up [to Penn State] more and more so that way I can hang out with them even more and develop a relationship,” Clifford said of other uncommitted prospects. “I know that, from a recruiting stance, knowing people coming into the school is a big plus.”
Since the signal-caller verbally pledged to the Nittany Lions, James Franklin has made some alterations to the coaching staff — out went former offensive coordinator John Donovan and in came Joe Moorhead to run the offense. While Clifford admits the move is obviously a change, he remains fully committed to Penn State and has been impressed with Moorhead thus far.
“I think Coach Moorhead is going to suit the quarterback a little bit more,” Clifford said. “He has a really good record with where he’s coming from… It’s just going to be a little bit different. I know that Coach Donovan had his ways and Coach Moorhead has his, so just learning what he wants to do and watching it this season is going to be very interesting.”
While Clifford is focused on his upcoming senior season at St. Xavier and continuing to become a more well-rounded quarterback, the Ohio product wants the Penn State fan base to know one thing.
“I’m going to try to do whatever it takes to make the class of 2017 the best class out there,” he said.
You can follow Sean Clifford on Twitter @SeanCliff13.