Top Ten Moments Of Tommy Stevens’ Penn State Career
It’ll be hard for another back-up in any sport to command the attention, draw the headlines, and earn the love of fans the way Tommy Stevens did during his Penn State career.
With his grills, hard-nosed playing style, and infectious personality, Stevens was as high-profile as a back-up could be and became something of a cult phenomenon. He also made for some great moments on and off the field. Here are the ten most memorable.
10. Endorsing Laura McKinney and Jake Griggs for UPUA president and vice president
Just a month ago, Stevens earned our now-newly-elected student body president Laura McKinney’s vote of approval in this spring’s quarterback battle. It was a mutual endorsement, as Stevens offered his support for the only executive ticket in this year’s UPUA elections and made voting seem like something all the “cool” kids do. (Editor’s note: It wasn’t. Voter turnout was down…again.)
9. Showing up to media day in shades in the midst of his quarterback position battle
No one knew much about Stevens when he entered the summer of 2016’s quarterback battle, but he set the tone for the next three seasons when he arrived at media day looking like a movie star. He fielded questions while rocking a slick pair of black shades and could have looked better only had he donned Joe Namath’s fur coat in the middle of August.
8. Tweeting at a model with the help of Chad Ochocinco
Stevens ran the jet sweep into swimsuit model Sierra Egan’s DMs, thanks to Chad Ochocinco. A not-so-innocent tweet by Stevens about Egan caught the attention of Ochocinco, who played wing man by abruptly posting the model’s handle.
7. Catching a touchdown against Northwestern
Stevens left fans wondering “What can’t he do?” more than a few times during his three years at Penn State. The jack of all trades might not have been the most graceful quarterback-turned-tight end-turned-running back, but he certainly got the job done during this iconic play call by Joe Moorhead.
6. Shining in mop-up duty against Maryland
The 2017 Maryland game was the largest in-season sample size Stevens provided during his Penn State career. Although he was only 3-of-7 passing for 11 yards, Stevens ran all over the Terps defense for three touchdowns and a team-high 113 yards. He gave a glimpse of the future and what might be one day. Unfortunately, he won’t see those aspirations through while wearing blue and white.
5. Feeling it Coming in the Air Tonight…oh lawd
He may have never worn Namath’s fur coat, but Stevens hitting the drum solo in “Coming In The Air Tonight” was damn close to breaking the scale when it comes to “quarterback swag.”
4. Getting his own position
One of offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne’s first orders of business was giving Stevens a formal starting position as the Lion. It was a great gesture to recognize Stevens for the unique role he played and arguably helped keep him at Penn State last season.
3. Announcing his return to Penn State with a Wolf of Wall Street video
In one of the greatest internet moments of all time, Stevens silenced any doubts about where he’d spend last season. He used the likeness of Jordan Belfort to proclaim “I’m not fucking leaving!” One year later, and as times change, tweets are deleted. However, when Stevens does announce his next steps, we’re hoping for a similarly epic Leonard DiCaprio reference, like this one.
2. Scoring on the legendary jet sweep against Iowa
The potential for what Moorhead could do with Stevens peaked when he lined him as a receiver and sent him in motion to take a handoff from McSorley. All 230 pounds of Stevens sprinted down the sideline on the end-around, bulldozing two Iowa defenders and scoring a wild 13-yard touchdown that sent fans into a frenzy.
Although Stevens would get few other opportunities to line up alongside McSorley and drive defensive coordinators crazy, this play epitomized Stevens’ versatility, speed, and bullish running ability and will forever be the first clip on his career highlight reel.
1. Penn State winning the Big Ten on the sixth anniversary of Stevens’ best friend dying
Although Stevens didn’t see the field in the 2016 Big Ten Championship, the game was played in his hometown of Indianapolis on the six-year anniversary of his best friend passing away. The memorable night resulted in an emotional moment shared by Stevens and Jonathan Holland after the game.
Here’s hoping that wherever Stevens ends up, he receives the same attention, love, and affinity for back-up quarterbacks.
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About the Author
Clifford will take the job left vacant by Trace McSorley, who went 31-9 as the Nittany Lions’ QB1 in three seasons at the helm of the team’s offense.
2019 seems to break a trend for Penn State football, which usually named just three captains per season (one on offense, defense, and special teams).
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