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Freshman Penn State football quarterback may see crucial reps in 2024

This Penn State football quarterback could see some important reps throughout the coming season behind Drew Allar and Beau Pribula.



Penn State football, Drew Allar, Beau Pribula, Ethan Grunkemeyer, quarterback
Sep 22, 2023; Delaware, Ohio, USA; Olentangy senior Ethan Grunkemeyer (6) looks for a teammate to pass to during their game against Olentangy Berlin on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 at Olentangy Berlin. Olentangy Berlin won 27-20.

Two years ago, Sean Clifford was given the starting nod over a then-freshman Drew Allar, who still saw a lot of in-game action despite being QB2. This fall, the Penn State football quarterback room looks quite a bit different, as Allar and Beau Pribula will look to take over the dynamic offense of new coordinator Andy Kotelnicki; however, there is another name that the Nittany Lions are keeping a close eye on: freshman quarterback Ethan Grunkemeyer.

Freshman Penn State football quarterback could see notable action in 2024

When Ethan Grunkemeyer first committed to Penn State football, some fans complained that he was “only a three-star.” Yet, in the coming months, the Ohio quarterback product promptly made his way up the ranks of the 2024 recruiting class — he finished as the No. 103 overall player and the No. 8 quarterback in his recruiting cycle.

Now, the four-star QB prospect is officially a Penn State freshman and is ready to take the nation by storm.

Ethan Grunkemeyer looking to see reps behind Drew Allar and Beau Pribula

Now, I need to be clear about something: Ethan Grunkemeyer will not be the Nittany Lions’ starting quarterback for the 2024 season. Still, just as we saw in 2022 with Sean Clifford and Drew Allar, it will be interesting to see how James Franklin and Penn State’s new offense will use their freshman talent under center.

Of course, fans are starting to familiarize themselves with the new system of offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki. At Kansas, Kotelnicki frequently used multiple quarterbacks. The Jayhawks had multiple passers throw for over 700 yards in each of the last two seasons. 

If Allar and Pribula are used heavily as runners and passers in the flow of the offense, then there’s a good chance Penn State will turn to another quarterback in relief. Grunkemeyer will be competing for this role in 2024 with redshirt freshman Jaxon Smolik, the former three-star prospect who appeared in one game last fall. Smolik has been turning heads behind the scenes in his own right, and will make a push for playing time this year.

Still learning who Ethan Grunkemeyer is

At this point, we don’t know anything about who Ethan Grunkemeyer will be as a college quarterback; especially not as a QB1 as he presumably will be for the Nittany Lions in a few years. Still, early comparisons and high school evaluations pin him as a strong-armed gun-slinger — similar to Drew Allar and his skillset — with a smaller and more mobile frame.

Plenty of chances for Penn State football quarterback room

With the Big Ten expanding, the 2024 Penn State football schedule is notably tougher — yet not as grueling as some other national schedules — than in years past. That said, the Nittany Lions are still being pinned as a 10-win CFP-worthy team right now, and there are a few “gimme games” that Grunkemeyer could see some solid reps in, similar to Drew Allar getting major action against the Ohio Bobcats and others back in 2022.

We’ll see what this Penn State football quarterback can do going forward, though it’s clear that the Nittany Lions have a special talent on their hands, and there is a good chance that Grunkemeyer will see the field in some capacity throughout the coming season.

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