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Friday will be a monumental day for Sean Clifford’s career

The Nittany Lions’ starting quarterback is facing a huge moment in his career this week.



Penn State football Sean Clifford
Jan 2, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) celebrates the victory against the Utah Utes at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

STATE COLLEGE, PA — This week is a massive one for many former Nittany Lions. On Friday, Penn State football will host its annual pro day; most of the nation’s top scouts will be in attendance, and many Penn State football players will be on display for the first time in an attempt to boost their 2023 NFL Draft stock. For former Nittany Lion starter Sean Clifford, Friday will be a monumental step in his career.

Love him or hate him, Sean Clifford’s career is being watched closely by many

For the past four seasons, Penn State football fans have watched — sometimes unhappily — as Sean Clifford took the field as the Nittany Lions’ starting quarterback. After six years in State College and four years as the full-time starting quarterback, Clifford will leave Penn State as the winningest quarterback in program history. He also holds many Penn State records, such as most career passings yards, most career passing touchdowns, and more.

During Clifford’s four seasons under center, the veteran quarterback led Penn State football to two 11-win seasons, a 33-15 overall record, a 2-2 record against Michigan, a 3-1 record against Michigan State, a Cotton Bowl win in 2019, and a Rose Bowl win in 2023. Clifford’s first and final seasons as the starting quarterback went great — Penn State finished 11-2 overall and in the top 10 during both seasons — however, his middle two seasons were both subpar (4-5, 7-6).

Sean Clifford’s strengths mostly lied in his ability to extend plays — he is an alright passer, struggles throwing the ball deep on many occasions, and sometimes makes generally poor decisions. Still, when he is on, Penn State’s offense looked unstoppable; this was evident during the Nittany Lions’ massive wins over Auburn, Ohio, Indiana, and Minnesota during this past season.

Clifford’s NFL future likely hinges on his pro day performance

Despite being a Penn State football record holder, Sean Clifford is not exactly at the top of many draft boards right now. In fact, not a single mock draft that we have seen lists Clifford being drafted in any round — if he is picked up, it will likely be as an unsigned free agent after the draft. To be fair, not many 24-year-old quarterbacks are coming out of college, though this does not mean that Sean Clifford will not perform well in the NFL if he makes it there. For Clifford, this Friday will mean the world, and after all he has done for the Penn State program, we wish him the best as he enters this new chapter.

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