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HOT: James Franklin addresses Penn State’s quarterback room ahead of spring ball

On Tuesday, Penn State’s head coach addressed his young QB room.



James Franklin
© Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

STATE COLLEGE, PA — On Tuesday, Penn State football‘s head coach held his first media conference of the new season. James Franklin, who is heading into his 10th year as the Nittany Lions’ head coach, insinuated that all three of the quarterbacks on his depth chart are getting even reps, and that Allar and Pribula could be splitting some reps later this fall.

Head coach James Franklin talks Penn State’s QB situation

For the first time since 2018, a quarterback not named Sean Clifford will take over as Penn State’s starting quarterback this fall. Two highly-touted recruits will compete for the starting job in 2023: Beau Pribula and Drew Allar. Allar — who was the nation’s No. 1 recruit when he committed to Penn State — is currently the fan favorite to be Penn State’s starter this year, though according to Franklin, all of his quarterbacks are getting equal reps (or close to it) in camp.

Here is what Penn State head coach James Franklin had to say about his QB room, the reps they are getting, and what we could see later this fall:

“From a rotation standpoint, obviously we would like yo keep it as even as possible,” Franklin told the media during his Tuesday presser. “We kinda have it structured that was at practice. Specifically, with Beau [Pribula] and Drew [Allar] — we try to keep it as even, from a reps standpoint, as possible. Right now we really have it structured in a way, based on our depth right now, that all three of them will get the same number of reps.

“I think it’s really important in spring ball — at all the positions — that everybody is getting an opportunity to compete and develop … At some point we gotta transition and get ready for the first game. So the plan is to split the reps evenly and then, obviously as we start to get a little bit of bumps and bruises and have to adjust to practice … Right now we’re starting out even, reps across the board for all three of them and then — obviously specific to Beau and Drew — really making sure that we protect those two guys’ reps as much as we possibly can.

“There could be some situations where Beau actually gets more reps [than Drew Allar] by the end of spring because I think there’s some things that we may want to do with Beau to take advantage of his skillset. Maybe create an opportunity for him to get more experience, not only during spring ball but in games next [season] as well, so we’ll see how that all plays out.”

Franklin was asked to follow up on his intentions with Pribula and Allar, and what the competition between the two is like.

“This spring is just getting those guys as many reps as we possibly can to be able to evaluate them, to create a competition, and also create depth,” James Franklin said. “I do think, if you look at last year, we had a very specific plan to get Drew [Allar] as many reps as we possibly could to build that depth and to build that experience, so if we needed him he was ready but also to help us this year [and] moving forward.

“This year is a little bit different,” Franklin added. “We’re back to having a true competition again … Beau has got some athletic traits that are desirable and maybe make sense for us to use if they give us the best chance to win. But before practice has even started it’s hard to say that, so we’ll see how it plays out … I do think there’s a little bit different of a dynamic based on — I would say Sean [Clifford] and Drew’s skillsets were probably more similar. They were different, but probably more similar [than Beau and Drew] where I think maybe the differences between Drew and Beau may be a little bit more dramatic in terms of their skillsets.”

Penn State football has options

We all expect Drew Allar to be the Nittany Lions’ starting quarterback; however, don’t count out Beau Pribula for getting some solid playing time as well. As James Franklin insinuated, Beau Pribula has a very different skill set from what the 6-5 Drew Allar brings to the table — if Penn State football can use this to its advantage, the Lions’ offense will be far more dangerous than most are already anticipating.

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