Player Spotlight: Trace McSorley

Player Spotlight: Trace McSorley

Penn State fans had a lot of reason to be uncertain about how this season would start. With players such as Akeel Lynch and Adam Breneman opting to pursue the rest of their college football careers elsewhere, and three-year starting quarterback Christian Hackenberg off to the NFL to play for the New York Jets, fans were left wondering who would step up to make this team stand out this season. One of those such players is redshirt sophomore starting quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.).

Since high school, McSorley has been breaking records and making a name for himself. He was a four-year starting quarterback and played in the Virginia State Championship games four times, at one point playing against Hackenberg’s high school for the state title (Hackenberg got the ring). He was rated a three-star recruit and a Top 25 recruit out of Virginia. His senior year, McSorley threw for 3,252 yards, 36 scores and contributed 892 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. He was named the Potomac District Offensive Player of the Year and played in the Chesapeake Bowl as a senior.

McSorley came to Penn State in 2014 and redshirted as a true freshman.

In 2015, McSorley was thrown into the action, seeing the field for seven games, including the TaxSlayer Bowl, in which he had to step in spur of the moment to take the place of Hackenberg, who had injured his shoulder. He was chosen as the team MVP for this performance after completing 14 of 27 passes for 142 yards and two touchdown passes as well as running for 31 yards on seven carries.


Fast forward to the present. During preseason, critics were quick to judge the young talent, claiming that he may be too inexperienced or too unsure of himself to take up the helm as the starting quarterback for a program as famed as Penn State.

However, McSorley has already proved himself to be cool, calm, and collected on the field.

During the tense Pitt game a couple of weeks ago, McSorley had a career-high 24 completions and 332 passing yards, making him the 12th quarterback in Penn State Football history to achieve a 300-yard passing game. He also threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.), a key play in the game.

Last week against Temple, McSorley came out strong again, completing 18/24 passes for 287 yards and notching one touchdown. His 52-yard pass to Chris Godwin resulted in the first touchdown of the game, a vital play in keeping the momentum in Penn State’s favor.

On a personal note, McSorley’s full name is Richard Thomas McSorley III, and he has one younger sister. Both his father and uncle played college football.

McSorley has an incredible chance to prove himself yet against in Penn State’s first Big Ten game of the season this weekend away at Michigan. Tune in at 3:30 p.m. for kickoff!