By LARRY VAUGHT
Quarterback Tommy Stevens contemplated transferring from Penn State to Kentucky as a graduate transfer after the Cats beat Penn State in last year’s Citrus Bowl. However, from what I was told, he was looking for a starting guarantee and no way could coach Mark Stoops do that with Terry Wilson returning after leading UK to 10 wins last season.
Eventually Stevens decided to transfer to Mississippi State, a team UK plays on the road this year, and apparently he will be the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs.
Here’s what Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead had to say about Stevens Wednesday at the SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala.
“Obviously I’ve been exposed to Tommy and coached him for two years at Penn State. I think he or any quarterback that we coach or bring into our system, we want the quarterback to be able to beat you with his brain, his arm and his legs,” Moorhead said.
“And I think Tommy is a kid with a lot of physical tools. Strong arm. He can really run. He’s accustomed to the system so he’s going to understand it for the most part coming in. And, you know, I think he brings a lot of talent to the position, and I think the competition is going to be an exciting one.
“It’s going to make the position better, it’s going to make our offense better, and it’s going to make our team better.”
The transfer portal made it possible for State to get Stevens just like it did for UK to get Troy transfer quarterback Sawyer Smith.
“I think that position (quarterback) is a little bit unique that for the most part only one can play. And recruiting in this conference and this level, it’s not like receiver where you play three at a time or O-line where you play five or where you rotate carries between a tailback. There’s one guy that plays, and they want to play,” Moorhead said.
“So certainly in the best interest of the student-athlete, changes were made and decisions were made to give them the opportunity to move on if they chose to do so. So, that’s just part of the landscape of college football right now.”