Joe Moorhead’s offense never managed to jump into high gear once conference play started in his debut season at Mississippi State and in order to maximize the potential of the Hail State offense in the fall, the MSU coach may soon turn over the keys to the offense to a player that understands how to run it.
If you haven’t heard, Penn State graduate transfer quarterback Tommy Stevens is exploring his options elsewhere. A move to Starkville would make sense, as Stevens previously played in Moorhead’s offense when the coach served as James Franklin’s offensive coordinator for two seasons. Those two seasons resulted in producing the best offenses in recent PSU history, including a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl appearance.
According to Chris Hummer of 247Sports, Mississippi State has emerged as the leader to land the grad transfer from Penn State. MSU is replacing Nick Fitzgerald this offseason and while Keytaon Thompson has had some success on the field for the Bulldogs, he has not yet been named the starter in Starkville looking ahead to the 2019 season.
In Stevens’ brief collegiate playing career, he’s passed for 304 yards, four touchdowns and one interception while completing 58.5 percent of his passes. According to a recent interview Stevens’ father game to John McGonigal of the Centre Daily Times, the Penn State QB plans to start next season.
“Tommy has so much invested in this year, and we know that this is his last shot. If he’s not Penn State’s quarterback, he’s going to be somebody’s quarterback,” said Tom Stevens. “Everyone already knows, if he’s not playing at Penn State this year, he’s probably going to leave. I don’t think that’s much news to anybody. He wants to be a starter.”
Based on that comment, it’s safe to assume Stevens has been told his opportunity to start at Mississippi State would be fairly high. Otherwise, why leave one QB competition at Penn State for another one at Mississippi State? It’s worth mentioning Moorhead also recruited former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant before the QB selected Missouri this offseason.
While Thompson has proven himself on the field up to this point in spot duty, the actions of the coaching staff in Starkville suggest he may not be a fit for what they want to accomplish on the field in 2019.