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Drew Allar lands in distinct group in comprehensive ESPN QB rankings

nate-mug-10.12.14by:Nate Bauer06/04/24


The latest offering from ESPN is comprehensive. David Hale, one of the outlet’s national college football reporters, has broken down the totality of the game’s quarterbacks ahead of the 2024 season. And, predictably, Penn State’s Drew Allar is among the primary discussion points.

Surveying 134 quarterbacks in college football, the premise isn’t a point by point ranking. Rather, lumping different quarterbacks into groups, themes emerge for the best of the best, the transfer market, quarterbacks needing a reboot, and others who are serviceable.

Then, there’s Allar.

Where does the Nittany Lion signal-caller land among the nation’s quarterbacks ahead of the 2024 season? In a piece that is broken into 20 tiers of caliber players, Allar is joined in a uniquely named “Tier 7.” And he has decent company within the eight-man group.

What they’re saying about Drew Allar

Specifically, the tier is called: “The Curse of ’22.” It includes Clemson’s Cade Klubnik and Christopher Vizzina, Duke’s Maalik Murphy, Grayson Loftis, and Henry Belin IV, and Texas A&M’s Conner Weigman and Jaylen Henderson, in addition to Allar.

Starting with a bang, the section announces its tenor by claiming that “the 2022 recruiting class could go down as one of the all-time biggest disappointments for quarterbacks.” Relying on ESPN’s recruiting evaluations, it highlights a combined “68 starts, a 53.8 Total QBR, 58.5 percent completions and 6.5 yards per pass” out of 31 four- or five-star recruits.

All is not lost in regard to Allar, though. Highlighted as one of the lone performers to have enjoyed success to this point in his career, the Nittany Lion passer has been better than many of his peers in the class.

From the piece:

“The most accomplished of the class so far are Allar (No. 2 pocket passer) and Klubnik (No. 1 dual threat), though both spent the bulk of their first full year as the starter dealing with outraged fans and dismal performances in their biggest games. In truth, we should probably have Allar and Weigman (No. 1 pocket passer) both ranked a bit higher and, perhaps, Klubnik and Murphy (No. 12 pocket passer) ranked a bit lower, but we’re lumping them together because they’ve all been afflicted by this same curse.”

Points of interest

Allar is featured twice in the section for widely varied reasons. On the front end, one of the downsides is at the forefront as both Allar and Klubnik are in select company for infrequency of throws completed 20 or more yards downfield.

From the story:

“Allar had just eight completions all season on throws of 20-plus yards downfield. He had five games in which he attempted one or zero such throws. Three of those completions came in the final two games of the year after former OC Mike Yurcich was fired. As a point of comparison, Washington’s Penix completed 46 balls on throws of 20-plus last year. Whether Allar’s lack of aggressiveness downfield was a matter of game plan or ability will be one of the biggest factors in Penn State’s push for a playoff berth this year.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Allar’s comparative success against solid defenses last season was highlighted. Commended for throwing 13 touchdowns against just one interception against five defenses ranked in the top 40 last season nationally, his performances didn’t produce the intended results for the Nittany Lions.

“Penn State was also 2-3 in those games, and he averaged just 5.5 yards per attempt, 65th lowest among 74 QBs with at least three such starts.”

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