How will Penn State football handle Drew Allar and Beau Pribula and the quarterback situation this spring?

On3 imageby:Greg Pickel03/14/23

GregPickel

STATE COLLEGE — Penn State football starts spring practice on Tuesday. It means that the first quarterback competition here since the 2019 offseason starts now, too. Second-year Nittany Lions Drew Allar and Beau Pribula have been battling it out since they stepped on campus, of course, first for the backup job behind Sean Clifford. Now, each is vying for the first-team job he has vacated.

Allar will be the first passer to take the field for drills. That’s because on of them has to be, of course. However, the plan is to get plenty of reps for both of them in addition to January enrollee Jaxon Smolik.

“From a rotation standpoint, obviously we’d like to keep it as even as possible,” Franklin said. “We kind of have it structured that way at practice, specifically, with Beau and Drew, and try to keep it as is even from a rep standpoint as possible.”

The 10th-year leader of the Lions went on to explain why. And, his rationale also pertains to other positions on the team.

“I think it’s really important in spring ball, that not just at the quarterback position, but all the positions, that everybody’s getting the opportunity to compete and develop,” Franklin said. “Just like we try to do at the beginning of training camp and then obviously, at some point, we got to transition and get ready for the first game. So the plan is to split the [quarterback] reps evenly.

“Right now, starting out, even reps across the board for all three of them. Then, obviously specific to Beau and Drew, really making sure that we protect those two guys reps as much as we possibly can.”

Penn State plans to put Pribula’s athleticism to work

Without going into any details that would give an advantage to Penn State’s opponents, Franklin did note that the program wants to and use Pribula in a variety of ways this year.

“There could be some situations where Beay actually gets more reps by the end of spring, because I think there’s some things that we may want to do with to take advantage of his skill set and maybe create an opportunity for him to get some more experience,” Franklin said. “Not only in spring ball, but games next year as well. So we’ll see how that all plays out.”

What that means is not entirely clear for obvious reasons. But, Prbiula has plenty of speed, agility, and the ability to be used in ways besides just lining up under center.

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“I do think if you look at last year, we had a very specific plan to get to get Drew as many reps as we possibly could to build that depth and to build that experience,” Franklin said. “So if we needed him, he was ready. This year is a little bit different because we’re back to kind of having an a true competition again. Beau has got some athletic traits that are desirable and maybe makes sense for us to use if they give us the best chance to win. But, before practices even started, it’s hard to say, so we’ll see how it plays out. I know you want me to give you the game plan for West Virginia today.

“I do think there’s a little bit different dynamic, [and] I would say Sean’s and Drew’s skill sets were probably more similar. They were different, but they were probably more similar, where I think maybe the differences between Drew and Beau are maybe a little bit more dramatic in terms of their skill sets.”

What will it all lead to? We’ll see. But, it will be talked about plenty in the days and months ahead.

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