Penn State graduate transfer Tommy Stevens is generating a buzz following his weekend appearance at the Manning Passing Academy om Thibodaux, La.
Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy caught glimpses of Stevens among 39 other top-level quarterbacks throwing it around in front of Peyton and Eli and was thoroughly impressed with what he saw out of Mississippi State's potential starter.
"Biggest surprise of Manning Passing Academy was Mississippi State QB Tommy Stevens," Nagy tweeted Monday morning. "Scouts talk about how guys “spin it” and Stevens spun it as well as anyone at the camp. We knew he was big and athletic but he has a live arm. Hail State football fans should be excited about this kid!"
James Crepea, who covers Oregon for The Oregonian, tweeted, "Tommy Stevens, Juwan Johnson’s roomate at PSU, now at Mississippi State has a cannon."
Stevens, a fifth-year senior, was Trace McSorley's backup with the Nittany Lions the past three seasons and hasn't yet made a collegiate start. He was expected to be Penn State's QB1 this fall, but entered the transfer portal at the end of spring practice before ultimately landing in Starkville with his former coach, Joe Moorhead.
He'll be battling Keytaon Thompson, who took the first-team reps during the spring for the Bulldogs, for the starting job in fall practice.
Thor Nystrom, Rotoworld's NFL Draft analyst, says Stevens is a potential NFL Draft option next season with an impressive campaign in the SEC.
"Tommy Stevens officially needs to be added to all 2020 Draft watch lists," Nystrom tweeted on Monday. "And don’t forget: JoeMo’s offenses produce video game numbers with true dual-threat QBs* JoeMo knows Stevens well from PSU days."
Here's what 247Sports Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong says about Stevens:
A former three-star prospect, Stevens is known as a bruising runner at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds. Stevens has averaged 6.7 yards per attempt throughout his career with 506 total yards and eight touchdowns. Penn State created a sub-package and a role known as “Lion” to get Stevens on the field last year. Stevens has had much fewer opportunities as a passer with just 41 career attempts. He finished 8-for-11 last year with 110 yards and one touchdown against an interception.
Moorhead touched on Stevens' arrival in May.
"He's got good size and when I coached him at Penn State, we used (Stevens) in a variety of ways," Moorhead said. "I think when it came down to it, (it was) the familiarity with myself, playing three years in the system - two with me and another one at Penn State - and the opportunity to come in and compete.
"That was expressed to him very clearly and nothing was going to be handed to him. And he expressed very clearly to me that he wanted nothing handed to him and that he was going to have to come in and earn it. I think when you're making decisions on where to go for that last year of eligibility, having familiarity with the system to potentially operate was a big benefit."