One of the hottest quarterback prospects in the nation verbally committed to Penn State on Monday.
Drew Allar, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound Ohio prep standout who piled up offers from some of the nation’s most prestigious programs in recent weeks, said Monday morning he will be attending Penn State with the 2022 recruiting class.
Allar had offers from all Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Michigan and Washington, just a handful of the programs from all five Power 5 conferences that saw him as one of the burgeoning prospects of the 2022 class. 247sports rates him as a four-star prospect, the No. 6 pro-style passer in the nation and the No. 89 prospect overall in the class. Rivals.com still has him as a three-star prospect, but surely that’s a rating that will be climbing as the offers pile up and signing day in December nears.
Watch his film, and it makes little sense why, until just a few months ago, he was largely just a guy Group of 5 schools were offering. He has prototypical size and an accurate arm. Last season, he threw for 2,692 yards and 26 touchdowns, despite an ankle injury and the uncertainty of playing through the pandemic.
Mostly though, the kid is just fun to watch. He has enough athletic ability to make defenders miss him in the backfield, and while he seems to be a good enough runner when he has to be, he’s not a runner. He’s working with his eyes down the field, looking to make a big play that way. He throws the bomb. He isn’t afraid to go to all the off-angle stuff, sidearm and away from his body, that Patrick Mahomes has made hip. He just looks like a guy who can do it all and, perhaps more exciting than anything when it comes to what kind of potential he has, he did all of that in his first season as a starting quarterback in high school.
How did Penn State end up sealing the deal with him? Well, at the end of the day, Penn State fired Kirk Ciarrocca and invested in Mike Yurcich as its offensive coordinator for moments like this.
Yurcich was one of the first coaches among the power conferences to notice Allar’s potential, and he actually started recruiting him when he was the offensive coordinator at Texas. Of course, he moved on to Penn State in January. The Nittany Lions needed to take two quarterbacks in the 2022 class, even after getting a commitment from York standout Beau Pribula late last year, and it became clear very soon after Yurcich came on board that Allar was the top target to join him.
How this all plays out from here, who knows. There are 252 days between now and Dec. 15, the start of the early signing period for football, and these are very different times when it comes to recruiting. Penn State can lose one or both of those prospects to another school or a more clear opportunity to play by then. It’s just a fact.
But, these are two really good building blocks for an offense that seems to be headed in a new, better direction under Yurcich. Pribula can do a little bit of everything really well, and he’s a guy who has a Trace McSorley, Sean Clifford vibe to him when you watch his film. Allar’s skill set reminds me of another Ohio high school standout who started late in his career, had rare skills for a big man and went on to a great college career and a terrific professional career, Ben Roethlisberger.
So, however Penn State settles into the Yurcich era on offense, they’ll be doing so potentially with a couple of young quarterbacks able to run just about any kind of system.
Donnie Collins has been a member of The Times-Tribune sports staff for nearly 20 years and has been the Penn State football beat writer for Times-Shamrock Newspapers since 2004. The Penn State Football Blog covers Nittany Lions, Big Ten and big-time college football news from Beaver Stadium to the practice field, the bowl game to National Letter of Intent Signing Day. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5368; @DonnieCollinsTT