Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley knows where he stands.
He’s not just a guy battling for the starting job with another signal-caller. He’s the guy.
After a breakout season ended in heartbreak at the Rose Bowl, McSorley is determined, and more importantly, comfortable — both personally and with the offense — in his second spring camp with offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead.
“It’s definitely been a lot sharper the second year around, the second spring,” McSorley said Wednesday after Penn State’s 11th practice of spring camp. “Guys are clicking. We’re not getting a feel for it anymore. We know how it’s supposed to work. We know the timing, and we understand the timing of all the routes in our offense.”
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This time last year, Moorhead would bark at his players, yelling to make sure they shared his same intensity. Now, the quarterback who lit up opponents for 3,979 total yards and 37 touchdowns last season has joined his teammates in taking control of that intensity, reaching that standard each spring practice.
Going through spring ball with Moorhead once before is a main reason why everything’s running so smoothly — but McSorley can’t deny that how the season ended is another explanation for the fast start. After falling just short of the College Football Playoff, McSorley and the Nittany Lions know what’s possible in Year 2 of Moorhead’s high-flying offense.
Now, it’s up to the players to make it happen.
“Coming in knowing we were that close last year, we work that much harder and take the next step,” the quarterback said. “You’ve heard it all spring from our coaches and the guys on the team; you can’t do the same thing the way we did last year and expect to have more success than last year. We all came in and raised our elevation and raised our preparation and how were coming in and attacking each day.”