Penn State Football Elite Quarterbacks: Ranking the Top 5 of All Time

Penn State Football, Trace McSorley
Penn State Football Quarterback Trace McSorley (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Penn State Football has a storied tradition, and throughout the years, the Nittany Lions have witnessed some incredible quarterbacks leading their offense.

From thrilling comebacks to record-breaking performances, these signal-callers have left an indelible mark on Penn State.

In this article, we delve into the history books to rank the top 10 Penn State quarterbacks of all time based on their accomplishments and impact during their time in the blue and white.

Ranking The Top-5 Penn State Football Quarterbacks of All-Time

No. 5 – Michael Robinson (2002-2005)

Michael Robinson’s versatility and leadership were instrumental in Penn State’s success during his time as the starting quarterback.

Robinson’s ability to make plays with his arm and legs made him a nightmare for defenses. He led the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten championship in 2005 and was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.


No. 4- Daryll Clark (2006-2009)

Daryll Clark’s tenure at Penn State Football was characterized by his exceptional dual-threat abilities.

Clark led the Nittany Lions to back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2008 and 2009, earning him All-Big Ten honors both years. Clark’s accurate passing and electrifying runs made him a nightmare for opposing defenses.

No. 3 – Trace McSorley (2015-2018)

Trace McSorley’s electrifying performances captivated fans during his time at Penn State.

He redefined the dual-threat quarterback position, shattering numerous school records. McSorley became the program’s all-time leader in passing yards (9,899) and touchdowns (77) and guided the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten championship in 2016.

McSorley’s clutch play and leadership were vital to Penn State’s success.


No. 2 – Todd Blackledge (1980-1982)

Todd Blackledge’s tenure at Penn State was marked by success and consistency.

He led the Nittany Lions to their first-ever national championship in 1982, capping off an outstanding season with a victory in the Sugar Bowl.

Blackledge’s ability to make accurate throws in crucial situations earned him the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback in 1982.

No. 1 – Kerry Collins (1991-1994)

Kerry Collins stands atop the list as one of the most prolific passers in Penn State history.

His exceptional arm strength and ability to read defenses propelled him to numerous records, including career passing yards (9,192) and touchdowns (59).

Collins guided the Nittany Lions to an undefeated season and a Rose Bowl victory in 1994, solidifying his status as a Penn State legend. Penn State Football not winning the national championship in 1994 remains one of the more controversial decisions in college football history.

While Penn State Football has lofty expectations in 2023, buoyed by the promise of former five-star quarterback Drew Allar, some of the program’s legends set the foundation that James Franklin is building on.

Drew Allar
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