Is Penn State Football About to Lose Elite QB Target to SEC?

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NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

The latest news, insight, and analysis of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, and Penn State Basketball, including schedules, game results, analysis of breaking news, rumors, speculation, and recruiting coverage of future Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home to the latest Penn State Nittany Lions news, updates, insight, and analysis, including in-depth coverage of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball, and much more

Is Penn State Football on the Verge of Missing Elite In-State QB to the SEC?

Spring-Ford’s Matt Zollers is one of the highest rated and highly recruited quarterback prospects from the state of Pennsylvania in recent memory, and not surprisingly a top target for Penn State Football.

Since 2011, only two other quarterback recruits from the state of Pennsylvania have ranked inside the top 150 prospects in the nation (2018 Phil Jurkovec, 2021 Kyle McCord).

From the sounds of it, though, Penn State may not be able to capitalize on the elite prospect in their own backyard for the third time in a row, with momentum leaning toward multiple SEC suitors ahead of Zollers’ commitment this week.

Penn State Football
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin (Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports)

Matt Zollers Rising Up Rankings

On On3 Sports On300 rankings, Zollers ranks as the number three quarterback and the number 17 overall player in the country.

Boasting 21 offers from around the country, Zollers has climbed up the recruiting rankings since throwing for 2,917 yards and 37 touchdowns while running for 420 yards and seven touchdowns during his junior season.

According to the 247Sports composite rankings, Zollers has climbed 92 places in the rankings in the past two months, with another season to boost his stock even more.

Being an in-state prospect for the Nittany Lions, Zollers had the opportunity throughout his recruitment to visit the Nittany Lions many times, getting to campus six times to meet with the Penn State staff, including a recent visit last week.

However, even six visits to campus may not have been enough to keep Zollers in-state as it seems multiple SEC teams carry the momentum ahead of Zollers’ commitment later this week.

On Monday, On3 Sports’ Steve Wilfong laid out his understanding of Zollers’ recruitment. He noted that “based on the intel that [Wilfong’s] hearing right now, that he’s likely SEC-bound,” noting that both Georgia and Missouri are both in the mix for Zollers’ commitment.

Despite the in-state connections for Zollers and Penn State, the Nittany Lions may not have had enough to hold off these two southern programs for the elite quarterback prospect this cycle.

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Penn State Football
Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions speaks with quarterback Drew Allar. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Where does Penn State Football go from here?

Penn State Football already has one quarterback commitment in the Nittany Lions’ 2025 class, Bekkem Kritza out of Colorado (now at Miami Central).

James Franklin and the Nittany Lions, however, are still highly pursuing a second quarterback for the 2025 class. Archbishop Spalding’s Malik Washington is another name to watch, as the four-star quarterback out of Maryland has visited Penn State four times through his recruitment, including a visit this month. Washington is also being pursued by regional rivals Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Syracuse.

Missing Zollers would be a huge recruiting loss for Franklin and the Nittany Lions, as elite quarterbacks in your backyard don’t come around very often. With Zollers popping this week, the staff needs to quickly turn their attention to another quarterback to prioritize to get a second on board before its too late.

With Drew Allar potentially leaving after the 2024 season and Jaxon Smolik recovering from a long-term injury, Penn State needs to grab a second quarterback in the 2025 class or the transfer portal to bolster numbers at the position for the future.

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