Penn State Football QB Options After Matt Zoller Recruiting Trail Loss

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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

Penn State Football Top QB Options After Matt Zoller Recruiting Trail Loss

Penn State Football received some bad news on Thursday with 4-star quarterback Matt Zollers picking Missouri over the Nittany Lions and others.

This is a tough pill to swallow considering Zollers is a Pennsylvania recruit and could have been a key piece to the future of Penn State Football.

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

With that said, James Franklin and his staff must move on and return to the drawing board to see what the future of the quarterback position in Happy Valley will look like.

Penn State returns starter Drew Allar for the 2024 season, but a strong season from the junior could have him heading to the NFL.

Behind Allar is redshirt sophomore Beau Pribula, redshirt freshman Jaxon Smolik, who is out for the 2024 season with an injury and true freshman Ethan Grunkemeyer, who the staff has high expectations for.

In the 2025 class, the Nittany Lions do have a quarterback commit in 3-star Bekkem Kritza.


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?

Let’s take a look at the options for Franklin and his staff to consider in the wake of the Zollers news.

1. Stand Pat

With Bekkem Kritza already committed, the Nittany Lions could decide to call it a day at quarterback in the 2025 class and prioritize other positions with the spot that was reserved for Zollers.

If Allar were to leave after the 2024 season, the quarterback battle in 2025 would likely revolve around Pribula and Grunkemeyer in this scenario.

The Nittany Lions deciding not to do anything else at quarterback could be beneficial if Zollers were to come back on the market late in the cycle.

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Penn State Football
Penn State head football coach James Franklin greets fans outside Beaver Stadium before an NCAA football game against Michigan Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in State College, Pa.

2. Malik Washington

If Penn State decides to target another quarterback in the 2025 class, the No. 1 option likely is Malik Washington from Maryland. The 4-star is ranked as the No. 17 quarterback in the 247 Sports Composite and holds offers from the likes of Oregon, Texas A&M and Maryland.

At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, Washington has an athletic frame that he will need to grow into, but the upside is certainly there. Washington is a freak athlete who also thrives on the basketball court. His potential is exciting, but he is raw and likely wouldn’t factor into a 2025 quarterback battle if he were to end up with the Nittany Lions.


Penn State Football
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire)

3. Look at 2026

While this is similar to the first option, the staff could decide to move all of its quarterback efforts on to the 2026 class.

The Nittany Lions have extended offers to 12 quarterbacks in the 2026 class so far. It’s too early to identify who the top targets might be, but the staff can start to prioritize the options they like by keeping Kritza as the lone quarterback in the 2025 class.

If the staff feels comfortable with either Pribula or Grunkemeyer as their next man at quarterback, this may be the best option for the future of the program.

MORE: How Penn State Can Close 2025 With a Top-10 Recruiting Class

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Alec Whitaker
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