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Frontrunner to replace Trace McSorley at QB for Penn State undergoes surgery, unavailable for bowl game

The bad news is that the presumptive frontrunner to replace Trace McSorley under center for Penn State will be unavailable for its bowl game. The good news is that the issue should have no bearing when the Big Ten school begins preparing for the 2019 season in earnest in a couple of months.

In meeting with the media as his team arrived in Florida, James Franklin revealed that Tommy Stevens will not play in the Citrus Bowl after undergoing surgery. The head coach did not detail the specific nature of the injury that triggered the procedure, although he did say it was sustained earlier in the year, unbeknownst to the media covering the team.

It’s the football program’s expectation that Stevens will be available when the Nittany Lions kick off spring practice next year.

“Tommy had an injury at about the midway point of the season that (the media) weren’t aware of,” the coach said by way of the Centre Daily Times. “We had a lot of discussions about when’s the right time to have the surgery. Tommy’s family and the staff decided that the best time to have the surgery was once his academics were finished up and he got through the season.

“He was able to do that and this will allow him, hopefully, to be full go for spring ball.

In March of this year, Stevens acknowledged that he had spoken to other schools about the possibility of a transfer, but ultimately opted to remain in Happy Valley. A jack of all trades in biding his time as McSorley’s primary backup, Stevens has passed for 304 yards; rushed for 506 yards; and caught 62 yards worth of passes. He’s also accounted for 14 touchdowns -- four passing, eight rushing, two receiving.