Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford announced Friday that he will return to the Nittany Lions for his sixth season after starting for coach James Franklin’s crew for the previous three. Clifford, a redshirt senior this year, will take advantage of the free year of eligibility the NCAA provided to all athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic year of 2020 and be a redshirt senior again in 2022. Clifford made the announcement on his Twitter account.
“I will be returning to Penn State to play one more season in the Blue & White,” he wrote. “I could not pass up the chance to be with this family and play the game I love again. The opportunity to play alongside my brother, Liam, and the rest of my brothers on this team made this decision easy.”
Clifford has thrown for 7,644 yards and 61 touchdowns during four seasons. He played four games and took a redshirt in 2018 before taking over for Trace McSorley full-time starting in 2019. He battled through multiple injuries to throw for 2,912 yards and 20 touchdowns, with only six interceptions. He also added 123 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
“Penn State is more than football for me,” he wrote. “It is family. My teammates, coach Franklin, the staff and the community have shaped me into the man I am today and I am forever grateful. I am beyond thankful for the support system I have back home, as my mom, dad and brother have stood by me every step of the way.”
So what does this mean for Clifford and Penn State? Let’s take a look.
Stability within transition
Wide receiver Jahan Dotson was essentially Penn State’s only dynamic play-maker in 2021. Dotson, a senior, will be out the door, leaving a massive hole for a No. 1 receiver to fill. The obvious option would be Parker Washington, who had…