A month after entering the transfer portal and four official visits later, Tommy Stevens has found his new home.
The former Penn State quarterback is headed to the SEC and will be reunited with former Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead at Mississippi State.
Stevens played under Moorhead at Penn State for two seasons before the offensive coordinator accepted the head coaching job at Mississippi State prior to the 2018 season.
The question now is how is Stevens going to fit into the picture at Mississippi State? Will Stevens serve as the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs or will he find himself being used as the Swiss-Army knife of a Moorhead offense once again?
One thing that is clear is that nothing will be handed to Stevens in Starkville.
He will be thrusted into a quarterback competition this summer and will have an opportunity to earn the starting role.
"We look forward to Tommy joining our team and completing his final year of eligibility as a Mississippi State Bulldog," Moorhead said in a Mississippi State press release. "Tommy is very talented and will be an excellent addition to our roster. He will have the opportunity to compete at quarterback this season. With nearly 100 days until kickoff, we are excited about our summer preparations as we continue to build a program that will make Mississippi State fans proud."
The Bulldogs are currently searching for a replacement for three-year starter Nick Fitzgerald, who was just drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Junior Keytaon Thompson is currently the favorite to win the starting job, with redshirt freshman Jalen Mayden and true freshman Garrett Shrader rounding out the competition.
Thompson started for the “Maroon team” in Mississippi State’s annual spring game. The junior had nine completions on 18 attempts throwing for 106 yards and three touchdowns.
Even if Stevens doesn’t win the starting job, he will find a role on the Mississippi State team and he will see the field.
Stevens flourished in Penn State’s offense as “the lion”, a position that was created in order to put the backup quarterback on the field in a variety of creative ways.
In the 2016 season, which saw Penn State win the Big Ten Championship, Stevens rushed the ball 21 times for 198 yards and also found the end zone twice.
Following the success of the package, Stevens saw a slightly increased workload in the 2017 season, rushing the ball 27 times for 190 yards.
Stevens also had 12 receptions in the 2017 season for 60 yards. Stevens finished the year with a total of nine touchdowns, four on the ground, three through the air and another two as a receiver.
Stevens was a threat every time he was on the field, but when Moorhead left, so did Steven’s productivity.
During the 2016-17 seasons, Stevens averaged 7.1 all purpose yards per attempt, whether it was running, throwing or catching the ball.
This past season without Moorhead, Stevens saw his production drop to 5.6 all purpose yards per attempt.
His average yards per rush dropped from 8.2 to 4.2. His 12 receptions dropped to two.
“The lion” package didn’t work last season, it just wasn’t the same without Moorhead.
Stevens also had some struggles with injuries in the 2018 season, and had surgery which caused the quarterback to miss Penn State’s bowl game and all of spring football.
Stevens’ father was very vocal to the Centre Daily Times in April that Stevens couldn’t wait until August to find out if he landed the starting role at Penn State, but it looks like the signal caller is going to find himself in a similar situation at Mississippi State.
Mississippi State opens its summer camp on August 1 and only time will tell what role Steven’s will have as a Bulldog.