Stevens declared his intentions Friday in a social media post to transfer to Mississippi State for his final season of college football. The fifth-year senior graduated from Penn State in December and will be eligible to play immediately for the Bulldogs.
“I am very blessed to have the opportunity to go to a place like Mississippi State where I can create more relationships, more experiences, ” Stevens wrote in a social media post Friday morning. “A place that will give me the opportunity to compete at the highest level, and also a place where I can expand my education even further.”
Stevens was long considered the heir apparent to record-setting Nittany Lions starter Trace McSorley. He instead found himself in a battle for playing time with junior Sean Clifford this spring after McSorley’s departure. After spring practice ended without head coach James Franklin naming a starter, Stevens decided to explore other options for the end of his career. He visited several teams before deciding to join his former Penn State offensive coordinator at Mississippi State.
Moorhead ran the Nittany Lions’ offense during Stevens’ freshman and sophomore seasons before moving on for the Bulldogs job. He and the rest of the Penn State staff found ways to incorporate the highly athletic back-up into the offensive game plan at several positions. Stevens threw, received and ran for touchdowns during the 2017 season, Moorhead’s last in Happy Valley. He was slowed by an undisclosed injury in 2018.
“We look forward to Tommy joining our team and completing his final year of eligibility as a Mississippi State Bulldog. Tommy is very talented and will be an excellent addition to our roster,” Moorhead said in a statement Friday. “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.”
Stevens joins a roster that needs to replace its own outgoing record-breaking quarterback in Nick Fitzgerald. Junior Keytaon Thompson appeared in nine games last season, including two starts, for the Bulldogs and accounted for 10 total touchdowns. He competed with a couple of underclassmen to replace Fitzgerald this spring without officially winning the job.