CHICAGO — Trace McSorley, who has amassed 7,184 passing yards and compiled a 22-5 record in his two seasons as Penn State's starting quarterback, was a unanimous selection to the list of 10 players named Monday as Big Ten football preseason honorees.
McSorley, a fifth-year senior who gained preseason honors for the second straight year, completed 66.5 percent of his passes last season for 3,570 yards and 28 touchdowns, and also rushed for 11 TDs. He was named second-team all-Big Ten.
McSorley, who enters the 2018 season with at least one touchdown pass in 28 consecutive games, the longest active streak in FBS, holds Penn State career records for completion percentage (61.8 percent), passing touchdowns (59) and total offense (8,268 yards).
"Obviously when you've got a quarterback like Trace McSorley coming back from a production and from an experience standpoint, just the way he's carried himself over the last four years as a leader in our program has been fantastic," head coach James Franklin said Monday.
The 10-man preseason honorees list, selected by a media panel and released before Monday's start of Big Ten football media days, also included running back Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin, a Salem High graduate who was the league's freshman of the year last season.
Like most of his coaching colleagues, Franklin loves the rule passed last month by the NCAA Division I Council that allows FBS players to compete in as many as four games during the season without losing their redshirt.
"It allows us to kind of test the water early on with all those guys, and it makes sense," Franklin said.
"I think that's one of the things that may be different from what people anticipate," he added. "We're not just going to play guys because we can now. They've still got to earn that right. If not, we'll save them until later in the season until we get them in a situation where we need them in."
Under the old rule, coaches had been careful not to play a freshman they intended to redshirt, knowing that the redshirt would be burned, or voided, if he went on the field and played just one snap.
It may be hard to believe, but with Franklin beginning his fifth season in Happy Valley, he now ranks No. 5 out of the 14 Big Ten coaches in seniority.
"A few years in, I'm one of the most veteran coaches in our conference as well as the country," he said. "The turnover you see in college football right now is crazy, and probably a little unrealistic, to be honest with you, the amount of turnover."