Drew Allar opens up about Ohio State offer, Penn State commitment
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for future Penn State Nittany Lion quarterback Drew Allar.
On the field, the Ohio native has shown that he deserves to be recognized as one of the best quarterback prospects in the Class of 2022. Not only has he led his team, Medina, to a 4-0 record, but he’s put up some excellent numbers along the way, totaling more than 1,300 yards passing and 13 touchdowns through the first four games. Add in over 250 yards rushing and two more scores on the ground and it’s clear that he can do it all.
That was never more evident than this past weekend when Allar completed 29 of 48 attempts for 523 yards passing and five touchdowns in a 38-27 win over Stow-Munroe Falls. It was not only a career-high, but a county record, and it could’ve been even more. Realistically, he could’ve thrown for 600 yards that night if a few drops went his way. You can watch for yourself below.
But his dominance has also grabbed the attention of other schools, most notably Ohio State. Following Quinn Ewers’ decision to skip his senior season and enroll back in August, that’s given head coach Ryan Day and his staff a reason to pursue another quarterback in this year’s class. For a month or so, it looked as if they may not pursue Allar, but that changed two weeks ago when Ohio State's quarterback coach, Corey Dennis, attended Medina's 35-0 win over Wadsworth. Allar threw for nearly 400 yards that night and four touchdowns.
The Buckeyes then followed up with an offer a day or two, and ever since then, that seems to be all anyone wants to ask about.
“Yeah, there’s been a lot of people asking me about it, especially over the past two weeks,” Allar said. “But nothing has changed and nothing will change for me. That’s how I look at it. I'm locked in.”
Just doing this interview was something Allar really would prefer not to do. No, I didn’t force him, but when we first discussed the topic last week, he was adamant that there was nothing to discuss, as an offer from the Buckeyes won't change his decision. He also had a big game just hours away, and like all good leaders, wanted to focus on one and one thing only.
“I talked to Penn State’s coaching staff about all of this already. I’ve explained everything to them, how it happened," Allar said. "I just don’t want to talk about it much publicly because it really doesn’t change anything for me and I’m so focused on my season right now and my team. This is my senior season and I don’t want to be focusing on anything else. I already made my decision about college and it’s Penn State. I made that decision back in March. When I announced that, I was totally in on Penn State and knew I wasn’t going to back out of it, no matter what happens here with other schools.
“So, that’s how I’ve been looking at it. I’ve just been trying to keep it under wraps because it can be a distraction [living in Ohio] and I don’t want that to be the case for my team. We’re playing at a really high-level right now and can still play better, so I don’t want to take away from them at all.”
Ironically, a former Ohio State coach is a major reason why he’ll end up at Penn State in offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. During his time at Texas last season, Yurcich was one of the first offensive coordinators at a major program to show serious interest. By the time the 2020 season was over, Yurcich was forced to look around following a coaching change, but he knew by then that Allar was the real deal. Just three weeks after he joined Penn State, he had shown enough to James Franklin and the rest of the staff to extend an offer.
“Coach Yurcich is really important to me. He was really the first person at Penn State to reach out to me," Allar said. "I didn’t really talk to Penn State at all before he got there, so he’s the whole reason I’m in the position I am with Penn State.The relationship we’ve built is incredibly strong.
"We talk two to three times a week still on FaceTime and we text like every other day. Between what we’re doing at my high school, what they’re doing at Penn State, we talk about all of that. It’s the same with Coach Franklin, too. I would say we average two FaceTime talks a week.”
Allar went on to add that he’s also been impressed with what he’s seen from Penn State’s offense through the first two games this season.
“I think they’ve found a pretty good rhythm now. I love how fast they play and the balance of the offense," he said. "Wisconsin came out strong in the first half of that game, but since then, they’ve found a couple of things that really work for them. I love watching them take shots down the field. They’ll always take what the defense is giving them early in the game, too. I like that. If the defense comes up, they’re fine with going over the top. We’re seeing the run game get going now, too. It’s exciting to watch.”
Now, with No. 20 Auburn set to travel to Beaver Stadium this weekend for the annual White Out game, Allar and his family will get an up-close look at everything that makes Penn State’s game day experience special. Saturday's visit will be his fifth trip to State College overall, but his first time seeing a game inside Beaver Stadium.
“Just the atmosphere. I can’t wait to see all the pregame stuff, all the fans," Allar said. "Just being on that field for that is going to be a ton of fun. Also, seeing all of the commits who are going to be there, seeing all the coaches again. I’m looking forward to all of it.”
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