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November 21, 2017

Trace McSorley

University Park, Pennsylvania

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Trace.

Q. What impression do you have of Miles Sanders on the field or in practice?
TRACE McSORLEY: Miles is a tremendously hard worker. Every time Saquon is in there, whether it's in practice or games, he's kind of always watching what he's doing, trying to learn from him, always asking questions about what did you see, whether it be pass protection, a cutback, something like that.

Kind of the physical aspect, Miles is extremely explosive. When he gets out into open field, exploding, running down the sidelines, he has blazing speed. He kind of complements that really well with being able to be extremely agile, cut back. Just make a move and go, be very decisive when he's running the ball. That's something we're looking forward to Miles being a really good player for us in the future.

Q. For guys who are from Virginia, Maryland, D.C., what is it like to go to a place like this to play? How many people will you have there? It's different than Iowa or Michigan State.
TRACE McSORLEY: Going back, being able to play back at home, for lack of a better term, Maryland stadium is 45 minutes from my house, so it's right there. I've been to games there as a recruit, kind of as a young kid.

It's awesome kind of being able to go back and play in that venue that I'm kind of familiar with, playing in my neck of the woods. For a lot of guys, Marcus, same sort of feeling.

I don't know exactly how many people I'll have there from my family, but it's right there, a good amount. I need to figure out with my mom how many tickets I need to find out about getting.

I'm sure as far as Penn State fans showing up, they travel really well. Even at places like Ohio State and Iowa, there was still a solid Penn State contingent amongst all the fans from the opposing school.

Excited to see the fans that travel with us this week, with it being not too far away, not too bad of a drive. Our fans travel really well, they support us everywhere we go. We're expecting them to show out as hard as they do every game.

Q. Take us back to the first time Nick Bowers returned from his recovery, what you saw from him, and since then?
TRACE McSORLEY: Bowers, it's been a long road I think for him. Got to the point where when he first came back, know how much he went through, kind of that comfortability playing again. Kind of once you were able to see him get back, take a couple hits, bounce back, have that kind of personality that we all knew him to have, Bowers is a big, goofy guy, have that personality that he's got...

But, I mean, to be able to see him make a touchdown in the game, we see him all the time, he goes up, at his size, athletic ability, to be able to run like he does, jump up, attack a ball in the air, come down with it, utilizing his size, 260, whatever, it's really impressive to see what he can do at his size. To see him get a touchdown this week, how excited he was when he got back sue the sideline, jumping around, big smile on his face, it was awesome.

Q. You said after Saturday's game playing alongside Saquon is special. How difficult is it going to be to replace a guy like that?
TRACE McSORLEY: I think kind of when that time comes, that's kind of that mentality we always kind of have tried to have here, next man up, whether it be me replacing Hack during the bowl game when he came out, whoever it was having to step up in that moment, that's kind of the mentality we want to have as a team.

Obviously Saquon is a tremendous player. He's obviously here for at least another couple games. Really just focus on him being here, enjoying that. Whenever I guess he comes out or whatever happens with him, we'll face that when we get there.

Q. What is it like seeing Tommy here behind you? How has his attitude been?
TRACE McSORLEY: Tommy is a tremendous player. Athletically everyone sees what he can do with the ball in his hands, running ability, throwing ability of the he throws an extremely good ball. Strong arm. We'll be doing bucket throws, he'll launch it 50, 60 yards just because he feels like it, wants to see how far he can throw it. He's a tremendous player.

He's really done a great job in learning, kind of the mental aspect of being a quarterback. That's where he wanted to improve the most. He understands reads, defenses. When we're in practice during the week, really understanding the game plan, who we're going against. He's done a great job coming in, having that mentality that he's going to work hard, he's not going to let circumstances dictate his attitude or how hard he works. He's going to come in, have a positive attitude, work hard every week.

Q. How do you learn to lead on a team of 120 guys?
TRACE McSORLEY: I think you don't necessarily know them in that aspect, you haven't gone to dinner with those guys, you don't necessarily know their parents, their stories. You know them as players and teammates. I think that makes it easier to be a leader, be a guy that they feel like they can follow you because you know them as a player, you know them as one of your teammates.

That's kind of the best way I think you can lead guys, whether it's the quarterback or being an older guy on the team, kind of having that family mentality Coach Franklin always talks about, making sure when those guys get here, guys can come up and ask you a question, they can ask you anything, come to you about anything they need. I think that kind of mentality, you show that, plus your work ethic, how you carry yourself. Makes it easier for guys you might not know that well or for that long to be able to follow you.

Q. Is there an adjustment period for that? Does it take time to learn how to do that?
TRACE McSORLEY: Not really. I mean, even though you might not be in class with these guys all the time, you're only in class for half the day, the other half of the day you're at the building, so you spend time with them all the time.

Q. With your official visit, I don't think you came to a game at Beaver Stadium. Coach Franklin talked about how he can be a lot more involved when it's not during game days. How involved was Coach Franklin when you were on campus with your family?
TRACE McSORLEY: I mean, when I was here, my unofficial visit was really just me, him, my family, then Coach Rahne. We had Coach Smith, Grant, his mom. It was a small group. He was traveling with us. Rode over with us going to the stadium, checked out the academic buildings. He was learning about the school at the same time we were. It was kind of that cool experience for us to be able to go through that together.

When it got to the official, same kind of thing. He was just always leading the group we were always with. He was with us constantly talking to families, players, girlfriends, whoever else was on the trip. That was kind of the thing you were able to see, back to that family atmosphere he always wants to create here. Walking with him, talking with him 24/7 basically on that trip.

Q. You had an opportunity here as a member of this team to see this program change. Going towards next year, what do you think the new group will encounter differently to what you encountered in 2014?
TRACE McSORLEY: I think when I came in here, we were building towards something. We kind of had been through a tough period. When I got here, we were on the bowl sanctions, scholarship sanctions. My rush year is when they got lifted.

I think everyone in the locker room now, we're going to come in, work hard, we're going to compete. We were just going to be building kind of a process. Where we're at now, it's not building that process, it's carrying on what's been built over the last couple years. Assuming that role of making sure this program stays where it needs to be.

Q. This is the first year with the early signing period. Do you think had they had it when you were a recruit you would have been in favor? You would have been in a different situation had you been able to sign in December given the coaching changes?
TRACE McSORLEY: Had I been able to sign in December, I probably would have. I would have felt confident I would have ended up with Coach Franklin. I would have been stuck. I don't really know much about the recruiting process now. That's kind of something that's a little bit out of my realm. If a kid feels comfortable with it, if it's the school he's always wanted to be in, wants to do the early signing, great for them. It is a weight lifted off your shoulders, name on that paper.

Q. Who has impressed you on the other side of the ball, the scout team?
TRACE McSORLEY: You look at some guys, Daniel Joseph has been an older guy playing on the scout team, kind of came in with that mentality of getting guys better every single week. Done a really good job up front.

Jonathan Sutherland, another guy on the back end, does a really good job, takes ownership in the look he's giving, really tries to make it as exact as it possibly can be. Off the top of my head, those two guys have been impressive as far as their demeanor, how they've approached being on the scout team.

Q. Marcus was saying he does this sort of choo-choo thing when Jonathan is in the younger guys' scrimmages. Have you heard doing that? What do you think if you hear it?
TRACE McSORLEY: I hear Marcus saying all kinds of things during that scrimmage. You always hear him making noise. I have learned to kind of tune him out when he's doing that, because it's constant, especially during those scrimmages.

Sutherland, he's definitely a hard-hitting safety. He comes down and hits. Actually been fun to see him and Journey square up in the hole a couple times. Sometimes John will get him another couple times. That's been kind of a cool battle to watch kind of happen over this year in those scrimmages.

Marcus is always chirping on the sideline. I've kind of learned to tune him out when he starts chirping.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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