A fresh start for the Penn State offense came on January 8 when the Nittany Lions, sweeping up a move, fired Kirk Ciarrocca after a disappointing 2020 season as PSU coordinator and hired Mike yurcich. More than a month on the job, as winter training leads to spring camp, Yurcich took to Twitter and applauded one of his quarterbacks: the third-year caller. Ta’Quan Roberson – after evidently impressing in the Tuesday morning session.
“I didn’t want to hand out the award today, but @TaquanRoberson_ made his way through the championship effort! #WeAre,” he said on a tweet, which included photos together of Roberson throwing the ball in apparent practice.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Roberson returns for an intriguing 2021 season with Yurcich leading Penn State’s offense and quarterback space. The Lions return as a two-year starter in Sean Clifford, while backing up Will levis He entered the NCAA transfer portal on January 29 and found a new home on February 6 while heading to Kentucky.
– Michael Yurcich (@Coach_Yurcich) February 23, 2021
PSU’s pool of positions also includes freshman Mason Stahl and early enrollee Christian veilleux, a class of three-star recruits from Potomac (Maryland) Bullis in class 2021.
Roberson has appeared in just two games since joining Penn State as a freshman during the 2019 season. The Lions signed Roberson as a four-star pick from Wayne (NJ) DePaul Catholic, rated the No. 274 of 247Sports Composite, the No. 8 double threat quarterback and the No. 5 player in New Jersey for the 2018 class.
Yurcich, 45, spent last season in Texas as an offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. On January 2, the Longhorns fired the fourth-year head coach Tom herman and hired Alabama’s sophomore offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Texas ranked 19th nationally in total offense for 2020, averaging 475.4 yards (280.1 passes, 195.3 rushing) in 10 games. The Longhorns also scored 42.7 points per game, an FBS No. 8 ranking.
Before Texas, Yurcich was Ohio State’s passing game coordinator and quarterback coach in 2019. He made something of a homecoming with the Buckeyes as a native of Euclid, Ohio, after a six-year stint at the Big. 12 with Oklahoma State from 2013-18.
Yurcich was the Cowboys offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, jumping out of Division II Shippensburg, where he held the same 2011-12 title. His first job as a college-level coordinator came from 2006-2010 at Edinboro Division II, also coaching quarterbacks and wide receivers.
Penn State’s offense struggled to get going and establish consistency under Ciarrocca, 55, who led a unit that ranked 54th in scoring with 29.8 points in nine games. The Lions posted a No. 37 FBS ranking with 430.3 total yards per game.
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Ciarrocca came to PSU from Minnesota, where he was a three-year assistant as the Golden Gophers offensive coordinator and quarterback coach from 2017-19.