Harvey Levine/FOS

PSU QB McSorley's Strongest Quality Is Leadership

The redshirt sophomore is on the way to a record-breaking season. But it is about more than his physical skills.

The list of Trace McSorley's statistical accomplishments in his first year as Penn State’s starting quarterback is as long as your arm. But as impressive as they may be, senior guard Derek Dowrey gave a far better idea of McSorley’s impact.

“He’s a guy who is clearly and obviously tough and extremely competitive,” Dowrey said in a conference call with reporters earlier this week, “and so as a player you watch him play, you see how much he cares about the sport, how much he cares about his teammates, how much he cares about the team. So when you see all that from a guy and you hear him say, ‘Hey, we need to do this,’ you don’t ask questions. You just do it.” http://www.scout.com/college/penn-state/story/1731508-which-recruits-are...

Above all else, that is what the position entails — the ability to move men. McSorley, during his own confab with media types this week, said he understands that. He said he tries to lead by example, tries to work as hard as anyone else, tries to be attentive to detail.

And everybody seems to have bought into that.

Everybody seems to have bought into him.

“It’s easy to just sit back and say, ‘Hey guys, we need to fix this, this and this,’ ” Dowrey said, “but it’s another when you’re pouring your heart and your soul into something and then you ask your teammates to help achieve goals together. That’s definitely more powerful, it’s more influential and that’s kind of how he leads on the offensive side of the ball.”

Dowrey is, like McSorley, from Northern Virginia, and their respective high schools (Handley and Briar Woods) squared off when Dowrey was a junior and McSorley a freshman. 

“I didn’t know Trace personally at the time,” Dowrey said with a laugh. “I just know that he torched us, basically.”

Briar Woods won, 27-0, part of a career that saw McSorley, a four-year starter, go 55-5 and lead his team to state championships each of his first three seasons, and a berth in the state final his fourth.

Now he has PSU, 9-2 and riding a seven-game winning streak, on the brink of a title of its own, in the Big Ten East. The Nittany Lions need Ohio State to beat Michigan in a game beginning at noon on Saturday, then go out and earn a victory over Michigan State (3-8) in their regular-season finale, a 3:30 p.m. kick, in order to make that happen.

And his approach to this latest big game is no different than it was to those he played in high school.

“There’s always been a saying: Be bigger than the moment. Don’t let the moment be bigger than you,” McSorley said. “That’s kind of how I’ve always looked at it, and how I’m going to continue to look at it.” http://www.scout.com/college/penn-state/story/1719381-follow-your-surgin...

True to form, he doesn’t care to know the Ohio State-Michigan result, though it will be hard not to know. He just wants to compete, just wants to win.

And now, a few numbers: He is second in the FBS in yards per completion (15.57), and with 2,959 yards on track to break PSU’s single-season total-offense record (3,215), established by Matt McGloin in 2012. And the Lions are averaging 39.7 points per game during their winning streak.

But more about leadership, and how many different ways that can be asserted. McSorley said his family was going to be in town for Thanksgiving, but added that they would welcome any teammates who might not have someone around with whom they might celebrate that day.

Then there’s Saturday, which in addition to everything else is Senior Day.

“You’ve got to kind of embrace it and try to run with it, as much as you can,” McSorley said.

That, and everything else. Every day.

It’s the nature of his position.


Fight On State Top Stories

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The list of Trace McSorley's statistical accomplishments in his first year as Penn State’s starting quarterback is as long as your arm. But as impressive as they may be, senior guard Derek Dowrey gave a far better idea of McSorley’s impact.

\n

“He’s a guy who is clearly and obviously tough and extremely competitive,” Dowrey said in a conference call with reporters earlier this week, “and so as a player you watch him play, you see how much he cares about the sport, how much he cares about his teammates, how much he cares about the team. So when you see all that from a guy and you hear him say, ‘Hey, we need to do this,’ you don’t ask questions. You just do it.” http://www.scout.com/college/penn-state/story/1731508-which-recruits-are...

\n

Above all else, that is what the position entails — the ability to move men. McSorley, during his own confab with media types this week, said he understands that. He said he tries to lead by example, tries to work as hard as anyone else, tries to be attentive to detail.

\n

And everybody seems to have bought into that.

\n

Everybody seems to have bought into him.

\n

“It’s easy to just sit back and say, ‘Hey guys, we need to fix this, this and this,’ ” Dowrey said, “but it’s another when you’re pouring your heart and your soul into something and then you ask your teammates to help achieve goals together. That’s definitely more powerful, it’s more influential and that’s kind of how he leads on the offensive side of the ball.”

\n

Dowrey is, like McSorley, from Northern Virginia, and their respective high schools (Handley and Briar Woods) squared off when Dowrey was a junior and McSorley a freshman. 

\n

“I didn’t know Trace personally at the time,” Dowrey said with a laugh. “I just know that he torched us, basically.”

\n

Briar Woods won, 27-0, part of a career that saw McSorley, a four-year starter, go 55-5 and lead his team to state championships each of his first three seasons, and a berth in the state final his fourth.

\n

Now he has PSU, 9-2 and riding a seven-game winning streak, on the brink of a title of its own, in the Big Ten East. The Nittany Lions need Ohio State to beat Michigan in a game beginning at noon on Saturday, then go out and earn a victory over Michigan State (3-8) in their regular-season finale, a 3:30 p.m. kick, in order to make that happen.

\n

And his approach to this latest big game is no different than it was to those he played in high school.

\n

“There’s always been a saying: Be bigger than the moment. Don’t let the moment be bigger than you,” McSorley said. “That’s kind of how I’ve always looked at it, and how I’m going to continue to look at it.” http://www.scout.com/college/penn-state/story/1719381-follow-your-surgin...

\n

True to form, he doesn’t care to know the Ohio State-Michigan result, though it will be hard not to know. He just wants to compete, just wants to win.

\n

And now, a few numbers: He is second in the FBS in yards per completion (15.57), and with 2,959 yards on track to break PSU’s single-season total-offense record (3,215), established by Matt McGloin in 2012. And the Lions are averaging 39.7 points per game during their winning streak.

\n

But more about leadership, and how many different ways that can be asserted. McSorley said his family was going to be in town for Thanksgiving, but added that they would welcome any teammates who might not have someone around with whom they might celebrate that day.

\n

Then there’s Saturday, which in addition to everything else is Senior Day.

\n

“You’ve got to kind of embrace it and try to run with it, as much as you can,” McSorley said.

\n

That, and everything else. Every day.

\n

It’s the nature of his position.

\n

","mobileBody":"

Follow @gordonwjones

The list of Trace McSorley's statistical accomplishments in his first year as Penn State’s starting quarterback is as long as your arm. But as impressive as they may be, senior guard Derek Dowrey gave a far better idea of McSorley’s impact.

“He’s a guy who is clearly and obviously tough and extremely competitive,” Dowrey said in a conference call with reporters earlier this week, “and so as a player you watch him play, you see how much he cares about the sport, how much he cares about his teammates, how much he cares about the team. So when you see all that from a guy and you hear him say, ‘Hey, we need to do this,’ you don’t ask questions. You just do it.” http://www.scout.com/college/penn-state/story/1731508-which-recruits-are...

Above all else, that is what the position entails — the ability to move men. McSorley, during his own confab with media types this week, said he understands that. He said he tries to lead by example, tries to work as hard as anyone else, tries to be attentive to detail.

And everybody seems to have bought into that.

Everybody seems to have bought into him.

“It’s easy to just sit back and say, ‘Hey guys, we need to fix this, this and this,’ ” Dowrey said, “but it’s another when you’re pouring your heart and your soul into something and then you ask your teammates to help achieve goals together. That’s definitely more powerful, it’s more influential and that’s kind of how he leads on the offensive side of the ball.”

Dowrey is, like McSorley, from Northern Virginia, and their respective high schools (Handley and Briar Woods) squared off when Dowrey was a junior and McSorley a freshman.

“I didn’t know Trace personally at the time,” Dowrey said with a laugh. “I just know that he torched us, basically.”

Briar Woods won, 27-0, part of a career that saw McSorley, a four-year starter, go 55-5 and lead his team to state championships each of his first three seasons, and a berth in the state final his fourth.

Now he has PSU, 9-2 and riding a seven-game winning streak, on the brink of a title of its own, in the Big Ten East. The Nittany Lions need Ohio State to beat Michigan in a game beginning at noon on Saturday, then go out and earn a victory over Michigan State (3-8) in their regular-season finale, a 3:30 p.m. kick, in order to make that happen.

And his approach to this latest big game is no different than it was to those he played in high school.

“There’s always been a saying: Be bigger than the moment. Don’t let the moment be bigger than you,” McSorley said. “That’s kind of how I’ve always looked at it, and how I’m going to continue to look at it.” http://www.scout.com/college/penn-state/story/1719381-follow-your-surgin...

True to form, he doesn’t care to know the Ohio State-Michigan result, though it will be hard not to know. He just wants to compete, just wants to win.

And now, a few numbers: He is second in the FBS in yards per completion (15.57), and with 2,959 yards on track to break PSU’s single-season total-offense record (3,215), established by Matt McGloin in 2012. And the Lions are averaging 39.7 points per game during their winning streak.

But more about leadership, and how many different ways that can be asserted. McSorley said his family was going to be in town for Thanksgiving, but added that they would welcome any teammates who might not have someone around with whom they might celebrate that day.

Then there’s Saturday, which in addition to everything else is Senior Day.

“You’ve got to kind of embrace it and try to run with it, as much as you can,” McSorley said.

That, and everything else. Every day.

It’s the nature of his position.

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