Arizona Cardinals third-string passer was a superb college performer

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Trace McSorley parlayed a sensational college career at Penn State University into a third-string job with the Arizona Cardinals.

Not long after enduring an extremely disappointing finish to the 2020 campaign, the Arizona Cardinals decided to make some much-needed upgrades to the quarterback position.

That process began in March of last year, when the Cards acquired veteran Colt McCoy to be starter Kyler Murray’s top backup. Then, eight months later, the club plucked another signal-caller they coveted off of the Baltimore Ravens practice squad.

Trace McSorley, a sixth-round draft pick of the Ravens back in 2019, may be sticking with the Cardinals organization for a while. But, in a sly move, general manager Steve Keim landed an individual who appears to be an excellent fit for Kliff Kingsbury’s “Air Raid” offense.

In his three seasons as a starting passer (2016-18) at Penn State University, McSorley also posted an impressive won-loss record and some magnificent numbers. Like Murray, the youngster managed to do a significant amount of damage to opposing defenses with both his arm and his legs.

Arizona Cardinals signal-caller excelled as a starter at Penn State University.

After taking over for the departed Christian Hackenberg in 2016, McSorley enjoyed instant success with the Nittany Lions. The 6-foot, 202-pounder led the team to an 11-3 mark, throwing for 3,614 yards and 29 touchdowns. McSorley was incredibly productive as a ball-carrier as well, totaling 365 yards and another seven scores on the ground.

One year later, McSorley guided Penn State to an 11-2 record, racking up 3,570 yards and 28 touchdowns through the air. The dual-threat performer also bettered his rushing statistics in 2017, registering 491 yards and 11 scores during the successful campaign.

In 2018, McSorley was credited with 2,530 yards and 18 passing touchdowns and posted a 9-4 won-loss record with the Big Ten school. His 798 yards and 12 scores on the ground were the finest numbers he amassed in that department during his time with the Nittany Lions.

McSorley was relegated to third-string status last season in Baltimore, sitting behind Lamar Jackson and Tyler Huntley. The Virginia native appeared in three games for that franchise, completing three of his ten passing attempts for 90 yards and a touchdown. On December 2nd, 2020, McSorley launched a 70-yard scoring toss to Marquise “Hollywood” Brown during a Ravens loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The depth behind Murray has undoubtedly improved since Chris Streveler and Brett Hundley were replaced. McSorley’s addition to the club last November certainly helped with the positive transformation that the Cardinals’ quarterback group has undergone over the past year or so.