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Penn State backup quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson enters his name in NCAA transfer portal

Roberson played in six games during his three seasons with the Nittany Lions, with his most significant playing time coming in October at Iowa after Sean Clifford left the game with an injury.

Penn State quarterback Ta'Quan Roberson passes during the loss to Iowa on Oct. 9.
Penn State quarterback Ta'Quan Roberson passes during the loss to Iowa on Oct. 9.Read moreMATTHEW PUTNEY / AP

Quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson, whose only significant playing time in three seasons at Penn State came last October in a relief role at Iowa after starter Sean Clifford suffered an injury, said Monday that he has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

The 5-foot-11, 197-pound Roberson, from Orange, N.J., who announced his decision in a Twitter post, played in just six games with the Nittany Lions. He came in for mop-up duty in his first five contests — one in 2019, one in 2020, and three this past season.

However, his most meaningful playing time came Oct. 9 at Iowa, where he entered the game midway through the second quarter after an injury sidelined Clifford. He played 46 snaps in front of a roaring crowd, but managed to lead the Lions to only three points in a 23-20 defeat.

Roberson completed 7 of 21 passes, including two interceptions, for 34 yards and rushed 10 times for 27 yards.

Roberson lost his backup job later in the season to freshman Christian Veilleux, who completed 15 of 24 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns against Rutgers in his collegiate debut Nov. 20 after Clifford left the game with an illness.

For his career, Roberson completed 11 of 29 passes for 85 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 23 yards on 13 carries.

Roberson was rated four stars by Rivals and when he signed with the Nittany Lions. The other quarterback in his class, Michael Johnson Jr., transferred to Florida Atlantic before the 2020 season.

In his post, Roberson thanked head coach James Franklin “for believing in me and taking a chance on me,” and the university for “the countless, unforgettable memories and lifelong relationships.” He did not say whether Clifford’s announcement Friday to return for a sixth year influenced his decision.

With the extra year of eligibility allowed by the NCAA in 2020 because of the pandemic, Roberson has three years of eligibility remaining.


Penn State placed three players on the All-America teams announced by the Associated Press. Senior safety Jaquan Brisker earned second-team honors and senior wide receiver Jahan Dotson and redshirt senior punter Jordan Stout made the third team.