2023 Penn State football snapshot profile: No. 14 Jaxon Smolik
Going into the 2023 football season, Nittany Lions Wire will be looking at each scholarship player listed on the Penn State roster. Over the preseason, each profile will cover where the player is from, how recruiting websites rated them coming out of high school, and what role they will play for James Franklin this season.
Turning our heads to the offense, it is easy to see why there is so much interest in the quarterback position this fall. Drew Allar may be the guy in the spotlight, but who will be backing him up this season? Jaxon Smolik, who joined the program in the Class of 2023, could be one of the backup options for the Nittany Lions. Here is a look at one of Penn State’s expected backup players at a key position this fall.
Preseason Player Profile
Hometown: Van Meter, Iowa
247Sports Composite Ranking
[3-stars] | [No. 8 in Iowa] | [No. 35 overall quarterback]
Class of 2023
Class in 2023: Freshman
Penn State was in need of a quarterback in the Class of 2023 recruiting cycle, and it picked up a commitment from Jaxon Smolik to address the position in the summer of 2022. Penn State flipped Smolik’s commitment fairly quickly as well after Smolik impressed the coaching staff at a Penn State football camp.
Just two days after Smolik attended a Penn State camp in July 2022, Penn State extended an offer. Within the next two weeks, Smolik backed off his commitment to Tulane and flipped his commitment to the Nittany Lions.
Penn State’s newest quarterback has yet to appear in a game, obviously, so he has no stats to show for just yet. He did make an appearance in the Blue-White spring game as an early enrollee, but it was brief and not productive.
Depth Chart Overview
Jaxon Smolik arrives in Happy Valley knowing exactly where he will be sitting on the Penn State depth chart. Following the departure of six-year quarterback Sean Clifford, the keys to the offense are being handed over to Drew Allar, a sophomore in 2023 (pictured, above). Allar is the star of the Penn State quarterback room and will be given every opportunity to shine in the role in 2023 and beyond.
Backing up Allar will be Beau Pribula, who James Franklin teased may find ways to contribute to the offense in the fall with his comments during the spring. That leaves Smolik looking to be the third option on the sideline at the quarterback position, which was fully expected going in.
Penn State is a school that could probably still benefit from adding a more veteran QB option to the depth chart through the transfer portal, but as of now, Smolik appears to be settled in as the third option on the roster for 2023.