Penn State football: Beau Pribula is a winter workout wonder

Beau Pribula is impressing during another early Penn State football quarterback competition.

The third-year sophomore from Central York earned top quarterback honors Tuesday for the fourth time in five Nittany Lion winter workout sessions.

Rookie Ethan Grunkemeyer got the other workout social media shoutout from de facto position coach Danny O'Brien, the graduate assistant who will help lead the position under new coordinator Andy Kotelnicki.

Is Pribula gaining any ground on incumbent starter Drew Allar?

Though the true competition for the 2024 starting job won't begin until spring practice starts the week of March 11, Pribula certainly is impressing with his physical traits. The true run/pass threat has never lacked for toughness, durability and strength since he and Allar arrived on campus in the winter of 2022.

Quarterback Beau Pribula was nearly unstoppable at times as a late-game runner last season in relief of Drew Allar. Pribula averaged 6 yards per carry in 2023.
Quarterback Beau Pribula was nearly unstoppable at times as a late-game runner last season in relief of Drew Allar. Pribula averaged 6 yards per carry in 2023.

Last year, Pribula did relive Allar effectively late in blowout victories − mostly as a running quarterback − and during his one injury scare. Pribula played a majority of meaningful snaps in the victory over Rutgers.

Overall, Pribula ran 56 times for 329 yards (6 yards per carry) and six touchdowns last season. He only threw 21 total passes, completing 11 with four more touchdowns and no interceptions.

Even if the 6-foot-5, big-armed Allar leads the quarterback room again this year, as expected, it will be intriguing to see how Kotelnicki, known for his ingenious playcalling and player-use at Kansas, utilizes Pribula's skills.

“He’s a competitor, man. He competes his ass off," redshirt freshman QB Jaxon Smolik said of Pribula. "Everything he does is 110 percent, winter workouts are 110 percent, he never lets off the gas, he’s always in the film room."

Best James Franklin stories: Their intros to Penn State football: The time James Franklin tackled one of his players...

After one Peach Bowl practice, "I pass the QB room and I see him watching the practice film, and that stuck with me," Smolik said. "He’s in there by himself watching the film and that kind of motivated me a little bit."

Meanwhile, Allar must improve his downfield passing synergy with his wideouts starting next month. Though his 2023 passing numbers certainly showcased his prudence (25 touchdowns, just two interceptions), his long pass game was nearly non-existent and his 202.4 yards-per-game average was just sixth in the Big Ten.

Penn State football: 'Three-timers' Zuriah Fisher, Joey Schlaffer

In other Penn State winter workout news, redshirt senior defensive end Zuriah Fisher earned his third "competitor of the day" honors on Tuesday. He will be pushing for top backup status this season beyond expected starters Dani Dennis-Sutton and newly moved linebacker Abdul Carter.

Fishers joins redshirt freshmen tight end Joey Schlaffer as the only other three-time honoree during these workouts.

Frank Bodani covers Penn State football for the York Daily Record and USA Today Network. Contact him at and follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @YDRPennState.

This article originally appeared on York Daily Record: Beau Pribula is a winter workout wonder for Penn State football