Blue White Illustrated

June-July 2022

Penn State Sports Magazine

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Page 54 of 67

J U N E / J U L Y 2 0 2 2 5 5 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M W ith Sean Clifford graduating af- ter the 2022 season, Penn State will need to replenish its depth at quarterback next year. Enter Marcus Stokes. A three-star prospect in the On3 Consensus, as well as the No. 25 quar- terback nationally and No. 84 prospect in Florida, Stokes chose the Nittany Li- ons in April after a whirlwind recruit- ment that included trips to Indiana and Cincinnati in addition to PSU. Stokes shined at Nease High in Ponte Vedra Beach as a junior, throwing for 2,672 yards and 22 touchdowns. His high school coach, Collin Drafts, re- cently talked to BWI about the young quarterback's attributes on and off the field. BWI: How long have you been work- ing with Marcus? COLLIN DRAFTS: My first season as the head coach at Nease was in 2019, which was Marcus' freshman year. So, we basically came in together. We have a really large program. We're 7A in the state of Florida, and we've got about 140 kids. We have a freshman, JV and varsity squad. He played freshman football his first year and was one of 50 freshmen on the team out there, running around, learning how to play high school ball. But you could tell early on that he obviously had some talent and had the chance to be pretty good. I think the biggest thing that we realized right away was that he just had a knack for making plays. He's a gamer, a gunslinger. He'll take some risks at times, but you could definitely tell he was going to be a good player. BWI: What is he like as a leader? Whether it's the weight room, locker room, classroom, what does he bring? DRAFTS: His personality is just in- fectious. He's full of energy. I describe him as being eccentric, electric and full of I N T E R V I E W C O L L I N D R A F T S POSITIVELY CHARGED Marcus Stokes' coach sees the PSU-bound quarterback's 'electric' personality as a key to his success RYA N S N Y D E R | S N Y D E R 4 2 0 8 8 @ G M A I L . C O M Stokes passed for 2,672 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior at Nease High in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. He began attract- ing attention from Penn State after a strong showing at the National Combine in San Antonio in January. PHOTO BY JEREMY JOHNSON/ON3

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