Trace McSorley

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Trace McSorley
McSorley in 2017
McSorley with Penn State in 2017
No. 19 – Arizona Cardinals
Personal information
Born: (1995-08-23) August 23, 1995 (age 26)
Ashburn, Virginia, U.S.
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:202 lb (92 kg)
Career information
High school:Ashburn (VA) Briar Woods
College:Penn State (2014–2018)
NFL Draft:2019 / Round: 6 / Pick: 197
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing yards:90
Completion percentage:30.0
Passer rating:97.9
Rushing yards:18
Player stats at · PFR

Richard Thomas "Trace" McSorley III (born August 23, 1995) is an American football quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Penn State, and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

McSorley holds numerous Penn State school records, including most passing yards in a single season, most passing touchdowns in a single season, most career total yards of offense, and total touchdowns in a single season.

Early years

McSorley attended Briar Woods High School in Ashburn, Virginia from 2010 to 2014. He played high school football and started as freshman. In his freshman year, he led the team to a 13–2 record and a state championship. Two seasons later in his junior year, he led the team to a 15–0 record and its third consecutive state title. He was named First-team All-State by the Virginia Coaches Association and Virginia Preps. As a junior, he was awarded All-Dulles District First Team; Dulles District Offensive Player of the Year; and Second-team All-Region quarterback.

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Trace McSorley
Ashburn, VA Briar Woods HS 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 212 lb (96 kg) 4.53 Jan 20, 2014 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports:3/5 stars    ESPN grade: 79
Overall recruiting rankings:
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


  • "2014 Team Ranking".

College career

2015 season

During McSorley's redshirt freshman year, he appeared in a total of six games, five of them when the game was in hand and McSorley was only in for a few plays. In the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs, after starter Christian Hackenberg went out with an injury, McSorley was brought in with Penn State down 24–3. He nearly led a comeback, finishing the game 14 for 27 with 142 yards and two touchdowns, but Penn State fell short 24–17.

2016 season

With the early departure of quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who was drafted in the 2016 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, McSorley and redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens competed for the job. On McSorley's birthday, August 23, 2016, head coach James Franklin announced that McSorley would be the starter. In his first start on September 3, against the Kent State Golden Flashes, he went 16 of 31 for 209 yards and two touchdowns in a 33–13 win. In McSorley's second game, he threw for 332 yards and a score in a rivalry loss at Pitt. Later in the season when the Nittany Lions played Minnesota, McSorley put up career high yardage numbers when he threw for 335 yards in a 29–26 OT win.

On October 22, 2016, Penn State and McSorley played Big Ten rival Ohio State. McSorley struggled with accurately throwing the ball, completing 8 of 23 passes for 153 yards. However, he scored two touchdowns, one passing and one rushing, en route to a stunning upset of #2 Ohio State by unranked Penn State. The win gave PSU a #24 ranking in the AP Poll, PSU's first ranking in the top 25 since the 2011 season. The next week at Purdue, McSorley completed 12 of 23 passing for 228 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. The Nittany Lions won in a 62–24 rout and cemented their place in the AP Top-25 with a #20 ranking.

On November 1, 2016, Penn State was named #12 in the first official College Football Playoff rankings of the season.

On November 26, against rival Michigan State, McSorley threw for a career-high 376 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He went 17 of 23 with a completion percentage of 73%, and led Penn State to the 45–12 win, earning a berth to the Big Ten Championship game against Wisconsin. On November 30, 2016, McSorley was named Second Team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media. With a third quarter completion to DaeSean Hamilton, McSorley broke the Penn State single-season record for passing yards. The sophomore started the night fourth on the single-season list, but passed Christian Hackenberg, Daryll Clark and Matt McGloin’s to retain the top spot. McSorley finished the game with 384 yards, 22 of 31 passing, and four touchdowns in an MVP, Big Ten Championship winning performance.

"Trace has been dynamic all year long," head coach James Franklin said after the game. "I'm really proud of him, you know, his attitude, his demeanor, the type of teammate he is, the type of leader he is. Obviously he made plays tonight."[citation needed]

McSorley led the Nittany Lions back from a 28–7 deficit and broke the Big Ten Championship Game record for passing yards, set by Michigan State’s Connor Cook back in 2013, and touchdowns. His 364 total yards was also a championship game record.

On December 5, 2016, it was revealed that McSorley was on multiple Heisman ballots, some even as high as two, just behind Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. McSorley became the first Nittany Lion to be on a Heisman ballot in over ten years.

After the Big Ten Championship game, McSorley ranked third in FBS in passing yard on throws over 20 yards with 1,491.

In the 2017 Rose Bowl, McSorley went 18 for 29 with 254 yards and four touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for 13 yards in a 49–52 loss to the USC Trojans.

2017 season

McSorley vs Pitt in 2017

After his Heisman campaign in 2016 McSorley and the Nittany Lions Entered the 2017 season ranked sixth by the AP Poll. In the Nittany Lions’ season opener McSorley passed for 280 yards and two touchdowns in a 52–0 rout over Akron. He helped lead the team to a remarkable 7–0 start (with a 3–0 mark in conference play), outscoring opponents by a combined 213 points over that span. Through the first seven games McSorley had passed for 1,879 yards and thrown 14 touchdowns passes.

Bolstered by that strong start, the Lions were ranked #2 in the country coming into a rivalry match at #6 Ohio State. In the primetime matchup[citation needed], McSorley threw for 192 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also rushed for 49 yards and another touchdown. However, a 19-point fourth quarter by the Buckeyes propelled them to a 39–38 comeback win, ending a potential perfect season for the Nittany Lions.

The next week against the Michigan State Spartans, McSorley threw for a season-high 381 yards and three touchdowns. However, after a 3 and a half hour delay due to weather the Nittany Lions were upset by the Spartans on a game winning field goal 27–24. The Nittany Lions and McSorley responded to the two-game losing streak however. The team finished the regular season 3–0 and McSorley threw for 776 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions in his final three contests.

The 10–2 Nittany Lions faced the 10–2 Washington Huskies in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl. McSorley struggled early and threw two interceptions in the first quarter however he finished the game 342 yards and two touchdown passes and also rushed for 60 yards. McSorley was named offensive MVP for the Nittany Lions.

After the season, it was speculated whether McSorley would declare for the 2018 NFL Draft. After the bowl game, McSorley announced he was returning to Penn State for his senior season.

2018 season

McSorley helped lead the Nittany Lions to a 4–0 start. In that stretch was a game against Kent State, where he passed for two touchdowns and ran for three touchdowns. In the next game, a 27–26 loss to Ohio State, he had 286 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and 25 carries for 175 rushing yards. After a loss to Michigan State in the next game, he had 220 passing yards, 107 rushing yards, and two rushing touchdowns in a victory over Indiana. After a victory over Iowa and a loss to Michigan, he helped lead the Nittany Lions to three consecutive wins over Wisconsin, Rutgers, and Maryland to close out the regular season. The Nittany Lions qualified for the Citrus Bowl, where they lost 27–24 to Kentucky. McSorley finished his final season with 2,530 passing yards, 18 passing touchdowns, and seven interceptions to go with 798 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns.


NCAA career statistics
Penn State Nittany Lions
Year Games Record Passing Rushing
GP GS Comp Att Yards Avg Lng Pct TD Int Rate Att Yards Avg Lng TD
2015 6 0 N/A 20 40 185 9.3 21 50.0 2 0 105.4 13 43 3.3 14 0
2016 14 14 11–3 224 387 3,614 16.1 80 57.9 29 8 156.6 146 365 2.5 26 7
2017 13 13 11–2 284 427 3,570 12.6 85 66.5 28 10 162.4 144 491 3.4 36 11
2018 13 13 9–4 192 361 2,530 13.2 93 53.2 18 7 124.6 170 798 4.7 51 12
Career 46 40 31–9 720 1215 9,899 13.7 93 59.3 77 25 144.5 473 1697 3.6 51 30


Honors and awards


  • Penn State
    • Most single-season passing yards – 3,360 yds (as of December 2016)
    • Most single-season total yards – 3979 yds (as of December 2016)
    • Most single-season passing touchdowns – 29 (as of December 2016)
    • Most single-season 300-yard passing games – 5 (as of December 2016)
    • Most consecutive games with touchdown pass – 27
    • Most total offensive yards in a single game – 461 (as of September 2018)

Professional career

McSorley was automatically eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft as he was a graduating senior.

At the NFL Combine, McSorley posted a quarterback-best 4.57-second 40-yard dash, a vertical jump of 33 inches, as well as a 115-inch broad jump. NFL insider Adam Schefter reported that some teams asked McSorley to perform workouts with defensive backs, which he declined. An ESPN mock draft by Mel Kiper Jr. released in April 2019 had McSorley going undrafted.[citation needed]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Wonderlic
6 ft 0+18 in
(1.83 m)
202 lb
(92 kg)
31 in
(0.79 m)
9+18 in
(0.23 m)
4.57 s 4.12 s 7.09 s 33 in
(0.84 m)
9 ft 7 in
(2.92 m)

Baltimore Ravens

McSorley was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round with the 197th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

McSorley was the third-string quarterback behind Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III and did not make his debut until Week 17 of the 2019 season against the Pittsburgh Steelers. His sole snap was a quarterback draw which went for one yard. The Ravens won 28–10.

McSorley remained the third-string quarterback heading into the 2020 season. He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the team on November 20, 2020, and activated on December 1. On December 2, 2020, McSorley came in during the fourth quarter of a rare Wednesday afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Steelers after backup Griffin left the game with a hamstring injury. McSorley completed two out of six attempts for 77 yards and his first career touchdown, which was a 70 yard pass to Marquise Brown. He also carried the ball three times for 16 yards, including a seven-yard run for a fourth-down conversion. However, the Ravens lost 14–19. McSorley played two games later against the Cleveland Browns when starting quarterback Lamar Jackson suffered cramps and was pulled from the game in the third quarter. McSorley completed 1 of 4 passes for 13 yards, and rushed twice for 1 yard. However, he suffered a left knee sprain on a quarterback draw and had to be pulled from the game in favor of a recovered Jackson. The Ravens came back and won the game 47–42. McSorley was placed on injured reserve the following day, causing him to miss the remainder of the regular season.

On August 31, 2021, McSorley was waived by the Ravens; however, he was re-signed to the practice squad the next day.

On November 20, 2021, McSorley was activated to the Ravens' active roster, as Jackson was unable to play due to an illness, and backup quarterback Tyler Huntley had to act as the starter.

Arizona Cardinals

On November 22, 2021, McSorley was signed off the Ravens practice squad by the Arizona Cardinals.

NFL career statistics

Year Team Games Passing Rushing Sacks Fumbles
GP GS Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rate Att Yds Avg TD Sck SckY Fum Lost
2019 BAL 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 1 1 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
2020 BAL 2 0 3 10 30.0 90 9.0 1 0 97.9 5 17 3.4 0 0 0 0 0
2021 ARI 0 0 DNP
Career 3 0 3 10 30.0 90 9.0 1 0 97.9 6 18 3.0 0 0 0 0 0

In popular culture

TikTok sensation

In early October 2020, McSorley was the subject of a viral trend on the app TikTok. The video was created by the user "@sorley_yt" and has been used in over 4 thousand videos, including the official NFL account. The song featured in the video, Trace McSorley by Matty Fresh, was originally uploaded on August 9, 2018 and has amassed over 7.2 million views on YouTube.

Personal life

Trace is the son of Rick and Andrea McSorley, and he has one younger sister, Micaela. His father played football at the University of Richmond and an uncle, Jeff McSorley, played football at Marshall University. He enjoys playing organized and pick-up sports and video games. McSorley graduated from Penn State in May 2018 with a degree in accounting and is working on a second degree in journalism.

McSorley is a Christian. McSorley has a tattoo on his left biceps consisting of a cross with the Bible verses Philippians 4:13 and Psalms 23:4. He has said that the message behind the tattoo is "always pulling me in the right direction" and keeps him grounded and true to his roots.

External links