Former four-star prospect and Elite 11 quarterback Jake Zembiec announced Tuesday night that he will not suit up his final two seasons at Penn State due to an unspecified “ongoing injury.”
The redshirt sophomore said he has accepted a medical scholarship and, although he will not play, will remain part of the team. He was a fourth-string quarterback last season behind Trace McSorley, Tommy Stevens and Sean Clifford.
“I want to thank my family as well as my Penn State brothers and coaches for supporting my decision,” Zembiec said on Twitter. “I look forward to having a new role and perspective on the team, offering my knowledge of our offense and leadership as a third-year student-athlete.”
Zembiec redshirted in 2016 and did not play a snap last season. He came in as a heralded recruit — ESPN ranked him as the nation’s 19th-best pocket-passer — but the Nittany Lions’ quarterback room proved a difficult one in which to earn a promotion. McSorley is widely regarded as one of the best signal-callers in the nation, Stevens is a do-everything talent, and Clifford started to impress the staff last season as an even-more coveted recruit.
On top of all that, true freshman Will Levis just joined the team, and one of the nation’s top Class of 2019 QB prospects in Michael Johnson Jr. pledged to the Nittany Lions just last week.
Zembiec becomes the second Nittany Lion who was forced to call it a career this offseason. True freshman offensive lineman Nana Asiedu announced in June that he was retiring from the sport due to a rare heart condition that could lead to cardiac arrest if he pushed himself.
Penn State now has four quarterbacks on regular scholarship this season and, with McSorley set to graduate and Johnson incoming, will also have four the next season.
“Thank you to all Penn Staters for welcoming me into the family and helping me earn a meaningful degree and put blue & white in my blood forever!” Zembiec wrote.