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Devlin discusses departure from Penn State

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Of all the quarterbacks to depart Big Ten programs during the winter and spring, Pat Devlin might have left the biggest void.

Devlin provided Penn State with a dependable backup for Daryll Clark. He nearly won the starting job last summer and came up big late against Ohio State. Without Devlin, the Lions are very inexperienced under center and need Clark to stay healthy this fall.

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane recently caught up with Devlin, who went through practice at Delaware this spring and hopes to follow Joe Flacco's path from FBS also-ran to FCS star. He didn't have too much to say about Penn State, other than that he wanted more than one year as the starter.

The turning point seemed to be Penn State's loss to Iowa. Clark struggled coming off a concussion, but the coaches never replaced him with Devlin.

"He genuinely thought he had earned playing time," said Dan Ellis, a former quarterback at Virginia. "And by their own estimation it was close. ... So if you have such a capable backup quarterback that just barely lost the starting quarterback competition, and Daryll Clark can't throw the ball very well against Iowa, why isn't he playing?"

Devlin also discusses his departure from Penn State in December. After being granted his release, Devlin still thought he would travel with the team for the Rose Bowl. But head coach Joe Paterno decided Devlin would be a distraction in Pasadena.

Twenty minutes after the conversation, Devlin went to the Lasch Building to work out and ran into equipment manager Spider Caldwell.

"He said, 'Joe just called me and told me to clean out your locker,'" Devlin recalled. "So I grabbed a trash bag and threw everything in my locker and left. That's kind of how it ended."