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Tag:Rob Bolden
Posted on: July 11, 2011 4:24 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 4:44 pm
 

Rob Bolden has totally changed

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Robert Bolden's first year at Penn State was quite the roller coaster. He came to Happy Valley as a freshman and surprised everyone by becoming the first true freshman to ever start the season at quarterback under Joe Paterno.

Then, after getting off to a bit of a rough start, Bolden suffered a concussion before losing his starting job to Matt McGloin. Bolden spent the rest of the season on the sideline before seeking a transfer in January after Penn State's loss to Florida in the Outback Bowl.

A transfer that was denied by Joe Paterno, a denial that wasn't taken all that kindly by the Bolden family. No worries, though, five months later with a new season on the horizon, things have changed. Not only is Bolden ready for another season at Penn State, but he says he's a different person now.

"I'm totally different," Bolden told the York Daily Record. "I felt like I was good coming out of high school and right now I feel like I have an opportunity. I'm watching film and getting better with those things. I feel like I've gotten a lot smarter. I feel like my arm's a lot stronger. I'm a completely different guy from last year."

Which is good news for Penn State.

The fact of the matter is, past troubles aside, this is still a kid who started as a freshman. When you consider all the quarterbacks that have come through Happy Valley under Paterno who haven't done that, you have to figure Bolden looked mighty impressive last summer.

There's a reason Paterno didn't want him to leave.

There's also the fact that while Matt McGloin wasn't a horrible quarterback for Penn State in 2010, he's not exactly a stud either. Even with Kevin "I'm not a terrible rapper" Newsome and Paul Jones on the roster, odds are that Bolden is still the best option that the Nittany Lions have in 2011. In a Big Ten Conference that looks to be as wide open as ever in 2011, thanks to the recent troubles at Ohio State, both Bolden and Paterno may be really happy he decided to stay come next January.
 

Posted on: May 27, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 9:56 am
 

CBSSports.com CFB 100, No. 79: Joe Paterno

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Business as usual, business as usual. That approach, that adherence to process is what anybody needs to persevere in a competitive field for 45 years--the amount of time Joe Paterno has spent at the helm of Penn State. Now, the concept of "usual" is pretty loose in college football on a year-to-year basis, but at the end of the day, it's pretty much the same: recruit at a high level, get your defense playing hard, and make sure your playmakers are on the field on offense. Sure, that's overly simplified, but it's a formula Paterno has followed en route to 401 wins at the helm of the Nittany Lions.

But what happens when that formula is no longer applicable? What happens when Paterno can't lean on a veteran QB, a considerable talent differential, or even a psychological edge on his opponents? What if this is the year it all comes tumbling down?

People have been speculating on what year would be Paterno's last since he turned 70. That was 15 years ago. Paterno has always laughed off the speculation and has never set a date of departure, and that's been fine because far more often than not, his teams have backed him up. Even after a rough five-year stretch at the start of last decade, the Nittany Lions returned to form and went 11-1, their only loss coming at the last second at Michigan. Three years later, PSU went 11-1 in the regular season, and again, their only loss came at the last second--this time at Iowa. There have been a slew of nine-win seasons as well. Business as usual.

But this offseason, things looked to be on the precipice of unraveling. Paterno wouldn't let quarterbacks Rob Bolden or Kevin Newsome transfer, much to their chagrin. Both men are now entrenched in a quarterback battle with putative starter Matt McGloin, a former walk-on who struggled with consistency last season. That battle ought to continue as close to the beginning of the season as possible, which hardly does any favors to a quarterback who'll probably want to transfer if he's not given the starting job. That's JoePa's M.O., though. Business as usual.

The offseason was also marked by the potential for serious turmoil. Longtime Paterno assistant Tom Bradley was thisclose to accepting the Pittsburgh head coaching spot, only to have the deal break down over details. If he had taken the spot, there's no telling how many PSU assistants he'd have been able to bring with him. Probably more than one. It's one thing to keep Joe Paterno around as long as he wants. It'd be quite another to keep him around andtask him with rebuilding a coaching staff that he has increasingly come to rely on now that he's in his 80s. The Penn State brass has always been patient with JoePa, and that's a good thing, but that patience is largely due to his ability to maintain stability and high standards of performance. Take those away, and he's just a very old coach in charge of a program in flux, and that's far less appetizing to any athletic director.

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That performance, though, may be on the wane once again. Penn State barely eked out a winning record last season, going 7-6 and losing its bowl appearance against a similarly underachieving Florida squad. The quarterback situation is uninspiring. So is the defense, which allowed more points than it has in 27 years and returns no first-team or second-team All-Big Ten performers (to be fair, DBs Drew Astorino and D'Anton Lynn were honorable mention, as was DT Devon Still; they're all back). Linebacker U's linebackers anchored a rush defense that was 74th nationally against the run -- and two of the top four tacklers in that unit have graduated. Nate Stupar is back, and while he's good, he's not Linebacker U good yet. Michael Mauti might be . PSU had better hope he is.

The recruiting suffered this year, too. The normally dynamic Larry Johnson Sr. didn't have a lot of roster spots to fill, but the recruits he did get weren't terribly impressive. DE signee Anthony Zettel was No. 82 in Tom Lemming's Top 100 list, but that was basically it for incoming future stars. If Johnson can't get top talent to get excited about Penn State anymore, that levels the playing field against the rest of college football -- and widens the growing gap between Penn State and the powerhouses.

All that, and JoePa got one year older. He can't coach forever, and whenever the time is that he physically can't coach anymore might be, he's one year closer to it now than he was a year ago. Time may seem immaterial to him, but make no mistake: his career is in its twilight.

Yes, yes, this is all old hat to Paterno and Penn State now: the growing doubts in the spring, the concerns over his age, the notion of the program being on the precipice of collapse. They've dealt with this for decades, and they've usually dealt with it by going out and whipping their opponents up and down the field anyway. But what if they don't in 2011? What if this is the last chapter in the JoePa Saga? And if that's not a hard enough problem to consider... what comes after that?

Posted on: April 16, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: April 16, 2011 7:55 pm
 

JoePa won't name starting QB till fall

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With Rob Bolden having asked for a release from his scholarship and his mother refusing this week to rule out a second such request before the 2011 season, you might have expected the Nittany Lions to either name Bolden their starter (and likely guarantee his presence in State College this fall) or name rival Matt McGloin the man and put the QB controversy behind them.

But Joe Paterno and his staff have never cared much for what other people might expect, which is why Paterno on Saturday said no decision would be made on the starting quarterback position until later this year.

As for what that might mean for Bolden, Paterno said he expects him to stay. But even he's not saying for certain, as the Patriot-News reports:
When asked if he would name a starting quarterback after practices and the spring game, Paterno said, “No need to. No sense in doing it.

“…I would say I’m 99 percent sure it’s going to be one of the two kids (Bolden and McGloin).”

Paterno reiterated his belief that Bolden will stay and says the sophomore has looked happy in practice. Paterno plans to meet with Bolden next week about a final decision.
Paterno didn't mince words about the other quarterbacks in the competition, saying redshirt freshman Paul Jones " has to work his way into" McGloin and Bolden's comfort level and former heir apparent Kevin Newsome is sometimes "the last guy to the practice field."

But it's not news that the decision is down to McGloin and Bolden. It's the next headline -- either that Bolden has chosen to move on, or that he's chosen to stay, or who exactly is the starter -- that will be the one that might define the Nittany Lions' season.

And oh, about that spring game: McGloin threw the only touchdown pass in a weather-marred 10-0 "win" for Blue over White. The game was called just a couple of minutes into the second half due to rain.

Posted on: March 31, 2011 2:43 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 3:09 pm
 

Kevin Newsome: PSU QB by day, rap star by night

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Penn State has a tough task in front of it this spring, deciding a first-string quarterback between 2010 part-time starters Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden, with sophomore Kevin Newsome firmly in the mix as well. There's been little indication as to who will win the job on a permanent basis, and for all we know, the question won't be decided until the summer months.

If, however, the quarterback race is so tight that it comes down to a rap battle -- look, stick with me here, it's just an "if" -- then it appears Newsome might have the upper hand. Oh, it probably won't come down to that, because I can't even imagine what Joe Paterno thinks about rap music, but hypothetically speaking, Newsome is prepared here.

PSU fan site Bro Paterno posted a couple songs of Newsome's (or, as he prefers to call himself on the mic, "NewNew"*) yesterday.


This one, "I'm Cool," has an isolated instance of race-based profanity (you can probably figure it out), so by rule the audio is NSFW, but by and large the language is better than with most rap songs. And we've got to say, it's not that bad. It's not that good, either, but at the very least the beat is decent and it's not horrible toward women. So, y'know, there's that.

There's one other song on the link above: "Set You Apart," which is more "inspirational," if we had to put a word to it. Another fitting word would be "slow." As for this one, it's obvious Newsome's heart was in the right place, and the world could use more positivity in general, but the song's not very good. I know, it's shocking that a 20-year-old athlete isn't a dynamite music producer yet, but still: this left me wanting.

All in all, he's at least got a fine ear for music, and we've definitely heard worse from athletes over the years. Remember Kobe Bryant's rap career? With that one song where he was all "let's put Tyra Banks in this too"? Stunning that his rap career never got off the ground. So keep trying, NewNew -- you'll be better than Kobe in no time! You pretty much already are!

*Am I the only one who hears "New-New" and thinks of making guitar solo noises? Just me?

Posted on: February 28, 2011 11:24 am
Edited on: February 28, 2011 11:28 am
 

Rob Bolden still uncertain about future at PSU

Posted by Chip Patterson

Penn State freshman quarterback Rob Bolden had high hopes for his career with the Nittany Lions when he was named the starter heading into his first collegiate game.  Then, at 18, Bolden was the first true-freshman quarterback to start a season opener in Joe Paterno's 45 years as a head coach.  But after getting knocked out of the Minnesota game with a concussion on October 23, Bolden struggled on the field and failed to regain his starting position from backup quarterback Matt McGloin.  

Bolden requested a transfer after the Nittany Lions' Outback Bowl loss to Florida, and head coach Joe Paterno refused to release the quarterback from his scholarship.  Now, being forced to stay on campus at least until the end of the spring semester, Bolden must try and make the best of the situation.  Recently, Bolden spoke on the issue while making a team appearance at a charity event.  While Bolden's future at Penn State is still uncertain, he is making the most of his time in Happy Valley.

“There is no definite answer on if I'm gonna stay or if I'm gonna leave,” Bolden said during an Uplifting Athletes' event at Damon's Grill in State College Sunday. “We're just gonna wait it out, see what happens in the spring and go from there.

“I've been just fine,” he said. “I'm having fun. I'm with my teammates. That hasn't changed at all. We still love each other, they're still my guys. I'm here for the spring, (so) we'll ball up and go from there.”

If Penn State fans are hoping that Bolden will stay for the fall, one hopeful sign is that he has been spending time with former Nittany Lions quarterback Daryll Clark.  Clark befriended Bolden when he was an instructor at an Elite 11 camp two years ago.  Clark has been spending time breaking down tape of the 2010 season with the young quarterback, helping him identify improvements Bolden can make to his  game.

“I need to work on everything,” Bolden said. “My whole game needs to be bumped up. My freshman year, I got that out of the way. It was cool to get some snaps under my belt, learn from that, move on (and) don't make the same mistakes twice.”

Bolden beat out McGloin for the starting position coming into the 2010 season, and depending on how things go in spring ball he could find himself doing it again in 2011.  Paterno has not make any declarations on the status of the job, but my guess would be the position will create some great competition between the two signal-callers in the coming weeks.

H/T: Fight On State  

Posted on: January 4, 2011 10:40 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 5:03 am
 

PSU QB Rob Bolden speaks: 'I'm pretty upset'

Posted by Adam Jacobi

As reported earlier, Penn State head coach Joe Paterno is currently not honoring the scholarship release request of freshman quarterback Rob Bolden. Paterno already lost quarterback Kevin Newsome to transfer earlier this season, and he couldn't have enjoyed seeing putative 2011 starter (and former walk-on) Matt McGloin struggle against Florida in the Outback Bowl last weekend.

Nonetheless, "I won't have enough quarterbacks if you leave" isn't going to placate a kid who wants to transfer, and Bolden and his family have been unusually open to the press while they've dealt with the matter. To that end, the Altoona Mirror spoke to Bolden on the phone tonight, and here's an excerpt from the interview:

Q: How disappointed are you that Joe denied the scholarship release?:

A: I'm pretty upset. I didn't understand why he would want me to stay if I didn't want to be there. I was looking to get out and get a release, but he thinks otherwise.

Q: What is your plan now? Are you coming back to PSU for school?:

A: I'm not sure yet. If I can figure out a way to get out of there with the release or whatever before Monday, then I'll do that. But if not, then we'll see what happens.

Q: If Joe does not release you, do you plan to come back?:

A: We'll see what happens. I'm not sure yet.

Bolden also mentions that "pretty much all" of his teammates have voiced their sympathy and support to him, so assuming that's true, JoePa's not doing much to get his locker room on his side. That's never a recipe for success, so Paterno needs to think carefully about how he's handling this situation.

 


Posted on: December 8, 2010 6:19 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 6:23 pm
 

McGloin to start against Gators in Outback Bowl

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Outback Bowl became a lot more interesting on Wednesday with the news that Urban Meyer would step down as Florda's head coach following the game.  The true irony, of course, is that the opposing coach is Penn State's Joe Paterno, who still has not retired at the age of 83 [note: Paterno will turn 84 on December 21].  But while everyone spends the foreseeable future discussing the future of the Florida football program, the Nittany Lions will prepare to face the Gators of the present.

Step one in that preparation was naming a starting quarterback.  After the signal calling duties were split throughout the season between Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin, but Paterno has named McGloin the starter for the team's bowl game on New Years Day.

“I think that Matt is the quarterback,” Paterno said in a bowl teleconference earlier this week. “Now the other kid (Bolden) has a lot of ability, but he is a true freshman in the truest sense of the word – he wasn’t even here for spring practice. He came in and unfortunately we had to start him a few games early until the other kid (McGloin) started to show some promise."

So talk all you want about Urban Meyer, Dan Mullen, Winston Churchill, or the Ghost of Tim Tebow, but the Outback Bowl will still be about the 2010 Gators against the 2010 Nittany Lions.  If anything, Penn State has gained a competitive advantage from the new off-field distractions out of Gainesville.  For a team that struggled in the big games this year, the Nittany Lions will take every advantage they can get.
Posted on: November 14, 2010 2:32 am
 

What I learned from the Big Ten (Nov. 13)

Posted by Adam Jacobi

1. The Iowa defense is the biggest fraud in the Big Ten. Credit must go to Dan Persa and Northwestern for their gutsy fourth-quarter comeback against the Iowa Hawkeyes, but it's time to stop lauding the Iowa defense as one of the nation's best, because it isn't -- not when the game is on the line. Iowa has given up game-winning drives -- and long, sustained ones, at that -- to three different opponents this season, and if it hadn't been for an unconscionable end zone drop by Indiana wideout Damario Belcher on 4th down last week, that total would be four, in just 10 games. It's one thing to hold lightweights like Iowa State and Eastern Illinois to just one score. It's another to get a stop when the team needs one the most, and Iowa's defense just doesn't seem capable of doing that.

2. Bret Bielema's empathy generator is broken. Quick, name the one Big Ten coach who would run up 83 points on a conference opponent. It's probably the same one that goes for two while up by 25 with under seven minutes to play, isn't it? Why yes it is. Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema continued his quest to get every mediocre coach in the Big Ten fired with an 83-20 firebombing of Indiana in Madison. And though Bielema will again claim not to be running up the score, it's worth pointing out that Scott Tolzien was throwing passes to fellow starters Lance Kendricks and David Gilreath with a 39-point lead and under five minutes left in the third quarter. Yes, it's up to Indiana to make the stop, and Indiana never did, but in a 63-point win, it's never good to see the winning team converting a 76-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter -- regardless of whether a backup threw it. Wisconsin, we're looking at you here.

3. There's plenty of Hawkeye fans in East Lansing. The Big Ten title race is down to three one-loss teams, and as of right now, Wisconsin owns the tiebreaker for the trip to Pasadena (or if all hell really breaks loose, Glendale, but let's assume Pasadena). Of the three teams, only one -- Ohio State -- faces a ranked team down the stretch, and that's OSU's trip to Iowa next weekend. If Iowa wins, all of a sudden, Michigan State has the upper hand for the league title. Ohio State wins, and we're back to the three-team non-round-robin tiebreaker, which is BCS standing. MSU is not such a big fan of that idea: the Spartans are firmly mired at third among Big Ten teams in that department. So yes, there's still plenty of endgame drama left in the Big Ten, even if it involves two teams that are at best longshots for the title.

4. Matt McGloin has "moxie," but Ohio State has a secondary. Advantage, OSU. It's hard to believe, looking at the 38-14 final score from Columbus, but Penn State actually led the Buckeyes 14-3 at the break, and it could have been worse. PSU QB Matt McGloin threw two touchdown passes in the first half, and unlike the two he threw in the second half, the first half scores were to his own team. Yes, things sort of fell off a cliff for Penn State, and the turning point was likely late in the first half, when Joe Paterno got greedy on 4th and 1 at the OSU 20 and went for it. The Evan Royster rush failed, the Buckeye defense's heart grew three sizes, and PSU never even threatened to score for the rest of the game.

It was a sobering return to reality for Penn State fans who witnessed McGloin's dissection of the Northwestern defense last week and were entertaining dreams of McGloin as a wildly successful three (or two-and-a-half, anyway) -year starter over true freshman Rob Bolden, Joe Paterno's choice at the beginning of the season. The fact of the matter is, there's usually plenty more to turning a struggling offense around than just making a switch at quarterback, and when Bolden's got a full year of film study and practice under his belt, he's probably going to be a better quarterback than McGloin. That fact doesn't have much relevance today, which is why McGloin started at Columbus and probably will next week, but it would be extremely presumptive to look at McGloin's first two quarters at OSU and attach a tag like "the future" to him -- unless the words "clipboard holder for Rob Bolden" immediately follow.

 
 
 
 
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