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.