STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – After debating whether to return for his sophomore season, Rob Bolden will remain at Penn State again this year.
Penn State senior tackle Quinn Barham didn’t hear much from Bolden earlier this offseason, so he contacted the quarterback to see if he was returning to Happy Valley.
Bolden is after the starting job that was once his last year. But junior Matt McGloin is also going for the exact position.
Bolden started eight games as a true freshman last season. McGloin, who started his career as a walk-on, took over the starting spot under 84-year-old head coach Joe Paterno. McGloin ended the season as the starter after taking over for Bolden for good in early November.
“I was worried myself earlier this summer. His behavior was different. I thought he was leaving,” Barham said at a player charity event last week. “He was a little distant, I didn’t know what was going on. But right now, I’m fine. He’s here, he’s happy.”
In 2010, Bolden became the first freshman quarterback to start a season opener in Paterno’s four-plus decades at Penn State.
After the Blue-White Game April 16, Bolden was undecided on whether he would stay or transfer. Bolden threw for 1,360 yards in his first season for five touchdowns and seven interceptions.
They addressed questions about the quarterback contest at the “Lift for Life” charity strength and conditioning event on Friday in entirely different ways.
With a crush of reporters and TV cameras surrounding him, McGloin – a broadcast journalism major who appears at ease in the spotlight – again pronounced himself as the man to beat. McGloin said he’s shaken off his five-interception performance in the 37-24 loss to Florida in the Outback Bowl in January.
“Absolutely, in my mind I am the guy to beat right now, it’s just the way I go about (things),” McGloin said. “Obviously there is an open competition, but I feel I’m going to go in there, and I’m going to perform well, and it’s going to be my job in the fall.”
Both candidates have indicated there are no harsh feelings between them about the competition, and that they are friendly off the field.
“I see both Rob and Matt really taking charge, both showing leadership skills up and front this year,” said tackle Eric Shrive, who helped organized the Lift for Life event. “Going into camp, it’s going to be a really great battle between the two of them.”
The player-organized contest raised more than $94,400 this year for kidney cancer research and patients. Shrive, whose uncle was recently diagnosed with the disease, raised a record $25,000 on his own.