Joe Paterno wanted to make Pennsylvania all-state quarterback Jim Kelly into a linebacker years back. Jim Kelly is in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame…as a quarterback.
Coaches miss on players all the time. Stories like that are everywhere…well, maybe not to that degree. Evaluating talent is a tricky thing…just wait until next week’s NFL Draft. You’ll see. Once they begin playing again…evaluating talent is a tricky thing. Watch some of your favorite team’s top picks crash and burn. (insert JaMarcus Russell here)
However, it seems the Nittany Lions’ field general position has been up for grabs over the last few seasons and as someone once said…”if ya have more than one quarterback you don’t have any.”
Recall before the 2009 Rose Bowl Pennsylvania all-time passing yardage leader Pat Devlin became fed up with not being the lead Lion – after many felt he earned the job during the latter part of the ’08 season – and transferred to nearby Delaware…where he did reasonably well in spite of injury issues albeit at a level down. He should be drafted next weekend.
Last season the reins were handed to Robert Bolden, who as a true freshman started the first seven games of 2010. I was not aware JoePa knew freshman were allowed to play. I kid…but Paterno is not one to let first-year players roam the field…let alone at QB. Bolden was the first true frosh QB to start a season opener at Penn State since 1910. (I know what you’re thinking…fyi JoePa was born in 1926)
But…one concussion later and redshirt soph Matt McGloin took over, effectively setting the standard at PSU you can lose your QB job to injury. But wait a minute…
…when Devlin entered the role a couple of years before and played well…it was as a result of a concussion to then-starter Daryll Clark…who got his job back when he was cleared to go, prompting Devlin to move on.
After the 2011 Outback Bowl, Bolden’s father made it clear his son would be taking his talents elsewhere – as Devlin did. Who could blame him after seeing McGloin toss five passes in that game…to Florida. In fact, Bolden did eventually ask for his release from his grant-in-aid but JoePa denied the request.
JoePa was quoted after this past weekend’s Blue-White Spring Game saying he’s 99 percent certain his starter for the 2011 opener will be either Bolden or McGloin.
That 1 percent hanging out there might be enough to entice Bolden to leave. His decision will be made shortly. I hope for his sake he understands even if he was named the starter…history often repeats itself. You have to make your best judgement…and history can be a valued tool.
Standing on the sideline during the Outback Bowl had to be excruciating for Bolden. His decision is equally difficult.
PSU announced this past week their uniforms will become even more “traditional.” The piping around the neck and sleeves will be eliminated. The Nittany Lions aren’t exactly Oregon when it comes to state-of-the-art design anyway.
The more interesting announcement comes in a few days when we hear what uniform Bolden will be playing in come the Fall.