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April 16, 2011Matt McGloin said today that quarterbacks need to have a short memory. Fellow quarterback (and competitor for the starting nod) Rob Bolden might not feel the same way.
After a controversial ending to his true freshman season last year, Bolden shocked much of Penn State when his father announced his intent to transfer to a different school. After being denied by head coach Joe Paterno, Bolden ultimately chose to stick it out through spring practice and rethink the decision afterward.
With spring practice officially ending after Saturday afternoon's soggy, rained-out game, Bolden made it clear that his mindset hasn't changed. A decision still needs to be made.
"I'm closer to a decision, but nothing is final," Bolden said. "I have a lot to think about, both positive and negative."
If it seems as if Bolden still has a lingering sour taste in his mouth, he admittedly does. His historical freshman season took a turn for the worst as it progressed, losing his starting job to McGloin following a concussion. When asked about his utter lack of playing time in the Outback Bowl, despite McGloin's dull performance, Bolden laughed.
"It was tough," Bolden said. "I wouldn't say it was a breaking point, but every game it built up and then I didn't even play at all."
It might have been the breaking point for Bolden's father, who chided the coaches' decision to the media on Rob's behalf.
"Everything you hear from my dad you would have heard from me too," Bolden said. "We're always on the same page. But my dad, he's a fiery dude. He's a tough guy. He's not going to be pushed over."
His father, who tried to call him at least three times while Rob was in the media room, seemed to be one of the driving forces behind Rob's indecisiveness. Although Bolden was hesitant to name exactly what he was weighing his decision on, he mentioned family on several occasions.
"I want to start with the positives," Bolden said. "There are a lot of things I love about Penn State. It's nothing outside of football. The students, the fans, my teammates, all of that is good. But I have a lot to talk about and decide with my family. There's no single factor."
One factor that Bolden doesn't appear have to worry about is getting a fair shot at the starting spot. He was the first quarterback on the field today, throwing an interception on the first play of the game. He finished without a completion from his five attempts, yet, sideways rain and 22 mph winds could have played a factor.
Meanwhile, McGloin racked up 109 yards, a touchdown and completed five of his 10 attempts.
"I know I have a good shot at getting the starting spot," Bolden said. "It's up for grabs and I'm ready to take it."
McGloin did not comment on any knowledge he had of Bolden transferring, but he did say that he hoped he would stick around.
"I'd love to see him stay," McGloin said. "Him being here makes me a better football player because I know that I have to bring it every single day and make the most of my reps. But it's up to him. If he goes I wish him the best with whatever he does."
Both quarterbacks said they have been taking equal reps in practice and don't know when a starter will be named. Bolden also doesn't know when his decision will be finalized.
"However long it takes," Bolden said. "I have no time frame."
Bolden's public indecisiveness doesn't seem to have had an effect on head coach Joe Paterno. In fact, he seemed confident that Bolden would be sporting Penn State's new, simpler jerseys when the team kicks off in early September.
"I would obviously hope that that's behind him," Paterno said. "He's been great out there on the practice field. He wasn't as comfortable last year as he was this spring. But if we have a problem we'll discuss it next week. But I don't think there is a problem. There shouldn't be. He's right in there."
Bolden stressed that he felt he needed to be more coached this spring, and added that Joe and quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno did a good job of that.
"I felt like I should have had a little more coaching," Bolden said. "And Jay did that this spring. I wanted someone to be up under me if I did something wrong. He made sure I wasn't making mistakes twice. There are no hard feelings. We have a good relationship."
When Bolden will reach a decision, no one, not even he, knows.
"I feel like I sometimes change my mind from day to day," Bolden said. "But I don't think anything will change in the upcoming weeks with football being over. I'm just going to continue to do well in school and have fun."