JoePa not ready to name Penn St. starting QB

Just who will take the first snap behind center Saturday for No.

19 Penn State remains a mystery.

It could be Kevin Newsome. Or Matt McGloin. Or Robert

Bolden.

And even then, whoever starts the season opener versus

Youngstown State likely won’t play the entire game anyway.

Coach Joe Paterno still didn’t know Tuesday what he was going to

do. Honest.

He does promise that he’ll be down on the sideline for his 45th

season as the lead Nittany Lion. He said he hasn’t missed a play of

preseason camp after intestinal ailments forced him to skip out on

some offseason appearances.

But he said the decision on who he’ll send out as his starting

quarterback is still a day or two away.

”We’ll probably play a couple kids. You just don’t know what

you’re going to get, because none of them have been through a lot

of pressure, so we’ll see what happens,” Paterno said.

Out of eligibility, two-year starter Daryll Clark left Happy

Valley with his imprint all over the school record book. He set

school highs for most touchdowns in a season and a career, as well

as most career rushing scores by a quarterback.

The polished Clark had a charismatic personality that provided

seasoned leadership for Penn State’s offense.

Now Paterno has the exact opposite situation at the most

important position on the field.

Newsome, a sophomore, was highly touted out of high school but

played sparingly last season as Clark’s top backup. McGloin,

another sophomore, played even less as the third-stringer.

Bolden, a highly recruited freshman, has reportedly impressed

most on the practice field after enrolling in school over the

summer. He’s ahead of another top freshman recruit, Paul Jones, who

enrolled in January, but will likely redshirt.

Experience, or lack thereof, is a big concern for Paterno. With

a trip to top-ranked Alabama looming in Week 2, Penn State would be

wise to build up as much confidence as possible in the quarterback

– or quarterbacks.

Peppered with quarterback questions through his 40-minute news

conference, Paterno in part said he doesn’t want to put too much

pressure on any of his candidates.

”I’ve got to be honest with you. We’ve got some kids who we

really like, and (we) think they are going to be good, and there’s

more than one,” Paterno said. ”But at this stage, I couldn’t tell

you which one is going to come to the front as THE guy to lead the

team, or whether we have one who can handle the kinds of situations

that the quarterbacks are going to have to handle as this season

goes on.”

Receiver Brett Brackett said all three quarterbacks have split

time equally with the first team.

”They’ve all been doing really well … We have a pretty

comfortable situation with whoever they decide to go with,” said

Brackett, voted a captain this week by teammates along with

defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu.

Paterno has a couple other worries on offense.

Sophomore receiver Curtis Drake, a former high school

quarterback who gave Penn State an option on wildcat-type

formations, is already out with a broken left leg.

Backup tailback Stephfon Green has been nagged by a neck injury,

while projected starting tight end Andrew Szczerba has a bad back.

Redshirt freshman Garry Gilliam is the listed starter at tight end

for now.

It is unclear if Green or Szczerba might be available Saturday,

so speedy junior Chaz Powell has been shuttled back from cornerback

to the receiver/all-purpose position he played last season.