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
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
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
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
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.