Rob Bolden's departure a blow for PSU

January, 2, 2011
1/02/11
7:56
PM ET
Joe Paterno on Sunday morning expressed some regret at not finding more playing time for freshman quarterback Robert Bolden late in Penn State's season.

"If I had to do it over again I would probably try to get Bolden in there a little bit because I think Bolden’s a good prospect and he’s probably a little bit discouraged," Paterno said.

Discouraged enough to seek a transfer from Penn State, according to Bolden's father.

Rob Bolden Sr. says his son has informed Penn State's coaches of his intention to transfer and hopes to get a release from Paterno later this week.

It's worth noting that the news comes just a day after Penn State's Outback Bowl loss to Florida, a game where Bolden didn't appear even though starting quarterback Matt McGloin tossed five interceptions. Perhaps Bolden will change his mind -- former Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark hopes to sway the freshman -- but Bolden's father sounds very adamant that the decision is final.

Rob Bolden Sr. had some interesting comments to the (Harrisburg) Patriot-News' David Jones and Lions247.com's Sean Fitz. The elder Bolden said the decision was made before the bowl game but reinforced but what happened Saturday.
  • On the bowl game: "I saw absolutely no reason why he shouldn't have been in the game. None whatsoever. Clearly, he should have played. He had just as much right to be playing in that game as anybody. But they didn't give him that."
  • "They're not looking for him to leave, they don't want him to leave, but he no longer wants to play at Penn State. He's not happy at Penn State currently. If it was up to me, he definitely [would leave], without a doubt. He's definitely made it known that he does not want to be there anymore."
  • "I felt McGloin did a good job under the circumstances of him being a third-string guy. I felt as though he did very well. I felt he caught some bad breaks -- the same principle that got him in the game to begin with and the same principle that Rob was dealing with. But Rob ended up staying out for some struggles he had. It wasn't a two-way street, I guess. We're not happy about that. Rob had his ups and downs just the same as anybody would have had. But he was never allowed to rebound from that. He was never, in my eyes, coached through that. He didn't learn a whole lot just sitting on the sideline the rest of the season."

Did Rob Bolden get a raw deal at Penn State?

McGloin undoubtedly provided a spark down the stretch, and I think more than anything, Bolden lost his job because he was a true freshman playing for Paterno and a more experienced option materialized. But Bolden had done enough in several weeks of camp to earn the starting job for the opener, and he clearly boasts a good deal of talent.

Is this Pat Devlin Part II? Some Penn State fans are already going that route.

Penn State's quarterback race will open in spring ball, so from that perspective, Bolden's decision is a bit surprising. Kevin Newsome, another departing QB, likely wasn't going to be a factor for the top job, but Bolden would have been right in the mix with McGloin and Paul Jones, who redshirted the season.

If Bolden goes through with the transfer, Penn State has a pretty significant depth issue at quarterback going forward. The Lions will need Jones to grow up fast on the field.

Bolden plans to transfer to an FBS program, so he'll sit out a season before returning to the field in 2012. It will be interesting to see if Michigan's coaching decision impacts Bolden, a Michigan native.

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