Our series continues looking at a player or a group of players from each Big Ten team who needs a home run type of summer before preseason camp begins. Who needs to hit it out of the park in preparation for the season?
For previous entries, click here.
In the batter's box: Penn State
Who needs to step it up: Quarterback Matt McGloin
You could argue the secondary, which replaces all four starters from a year ago, or the offensive line, which must break in new starters at both tackle and both guard spots, might need the best summers. But I think it's even more important that McGloin assume command of this team and improve his level of performance. First-year coach Bill O'Brien anointed McGloin as his starting quarterback earlier this month, allowing the senior to take on the leadership role this summer. McGloin doesn't have to worry about playing in a rotation with Rob Bolden anymore, so he can concentrate on just football and mastering the new offensive system. O'Brien will put a lot on his quarterback's shoulders, and while no one is predicting that McGloin will play like Tom Brady, he simply must do become a more accurate passer. McGloin has been the best choice under center the past two years but hasn't completed even 55 percent of his throws in that time. That can't happen in an offense that will likely emphasis more short passes. Penn State looks like it will field another strong defense in 2012. The problem of late has been scoring points, and a home run summer by McGloin could go a long way toward solving some of those issues.