NFC South: Matt McGloin

Matt McGloin is going to this weekend’s Carolina Panthers minicamp on a tryout basis. He is a long shot to even get a roster spot.

But I’m not going to write off McGloin because way too many people have done that in the past and ended up being very wrong.

If you don’t know McGloin’s story, it’s worth running through now. Since high school, people have been telling McGloin he doesn’t have the necessary arm strength or size.

I don’t know McGloin, but I’ve followed his career closely since his days at West Scranton (Pa.) High because that’s about 15 miles from where I grew up. My nephew was a class behind McGloin in high school.

When McGloin went to Penn State University as a walk-on, I, like a lot of people, thought that would be the last we’d ever hear of him. Fact is, he is short and the arm strength isn’t great.

But there’s something special about McGloin. Call it intangibles, call it moxie or whatever you want. The guy somehow worked his way into the starting quarterback job at Penn State, something never before accomplished by a walk-on at that school.

McGloin was pretty ordinary at first. But when things started crumbling at Penn State due to the Jerry Sandusky scandal, McGloin became a rock. As other highly-touted players were transferring away and Penn State was going through its first coaching change in about 50 years, McGloin held the program together. He turned in a record-setting senior year as Penn State recorded a very respectable season.

With the Panthers, McGloin’s walking into a situation where Cam Newton is the unquestioned starter. The Panthers also have veteran backups in Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen. They also have Colby Cameron.

The odds are long. But the Panthers have salary-cap issues and Anderson and Clausen are making decent money. If McGloin can show a little of the heart he showed at Penn State, maybe the Panthers will decide to keep him around and give him a shot to stick as the third quarterback or on the practice squad. His chances aren't great, but McGloin has overcome longer odds in the past.

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