While on a conference call with the media earlier today, Penn State head coach Joe Paterno was full of praise for how quarterback Rob Bolden has performed during spring practice this year.
“Bolden in particular has got a tremendous amount of ability — a big tall kid that can really throw the football,” Paterno said.
Whether or not that type of praise will equate to a contented Bolden staying in Happy Valley remains to be seen.
The sophomore requested a release from his scholarship in early January, which was swiftly denied by Paterno. He then decided to return to the program but, as late as the middle of March, Bolden claimed he was uncertain if he would remain at the school beyond spring practice. With the end of the spring sessions just three days away, it’s still unclear which direction Bolden’s collegiate career will take.
Attempting to gain some kind of insight into Bolden’s current state of mind, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette spoke to the QB’s mother. Unfortunately, she was unable to shed any additional light on whether her son would be a Nittany Lion in 2011.
“I’m not sure what he’s going to do,” Tonia Williams said from her home in suburban Detroit. “Our last conversation, he didn’t say if he was staying or if he was leaving.
“He’s a grown man now. He’s able to make his own decisions. The ball is in his court.”
For what it’s worth, last year’s leading receiver Derek Moye, who has missed the last couple of weeks with a concussion, told reporters that he thinks Bolden will return.
In 2010, Bolden became the first true freshman QB ever to start a season opener for Paterno. He went on to start the first seven games of the season before suffering a concussion in a late October win over Minnesota, ultimately losing the starting job to Matt McGloin. Bolden’s real frustration came when he watched McGloin throw five interceptions in an embarrassing bowl loss Florida, and he never saw the field.
This spring, Bolden has been battling McGloin once again for the starting job. Whether Bolden will continue to be a part of that battle come summer camp remains to be seen.