Penn State's Bolden, Newsome back in class


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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's turbulent quarterback situation finally seems to be settling down.

Ten days after coach Joe Paterno declined to release freshman backup quarterback Rob Bolden from his scholarship so that he could transfer to another Division I-A school, Bolden is attending spring semester classes.

Sophomore quarterback Kevin Newsome, the backup to Big Ten Conference co-MVP Daryll Clark in 2009, also is enrolled in classes, which began Monday.

Both decisions are a bit surprising.

Bolden's father, Robert Bolden, said he was "100 percent sure" his son would transfer the day after Penn State's 37-24 loss to Florida in the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl.

Newsome did not accompany the Nittany Lions to the bowl game while contemplating a possible transfer.

A source in the Penn State football program who did not want to be identified said Thursday that although Bolden's dad was adamant about his son transferring during their Jan. 4 meeting with Paterno and his son Jay Paterno, the team's quarterbacks coach, Rob Bolden was wavering on his decision.

The source said Joe Paterno challenged Bolden to "come back and win the starting job," and apparently that's what Bolden plans to do.

Bolden and Newsome still could end up leaving, but for now, it appears that Bolden will battle former walk-on Matt McGloin in an open competition for the starting job in the fall.

Paul Jones, a freshman quarterback from Sto-Rox High School who redshirted in 2010, also could push for playing time.

Bolden, from Orchard Lake, Mich., started the first seven games this past season and eight games overall for Penn State, which finished 7-6. He completed 112 of 193 passes for 1,360 yards. He had five touchdown passes and seven interceptions.

Bolden suffered a concussion Oct. 23 against Minnesota and eventually lost his starting job to McGloin, who started five of the final six games.

McGloin, a redshirt sophomore from Scranton, threw a school-record five interceptions in the Outback Bowl loss to Florida, but Bolden did not play.

After the game, Bolden informed Jay Paterno of his intent to transfer.

Newsome, from Portsmouth, Va., was the favorite to win the starting quarterback job this past season, but he lost out to Bolden, who was the first freshman to start a season opener at quarterback for Penn State in 100 years.

Newsome saw limited action in six games this season. He completed 6 of 13 passes for 78 yards and ran 13 times for 66 yards and a touchdown. He could face a possible position change if he remains at Penn State.

In nine games, including five starts, McGloin connected on 118 of 215 passes for 1,548 yards. He threw 14 touchdown passes and nine interceptions.

Bradley staying put

Despite published reports to the contrary, Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley did not interview for the head coaching vacancy at Connecticut last weekend, a source said Thursday.

Bradley did interview twice at Pitt, which on Monday hired Tulsa's Todd Graham.

Bradley also interviewed in December for the head coach opening at Temple. The Owls hired Steve Addazio, Florida's offensive coordinator and associate head coach.

Recruits climb to 13

Penn State has picked up three more verbal commitments, pushing its total to 13 recruits for the class of 2011.

Offensive tackles Donovan Smith of Owings Mills High School in Maryland, and Ryan Nowicki of Cactus High School in Glendale, Ariz., recently committed to the Lions, along with Sam Ficken, an all-state kicker from Valparaiso High School in Indiana.

The list includes defensive back Shyquawn Pullium from Erie Cathedral Prep, who is attending Kiski School this season to improve his academics.

Paterno receives award

Joe Paterno on Thursday received the 2011 NCAA President's Gerald R. Ford Award, which honors an individual who has continually provided leadership as an advocate for intercollegiate athletics over the course of a career. Previous winners include former NCAA President Myles Brand, Billie Jean King, James Frank, Christine Grant, Birch Bayh, John Wooden, William Friday and the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh.


Ron Musselman can be reached at rmusselman@post-gazette.com .


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